Thursday, November 21, 2019

What can YOU learn from Amazon’s 14 Leadership Principles?


Whether you admire Amazon or hate it, there's no question the Seattle-based retail and services juggernaut is a stellar business performer.

GP: Amazon's Jeff Bezos Makes Surprise Visit To Employee Veterans Day Event 2What's Jeff Bezos's secret? Amazon's careers page offers a tantalizing glimpse: a list of 14 Leadership Principles the company claims to use every day, "whether we're discussing ideas for new projects or deciding on the best approach to solving a problem." It is, the company says. "just one of the things that makes Amazon peculiar."

Although aimed at potential hires, Amazon's leadership principles offer key insights for any business owner into what it takes to succeed today on the front lines of the disruption economy. Why not copy and paste this post and adopt a similar list of recommended skills and values for your staff (future and present-day)? 

Start small. Choose (and revise if necessary) seven of these principles and bring them to your next management meeting for discussion. If your team buys in, make sure they also take responsibility for revising the organization's processes so that your acutal practices match the idealism of these vlaues.Then roll out your fancy new prinicplas and watch your bsuiness soar.


Customer Obsession
Leaders start with the customer and work backwards. They work vigorously to earn and keep customer trust. Although leaders pay attention to competitors, they obsess over customers.

Ownership
Leaders are owners. They think long term and don’t sacrifice long-term value for short-term results. They act on behalf of the entire company, beyond just their own team. They never say “that’s not my job."

Invent and Simplify
Leaders expect and require innovation and invention from their teams and always find ways to simplify. They are externally aware, look for new ideas from everywhere, and are not limited by “not invented here." As we do new things, we accept that we may be misunderstood for long periods of time.

Are Right, A Lot
Leaders are right a lot. They have strong judgment and good instincts. They seek diverse perspectives and work to disconfirm their beliefs.

Learn and Be Curious
Leaders are never done learning and always seek to improve themselves. They are curious about new possibilities and act to explore them.

Hire and Develop the Best
Leaders raise the performance bar with every hire and promotion. They recognize exceptional talent, and willingly move them throughout the organization. Leaders develop leaders and take seriously their role in coaching others. We work on behalf of our people to invent mechanisms for development like Career Choice.

Insist on the Highest Standards
Leaders have relentlessly high standards — many people may think these standards are unreasonably high. Leaders are continually raising the bar and drive their teams to deliver high quality products, services, and processes. Leaders ensure that defects do not get sent down the line and that problems are fixed so they stay fixed.

Think Big
Thinking small is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Leaders create and communicate a bold direction that inspires results. They think differently and look around corners for ways to serve customers.

Bias for Action
Speed matters in business. Many decisions and actions are reversible and do not need extensive study. We value calculated risk taking. 

Frugality
Accomplish more with less. Constraints breed resourcefulness, self-sufficiency, and invention. There are no extra points for growing headcount, budget size, or fixed expense.

Earn Trust
Leaders listen attentively, speak candidly, and treat others respectfully. They are vocally self-critical, even when doing so is awkward or embarrassing. Leaders do not believe their or their team’s body odor smells of perfume. They benchmark themselves and their teams against the best.

Dive Deep
Leaders operate at all levels, stay connected to the details, audit frequently, and are skeptical when metrics and anecdote differ. No task is beneath them.

Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit
Leaders are obligated to respectfully challenge decisions when they disagree, even when doing so is uncomfortable or exhausting. Leaders have conviction and are tenacious. They do not compromise for the sake of social cohesion. Once a decision is determined, they commit wholly.

Deliver Results
Leaders focus on the key inputs for their business and deliver them with the right quality and in a timely fashion. Despite setbacks, they rise to the occasion and never settle.



Image result for jeff bezos, amazon principles

Sunday, November 17, 2019

It’s not easy being Elon Musk

I’ve never found the time to listen to Joe Rogan’s two-plus-hour podcasts. But I just made an exception for his 2018 interview with Elon Musk.
Rogan: "You must admire my Samurai sword!"
Elon: "Love is the answer."

As one of the world’s most creative and daring entrepreneurs, Elon Musk is normally an enigma surrounded by jargon-infused mystery. But on this show he relaxed, sipped whiskey with his garrulous host, and even puffed on a joint. (Which Elon says he doesn’t normally do.)

There are very few “gotcha! moments in this video. Rogan takes Elon on a leisurely tour through Tesla, Space X, the Boring Company, solar roof panels, electric jets and other projects. (Sadly, nothing about Hyperloops.) 

One highlight: About the 55-minute mark, Elon talks about slipping Easter eggs into Tesla technology just to surprise and reward his customers. “The Model X can do this ballet thing to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra,” Elon says. “It's pretty cool.”

It’s an unexpected moment, and an intriguing glimpse into Elon’s fun side.

But if you have any interest in entrepreneurship, innovation or technology, listen to the last 15-20 minutes, where Elon drops all pretence and talks about the pain and pressure of being a genius… and why he just wants to make you happy.

So click on the video below and click to the 2:16 mark to hear:
Why no one else would want to be Elon Musk. (“It’s very hard to turn it off.”)

2:18: “I know a lot of people like weed, and that's fine. But I don't find that it is very good for productivity.

2:22: Why Elon can’t stop his brain from thinking, questioning and ideating: “It's like a never-ending explosion.”

2:23:20: Elon felt different, strange, as a child. He tried to hide it: “I hoped they wouldn't find out, because they might put me away or something.”

2:25:10: Elon’s objectives for the rest of his career: “My goal is to try to do useful things, try to maximize the probability that the future’s good, and make the future exciting… We’re trying to make things that people love.”

2:26: Mankind’s future in space: “A future where we are a space-faring civilization, out there among the stars, I think that's very exciting. Whereas if you knew we would not be a space-faring civilization, but forever confined to earth, that would be very sad.”

2:30:20: “This may sound corny, but love is the answer… Spend more time with your friends and less time on social media.”

2:35:30: “People should be nicer to each other. People are nicer than you think. Give people more credit.”

Thursday, November 07, 2019

“Make the call. Don’t overthink it. Don’t second guess yourself.”

I was interviewed recently by John Vuong of Toronto-based localseosearch.ca for his podcast. We talked broadly about a lot of entrepreneurial-related topics, including working styles, solving problems, becoming a great entrepreneur, building social capital, and working with mentors. John's a great listener!

This was me trying to figure out why my webcam wasn't working.
I hope you enjoy this glimpse of my fridge-magnet collection.

Have a listen and let me know what you think.
https://soundcloud.com/user-980750308/live-interview-with-rick-spence