My experience working under Jeff Bezos, indirectly.
As many of you know I held a full time job for a month after my layoff in February. This company is the online retailer, Amazon. 🙂 I was a warehouse associate at an Amazon Fulfillment Center. It was a lot of fun! And I’ll never forget the lessons I learned there.
But I quit after a month because I wanted to spend more time pursuing other job opportunities. Besides, I was feeling a lot of pressure because my company’s CEO is literally the wealthiest man on the planet, and I didn’t want to risk disappointing him. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is currently worth about $115,000,000,000 – give or take a few billion dollars! 😮 Wow that’s a big number. And for a brief moment of my humble existence I was granted the privilege of working indirectly with him. 😀
Although I didn’t work directly under him, he was only 7 management levels above me. So if I had kept working and be promoted just 7 times I would have easily taken his job as CEO. 😉
What Jeff Bezos taught me about business
During my short tenure with Amazon it was clear that Jeff’s influential principles and management style trickled all the way down the corporate ladder to the employees working on the ground floor.
I believe Amazon’s Prime 😎 reason for success is Jeff’s unique management style. He operates the leanest company I have ever seen. Any workplace inefficiency or redundancy, no matter how insignificant, will be eliminated as soon as it is found. From the workers picking and packing to the automated labeling machines and conveyor belts, everything in the warehouse operates like clockwork. 🙂 The impressive logistics system has to manage over 100 workers, moving and sorting 50,000+ items every day.
Consistency is important. All the managers at Amazon have to mimic the same disciplined style of leadership as set by Jeff. This is apparent across all levels of the company. That’s not to say Amazon is all work and no play. They have a well stocked break room, as well as a leisure area with video games, table tennis, and comic books. Amazon’s workplace policies are firm, but fair.
Speaking of company culture, here’s a handful of Jeff’s business principles that every Amazonian is expected to follow and practice:
- Act on behalf of the entire company, beyond just your own team. Never say “that’s not my job.”
- Strive to create a customer-centric company. Start with the customer and work backwards.
- Practice good judgement. Management is doing things right while leadership is doing the right things.
- Insist on having the highest standards – not just for yourself, but for your coworkers as well.
- When making decisions, always choose long-term value over short-term results.
Jeff somehow managed to create a competitive work environment without it feeling toxic or hostile. Based on the free market approach his policies often involve Amazonians competing against each other. If a team consistently underperforms, it gets cut. If another team excels, it gets more resources from the team that was cut. This guarantees that resources are allocated and utilized in the most effective manner. By making the internal business environment more competitive than the actual outside world, Jeff has been able to speed up innovation within Amazon so it can stay ahead of the competition. It’s a brilliant and effective way to maximize utility and efficiency. 🙂
Increasing my net worth is a high priority for me. So working under the influence of the world’s richest man was an incredible learning experience. 🙂 I felt like a foodie Instagrammer who was given the chance to work in Gordon Ramsay’s flagship restaurant kitchen. Under Jeff’s management Amazon was named the second most admired company in the world by Fortune this year.
Based on what I’ve seen around the workplace, Jeff’s principles work really well. 🙂 As a result I will borrow his ideas to help me with my financial goals. I use to make a lot of decisions automatically, cruising through life on autopilot without being mindful that I’m constantly making choices. But from now on I will consider the consequences of my actions. If I become more consciously aware of my options, then I can make better decisions that will benefit my long term values over short term desires.
Working at Amazon is not suitable for everyone. But the benefits are good. And employees are overwhelmingly happy to work there. I felt like I was really making a difference. Children’s birthday presents were delivered on time because of me. 😀 Maybe Amazon warehouses are called Fulfillment Centers because its employees feel happy and fulfilled when they work there, lol.
Random Useless Fact
According to CNN, the U.S. is still using floppy disks to run its nuclear program.