Do you use Amazon to purchase items, listen to music or watch a video?
Do you wonder how Jeff Bezos started Amazon.com?
Are you curious why some people stay, and others leave Amazon’s antagonistic company?
If you want answers to these questions, I recommend reading The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and The Age of Amazon by Brad Stone.
Bezos named his company Amazon.com in 1994. The Amazon is not only the largest river in the world, it’s many times larger than the next biggest river. Bezos said, “It blows all other rivers away.” This gives you an idea of how the company was destined to be bigger than life.
You will get an inside look at Amazon in my future articles. I find the story of Jeff Bezos fascinating and could not put the book down. Some of his ideas are contrarian on how I feel about teams and communication strategies; while I applaud his tenacity. I am interested in how you react to Amazon’s communication strategies. Please send me your opinions after you read his book or my articles.
The communication strategies below will get you started. Strap your seat belts on and decide if you could work in the unique environment.
Communication Strategies: 4 Principles at Amazon
- Step by step ferociously
- Impossible goals will win the day
- Setbacks are temporary
- Naysayers are best ignored
I agree with these principles. Decide if you or your company can add any of these ideas to the success of the company.
Communication Strategies: Communication is a Sign of Dysfunction
Ouch. Bezos believes that his employees should try to figure out a way for teams to communicate less with each other, not more. Coordination among employees wastes time and the people closest to problems are usually in the best position to solve them.
I don’t agree that teams need to communicate less – yet meetings need to be more productive. Include the right people at your meetings. I know that employees who work directly with customers need to be part of the decision-making process. They hear both complaints and positive feedback daily. The answer to resolving conflict is about productive communication strategies that dig deep and solve problems in a direct and respectful way.
Communication Strategies: Ideas from Jeff Bezos
- Risk taking is cool
- Defeating bigger, unsympathetic guys is cool
- Inventing is cool
- Explorers are cool
- Conquerors are not cool
- Obsessing over competitors is not cool
- Empowering others is cool
- Conviction is cool
- Straightforwardness is cool
- Thinking big is cool
- The unexpected is cool
Which ideas from Amazon’s list do you need to discuss at your next brainstorming session?
My favorite one is straightforwardness. No surprises for those of you who know of my work. 😊
Communication Strategies: Amazon’s Culture is Confrontational
This begins with Bezos, who believes that truth appears when ideas are banged against each other. Leaders are obligated to respectfully challenge decisions when they disagree, even when doing so is uncomfortable.
The people who do well at Amazon are often those who thrive in an adversarial atmosphere. Managers are required to grade their employees and must dismiss the least effective performers. Many Amazon employees live in perpetual fear.
Despite the stress, former Amazon employees often consider their time at the company the most productive of their careers. Their colleagues were smart, the work was challenging, and Amazon offered constant opportunities for learning – while others expressed anguish about their experience. Bezos says, “the company attracts a certain kind of person who likes to pioneer and invent.”
Joyce’s Thoughts About Amazon
I am an avid fan and purchase most of my business and professional items because the price is right, returning items is a breeze, and 2-day delivery can’t be beaten – did I mention that it saves time by not going to stores?
I’m drawn to stories about brilliant people like Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos. Their communication skills may not be the best but their dreams and tenacity to move forward no matter what, speak to me.
Bezos told his parents that there was a 70% chance they could lose all their initial investment in their son’s company. “I want you to know what the risks are because I still want to come home for Thanksgiving if this doesn’t work.”
Readers, is this straightforward enough for you? It is for me!
I want to Hear From You
Add a comment to my blog on Amazon’s philosophy. Have you ever worked in a contrarian work environment? If so, please tell us how it worked for you and others. You will receive a response from me because I enjoy connecting with my readers! 🙂 You are always welcome to send me a private email with concerns that you are experiencing at work.
Please share this and any article that speaks to you or your company.
Loyal readers like you help us find more people who could benefit from these posts. Help us help them reduce conflict and improve leadership skills and quality of life.
Check out another of my book recommendations: The Power of Why
This is Joyce Weiss
Corporate Communication Strategist and Career Coach
Have a great week.
Until next time, remember…“You Get What You Tolerate!”