5 smart business lessons you can learn from Amazon

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Take a page from Amazon’s book — core values.

Key points

  • Amazon has become one of the most successful companies in history thanks in large part to its leadership principles.
  • By focusing on the client, hiring the best and achieving results, you too can improve your business.

Amazon is not just an online store, but one of the world’s leading technology companies. The company’s success can be attributed to a number of components, but its key ingredient is ensuring that every employee adheres firmly to its leadership principles. These principles have helped shape the company into what it is today and allowed it to stay ahead of the competition.

Amazon’s Leadership Principles

Amazon’s leadership principles describe how it does business, how its leaders lead, and most importantly, how it focuses on the customer. These principles are a big part of its culture and the way it conducts day-to-day operations. For years, Amazon had 14 principles. In 2021, after Jeff Bezos stepped down as CEO to focus on his other ventures, the company added two more principles to its list. Here is the current list of principles:

  1. Obsession with customers
  2. Property
  3. Invent and simplify
  4. They are right, a lot
  5. Learn and be curious
  6. Hire and develop the best
  7. Insist on the highest standards
  8. Think big
  9. Bias for action
  10. Frugality
  11. Earn trust
  12. Dive deep
  13. To have a backbone; I disagree and commit
  14. Submit the results
  15. Strive to be the best employer on Earth
  16. Success and scale bring broad responsibility

These last two were added in 2021, bringing the total to 16. Here are five smart business lessons you can learn from these principles, as well as how you can apply them to your organization.

1. The principle of customer obsession

Amazon’s first core principle is customer obsession. This means that the company puts its customers first in everything it does. It is focused on understanding customer needs and providing the best possible products and services. It also takes feedback seriously because customer feedback helps shape the company’s direction.

When it comes to customer service, focus on giving your customers a great experience that goes above and beyond. This will help you build a loyal base of customers who trust your brand and keep coming back for more.

2. Principle of ownership

Taking ownership is important for every Amazon employee. This means that employees are encouraged to take initiative and responsibility for their work, allowing them to be creative in their roles and find innovative solutions to problems. The value of ownership encourages employees to think beyond their workplaces and take on new challenges.

When you’re hiring, you want to hire people who act and think they own the company, too. This will make them more motivated, which helps foster an environment of innovation within the company.

3. Principle Invent and simplify

Amazon encourages employees to find new ways of doing things that are more efficient or effective than existing methods. This not only helps Amazon become more productive, but also helps create new products or services that can benefit customers. Try not to get stuck in old ways of doing things; instead, look for new opportunities or ways to improve existing systems.

Amazon has done this throughout its history from the launch of the Kindle e-reader to the introduction of same-day delivery services, and that willingness to innovate has paid off big. There are always new ways of doing things, and by being proactive and finding effective solutions, you will be able to stay ahead of your competitors.

4. The principle of hiring and developing the best

You can’t have a great organization without great people. This is one of the reasons why Amazon has become the company it is today. The cornerstone of success in any business lies in its people. Investing resources in searching for the most talented individuals will pay off when it comes to performance and growth. It is also equally important to provide development opportunities to ensure that each employee grows as an individual, but also to make continuous contributions that benefit the entire organization.

5. The principle of achieving results

Amazon got to where it is today not because its leaders had great ideas, but because they got things done. Leaders know how to achieve results, the ultimate goal of any business. They know how to focus and pinpoint the key inputs needed for successful results and make sure they come out with the best quality and on time. It is important to understand that achieving results requires persistence.

You don’t want to run away from obstacles and failures; rather, you want to use them directly as an opportunity to prove your abilities. Every fall is an opportunity for growth and progress. You will need to stay motivated and determined, not allowing yourself to become complacent or settle for “good enough.”

Amazon has become one of the most successful companies in history thanks in large part to these core values. By focusing on understanding customer needs and taking initiatives for their work, employees were able to come up with innovative solutions that helped Amazon stay ahead of the competition. As one of the most successful companies in the world, there are many lessons to be learned from Amazon’s innovation-driven approach to success.

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