Amazon Leadership Principles (What Are They + How They Relate To Business)

Amazon is a company that is known for its principles and values. In order to make a decision, Amazon employees refer to the leadership principles.

In this guide, we’ll discuss Amazon’s leadership principles and how they can apply to work at Amazon, so keep reading to learn more!

What Are Amazon’s Leadership Principles In 2022?

Amazon’s success can largely be attributed to its leadership principles. Each of Amazon’s 16 leadership principles is based on its founder Jeff Bezos’ life lessons which he has employed as its founder. These principles have served as a guide for every Amazon employee and have become a global model for successful leadership practices in 2022.

To learn Amazon’s 16 leadership principles and find out how they are used to help team members succeed, read along for more useful facts!

What Leadership Theory Does Amazon Use?

Jeff Bezos, the founder, and CEO of Amazon, is a pragmatist leader.

This leadership theory was described in an article from The New York Times as setting high standards and expecting those standards to be met without any apology.

By adopting this leadership style, Bezos was able to stand out as a successful entrepreneur.

What Principle Is Jeff Bezos’s Leadership Style Based On?

The founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, is known for his strong leadership based on this principle:

“Every day is a chance to make things better, do better, and be the best for your customers, employees, or partners. In other words, each day should end with the consciousness that even more amazing achievements await tomorrow.”

How Do the Amazon Leadership Principles Relate to Business?

The leadership principles help remind employees that business begins with the customer and works backward.

In other words, Amazon strives to gain and keep customers’ trust while keeping an eye on its competitors.

By putting the needs of customers first, Amazon can finish strong by earning their loyalty for life.

What Are the 16 Amazon Leadership Principles?

What Are the 16 Amazon Leadership Principles?

Currently, Amazon has 16 Amazon Leadership Principles:

Insist on the Highest Standards

Starting the list of leadership principles is “Insist on the Highest Standards.” This means that Amazon insists on excellence and will not accept anything less than that.

For example, when Amazon designs its products, the company wants to be sure that it’s durable and well-built.

Think Big

Next, Amazon encourages employees to “Think Big.” While working, employees are challenged to think about how they can make noteworthy and impactful changes.

For example, if you’re an employee at Amazon, thinking big would mean coming up with ideas for how the company can be more efficient or provide better customer service.

Bias for Action

Expanding on the principle “think big” is the following leadership principle “bias for action.”

With this principle, Amazon urges staff not to wait until everything is perfect before taking action.

Dive Deep

With this principle, employees are encouraged not to let boundaries limit them or their ideas.

As such, staff mustn’t only work on problems they know they can solve.

Instead, they should push themselves with complex challenges where they’ll need to dive deep into research to find a solution.

By challenging themselves, they will grow as individuals and help grow the company.

This is because they will develop innovative ideas for products or services that could be beneficial for Amazon in the future.

Hiring and Developing the Best People

To support the previous principles, Amazon is committed to attracting, hiring, and developing the best talent. As such, this principle has multiple parts.

First, Amazon strives to attract the best talent. Amazon aims to be an attractive place for people to work so more workers will want to join the company.

Second, Amazon invests in developing the best talent, so they can continue growing with the company.

Without a good investment in employees, Amazon won’t be able to grow among solid competitors in the retail industry.

Passion for Innovation and Learning

Once the staff is hired, Amazon encourages them to continue to learn and always be curious.

In other words, this idea means the team should always strive to learn more about your industry and constantly stay on top of technology trends.

Committing to a lifetime of learning opens the doorway for employees to create new innovative products and services.

Customer Obsession

Since Amazon is focused on hiring innovative workers, it should be no surprise that the company is obsessed with its customers.

Moreover, Amazon believes that there is no long-term value if the customer does not feel they are getting a good deal.

Therefore, Amazon strives to make its customers feel like they are always getting the best deal possible.

Are Right, a Lot

Amazon’s leadership principle, “leaders are right a lot,” is simple but emphasizes the importance of confident leaders making decisions.

Additionally, it highlights that it’s essential for leaders to have strong convictions. Without being decisive, your team can’t move forward with confidence.

Overall, the most important thing about this principle is not what it says but what it implies.

Leaders at Amazon need to be able to make tough decisions without hesitation, and if they’re worried about being wrong, their team will be, too.

Frugality

In order to accomplish more with less, constraints must be put in place. Employees will learn to be resourceful, self-sufficient, and inventive with these constraints.

Ownership Culture

Another vital principle that Amazon prides itself on is ownership.

For Amazon employees, ownership means being responsible for your actions, meaning you take responsibility for what happens in your business. 

Furthermore, accountability is for being able to answer questions when it comes to your decisions.

Have Backbone, Disagree, and Commit

Leaders should challenge all disagreeable and uncomfortable decisions, even though it might be exhausting.

When leaders have conviction, they are tenacious, not compromising for social cohesion. Once they determine a decision, they commit wholly to it.

Deliver Results

Additionally, leaders focus on the critical inputs for their operations, delivering them with excellent quality quickly.

Despite any setbacks they may experience, leaders never give up and always rise to the occasion when it matters most.

Earn Trust

According to the following principle, leaders should inspire team members through their actions by demonstrating integrity and consistency and illustrating Amazon’s culture.

Not only will this encourage others to do the same thing, but it will earn trust from your staff too.

Strive to Be the Earth’s Best Employer

Likewise, Amazon wants to be Earth’s best employer.

This means Amazon wants to provide a work environment where employees have the resources necessary to do their best work.

Additionally, Amazon wants to give employees opportunities to grow through continuous learning and development programs.

Success and Scale Bring Broad Responsibility

Amazon’s humble beginnings have led to its high ranking globally.

Since leaders are not perfect, they must continue to be thoughtful and modest about even secondary changes for things to go smoothly.

Considering this idea with an open mind will require leaders to make better decisions for customers, employees, partners, and those around them that depend on Amazon’s actions.

Likewise, they must end every day knowing they can do much more tomorrow, thus making sure things always get left better than when they first found them.

Invent and Simplify

Another principle worth mentioning would be “invent and simplify.” This one is all about improving and streamlining processes through creativity and innovation.

For your company or business to innovate, workers need to think outside of the box, which means inventing new ideas from time to time.

However, innovation doesn’t stop there; it should be an ongoing process for things like marketing strategies for product development.

This principle helps emphasize that streamlining should also happen because companies start getting cluttered as they grow without a system in place.

To know more, you can also read our posts on Amazon long term storage fees, Amazon business model, and Amazon SWOT analysis.

Conclusion

Amazon is one of the largest online retailers globally and is known for its innovative work culture and in-depth leadership principles. These leadership principles were written to help employees focus on long-term success.

These 16 principles are not intended as a specific guide or rule book but rather as a framework and source of inspiration.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of QuerySprout.com.

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