How to get jeff bezos attention?
I’m excited to announce that this Q3 I’ll transition to Executive Chair of the Amazon Board and Andy Jassy will become CEO. In the Exec Chair role, I intend to focus my energies and attention on new products and early initiatives. Andy is well known inside the company and has been at Amazon almost as long as I have. He will be an outstanding leader, and he has my full confidence.
This journey began some 27 years ago. Amazon was only an idea, and it had no name. The question I was asked most frequently at that time was, “What’s the internet?” Blessedly, I haven’t had to explain that in a long while.
Today, we employ 1.3 million talented, dedicated people, serve hundreds of millions of customers and businesses, and are widely recognized as one of the most successful companies in the world.
How did that happen? Invention. Invention is the root of our success. We’ve done crazy things together, and then made them normal. We pioneered customer reviews, 1-Click, personalized recommendations, Prime’s insanely-fast shipping, Just Walk Out shopping, the Climate Pledge, Kindle, Alexa, marketplace, infrastructure cloud computing, Career Choice, and much more. If you get it right, a few years after a surprising invention, the new thing has become normal. People yawn. And that yawn is the greatest compliment an inventor can receive.
I don’t know of another company with an invention track record as good as Amazon’s, and I believe we are at our most inventive right now. I hope you are as proud of our inventiveness as I am. I think you should be.
As Amazon became large, we decided to use our scale and scope to lead on important social issues. Two high-impact examples: our $15 minimum wage and the Climate Pledge. In both cases, we staked out leadership positions and then asked others to come along with us. In both cases, it’s working. Other large companies are coming our way. I hope you’re proud of that as well.
I find my work meaningful and fun. I get to work with the smartest, most talented, most ingenious teammates. When times have been good, you’ve been humble. When times have been tough, you’ve been strong and supportive, and we’ve made each other laugh. It is a joy to work on this team.
As much as I still tap dance into the office, I’m excited about this transition. Millions of customers depend on us for our services, and more than a million employees depend on us for their livelihoods. Being the CEO of Amazon is a deep responsibility, and it’s consuming. When you have a responsibility like that, it’s hard to put attention on anything else. As Exec Chair I will stay engaged in important Amazon initiatives but also have the time and energy I need to focus on the Day 1 Fund, the Bezos Earth Fund, Blue Origin, The Washington Post, and my other passions. I’ve never had more energy, and this isn’t about retiring. I’m super passionate about the impact I think these organizations can have.
Amazon couldn’t be better positioned for the future. We are firing on all cylinders, just as the world needs us to. We have things in the pipeline that will continue to astonish. We serve individuals and enterprises, and we’ve pioneered two complete industries and a whole new class of devices. We are leaders in areas as varied as machine learning and logistics, and if an Amazonian’s idea requires yet another new institutional skill, we’re flexible enough and patient enough to learn it.
As you can imagine, my attention is easily grabbed by the most successful people of our day. The Elon Musks, Oprah Winfrey and Jeff Bezos of the world fascinate me. So I want to talk about why I think Jeff Bezos (you might have heard of the founder of Amazon) is so wildly successful. Hopefully, my observations can act as truths and actionable items that you can apply in your own search for success.
Very few success stories have been written without plot twists, climaxes and stressful paragraphs. The same is true for Jeff Bezos. But although he seemingly risked it all, lived in the red and barely made it out alive, he did it all with a plan.
Related: Jeff Bezos Biography - How He Started Amazon and More
Everything he did was part of a two or three-year plan. This plan was complete with growth markers, backup plans, and more. The risks that he took during these two years, although nerve-wracking, were seemingly calculated. He watched as others around him shook their heads at these decisions, but he knew that to succeed, he was going to have to ignore these naysayers and push forward with what he thought was best.
So, take risks. You have to. But, calculate them. Pad them with backup plans and secondary options, but push yourself out of your comfort zone. Ignore the naysayers and trust your gut. Even if it doesn't all work out as you planned.
Amazon is crazy. Crazy big. Crazy fast. Crazy expansive in its inventory, breadth and scope. But, every time you log into Amazon, you feel that it's catered specifically and especially for you. Right? This isn't by accident. This is Jeff Bezos' way of thinking, personified in a business model. In interview after interview, he describes an obsession with delivering customers exactly what they want.
Related: Jeff Bezos Reveals His Daily Decision-Making Goal
So, when you begin thinking about how you're going to change the world, think big, but think specific. Think about big ways to solve little problems. To make life more convenient. To give people what they need, even if they don't know they need it.
That sounds crazy, right? The richest man in the world telling you to be inefficient. And get plenty of sleep. How does that work? I'll tell you how.
Inefficiency, when done correctly, can be highly efficient in the long run. Especially when it's undertaken with a purpose. Too many people work for too long at one thing and burn themselves out. Not enough people take the time to become well-rounded, explore their curiosity, and expand their horizons through inefficiency. An activity that you may not see as being directly applicable to your current job, can do wonders for another piece of your life that ends up making you more efficient.
Related: 5 Things Jeff Bezos Does Other Than Work
Purposeful inefficiency can be a great teacher, a great disconnect from stress, and a welcome diversion that teaches and enhances. Especially when you do it intentionally.
"Yes, correct. I still see a lot of them," Bezos wrote in an email to CNBC Make It on Monday, referring to customer emails going to that account.
So as the world's richest person and a CEO, why bother with an account that must get a mind-boggling number of emails?
"I treat every problem that I hear about from a customer as an opportunity to improve," Bezos said in the new book, "Invent & Wander: The Collected Writings of Jeff Bezos," which is a collection of Bezos' writings, including his shareholder letters and speeches.
Though email@example.com is Bezos' primary email address, he can't read all the emails he gets there himself, "I see a lot of them, and I use my curiosity to pick out certain emails," Bezos said in the book.
Bezos said a majority of the emails he gets from customers are complaints: "That's usually why people are writing us — because we've screwed up their order somehow."
And Bezos takes those emails seriously. For example, if he gets a complaint about a defect, he'll ask his team to do a case study and find "the root cause or causes." And then "do real root fixes," he said in the book.
"So then, when you fix it, you're not just fixing it for that one customer. You're fixing it for every customer, and that process is a gigantic part of what we do. So if I have a failed order or a bad customer experience, I treat it just like that," Bezos explained.
- The Willingness to Experiment and Think Outside the Box. If you look at Bezos's journey, it will be clear that he loves to experiment.
- Focus on Your Capabilities. Bezos refused to abide by traditional industry boundaries.
- It's All About Leadership.
When Andy Jassy takes over as CEO of Amazon, founder Jeff Bezos can be confident that Jassy has internalized the company’s core values. After all, Bezos has been consistently communicating Amazon’s four core principles since the day the company launched in 1995.
A successful company has a strong corporate culture. Effective leaders like Bezos communicate the values that make up that culture each and every day.
I recently spoke to former Amazon executives, Bill Carr and Colin Bryar, co-authors of the new book Working Backwards. Carr and Bryar have spent a combined 27 years at the company. Bryar was a member of Amazon’s senior leadership team and spent two years as Bezos’s Chief of Staff—his ‘shadow’ for nine hours a day. As vice president of Digital Media, Carr helped launch Amazon Music, Prime Video, and Amazon Studios.
They say that the secret sauce that makes up Amazon’s culture is made up of four ingredients: customer obsession, long-term thinking, eagerness to invent, and taking pride in operational excellence.
“Amazon has never wavered in its commitment to these four core principles,” according to Carr and Bryar. “And they are in large part the reason that in 2015 Amazon became the company that reached $100 billion in annual sales faster than any other in the world.”
Carr gave me a detailed description of each of the four core values, according to how Bezos communicated the principles each and every day.
Bezos doesn’t just tell employees to pay attention to the customer; he reminds them to obsess over them. And he’s been doing so since his first shareholder letter in 1997.
“A lot of companies talk about being customer-centric. It’s easy to say but hard to do,” says Carr.
Obsessing over customers is difficult for many organizations because leaders, managers, and employees rarely hear from customers directly. They hear from their peers and partners, who all have their own needs and goals. But a great company is built by a leader who keeps the customer front and center. They remind teams to start with the customer’s needs and ‘work backwards.’
Bezos reminds Amazonians to pay attention to competitors, but to obsess over customers.
Bezos has consistently articulated that one of Amazon’s core values is to think longer-term than most companies.
Carr says that Amazon Prime Video, which has more than 100 million viewers, was the result of a decade of research, development, and content acquisition.
“Having that long time horizon is critical if you want to build something big and enduring.” Carr says.
Many companies will give up on an idea if it doesn’t produce returns in a quarter or a year, but “Amazon will stick with an initiative for five, six, seven years—all the while keeping the investment manageable, constantly learning and improving—until it gains momentum and acceptance.”
According to Carr, taking risks means accepting that ideas or projects will fail. But not all organizations cultivate a culture where it’s okay to try and fail.
“You have to take pro-active steps to create a culture where people don’t have that fear to fail,” says Carr.
A pioneering mentality doesn’t just happen within an organization. A leader has to inspire a team to strive to accomplish something different and unique.
In his 1998 letter, Bezos defined operational excellence as a core company value. According to Bezos, “Operational excellence implies two things. Delivering continuous improvement in customer experience and driving productivity, margin, efficiency, and asset velocity across all our businesses.”
In a 2018 interview, Bezos was still reminding employees that the company values excellence in the behind-the-scenes efforts that most consumers will never see—but they’ll see the results like on-time delivery.
“People will never see 90 percent of what you do,” Bezos said. “The only thing that makes you have high standards on that work that nobody ever sees is your own professional pride in operational excellence.”
“Do not assume that simply stating your values and displaying them will have any significant effect,” says Carr. At Amazon, the four pillars of the company’s corporate culture are built into every process and discussion. And it all starts at the top.
Call Jeff Bezos at 1-888-280-4331 (Amazon Toll-Free) or 1-206-266-1000 (Amazon Headquarters).
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