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Jeff Bezos's Top 10 Leadership Lessons

Source: forbes.com Author: George Anders READ FULL ARTICLE AT forbes.com

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This story appears in the April 23, 2012 issue of FORBES magazine, accompanying the cover story,Inside Amazon’s Idea Machine.
With the passing of Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos is now tech’s leading philosopher-CEO. His advice ranges from what to read (give the Declaration of Independence a shot) to how to deal with stress (“Laugh a lot”). Mostly, though, Bezos sticks to business.

1. “Base your strategy on things that won’t change.” 
Selling lipstick, tractor seats, e-book readers and data storage is all part of one big plan with three big constants: offer wider selection, lower prices and fast, reliable delivery.
Snapshot: Jeff Bezos



#26 Billionaires


11 imagesPhotos: Best Bosses
Could You Work for Jeff Bezos?George AndersContributor
Snapshot:Amazon.com



#340 Global 2000


2.“Obsess over customers.” 
Early on Bezos brought an empty chair into meetings so lieutenants would be forced to think about the crucial participant who wasn’t in the room: the customer. Now that ­surrogate’s role is played by specially trained employees, dubbed “Customer Experience Bar Raisers.” When they frown, vice ­presidents tremble.

3. “We are willing to be misunderstood for long periods of time.”
Many of Amazon’s expansions look like money-losing distractions at first. That sometimes sends the company’s stock price skidding and evokes analysts’ scorn. Bezos shrugs. If the new initiatives make strategic sense to him, a five-to-seven-year financial payoff is okay.
4. “There are two kinds of companies: those that try to charge more and those that work to charge less. We will be the second.”
Lots of retailers talk about holding down costs and passing the savings to the consumer. Few do so as intently as Amazon, where “frugality” is one of eight official company values. The ­reward for putting up with cheap office ­furniture: a $90 billion stock market valuation and 35% revenue growth.
5. “Determine what your customers need, and work backwards.”
Specs for Amazon’s big new projects such as its Kindle tablets and e-book readers have been defined by customers’...

Full article: Jeff Bezos's Top 10 Leadership Lessons

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Apr 4 2012 submitted by Susan Copper

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Source: forbes.com Author: George Anders

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