Amazon’s Leadership Principles

  1. 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.
  2. 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”. 
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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 driving 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Bias for Action – Speed matters in business. Many decisions and actions are reversible and do not need extensive study. We value calculated risk taking.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.

From https://principles.design/examples/amazon-s-leadership-principles

Why Corporate Apps Fail

Have you ever found yourself saying things like:

  • Why are enterprises so slow?
  • How do they decide what to buy?
  • Why is it so hard to deliver things in an enterprise?

I worked for a large ‘enterprise’ organisation for a few years trying to deliver infrastructure software change, and found myself having to explain these things to developers who worked there, salespeople, external open source engineers, software engineers who worked for enterprise vendors, and even many, many people within that organisation.

A few of those people suggested I write these explanations up so that they could pass it on to their fellow salespeople/engineers etc..

The polygon of Enterprise despair

From https://zwischenzugs.com/2018/10/02/why-are-enterprises-so-slow/

Start with Why

Every leader and company knows the WHAT. They can describe their products, their industry, and their competitors. Some companies also know HOW they do WHAT they do — their unique differentiators, their value proposition, and their values. But few companies know or articulate their WHY — their purpose, their cause or their belief. The WHY is their reason for being. And the WHY is why anyone should care.

Since the WHAT is the easiest to know and articulate, most leaders and companies start with WHAT. Sometimes they will also discuss HOW, but they rarely talk about WHY. With respect to the Golden Circle, they go outside-in.

Simon advocates that we should invert the order. Go from the inside-out in the Golden Circle. Start with WHY, discuss the HOW, and end with WHAT.

The right way to inspire is to communicate inside-out

As Simon writes:

“When most organizations or people think, act or communicate they do so from the outside in, from WHAT to WHY. And for good reason — they go from clearest thing to the fuzziest thing. We say WHAT we do, we sometimes say HOW we do it, but we rarely say WHY we do WHAT we do.”

“When communicating from the inside out, however, the WHY is offered as the reason to buy and the WHATs serve as the tangible proof of that belief.”

From https://medium.com/leadership-motivation-and-impact/the-power-of-starting-with-why-f8e491392ef8