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What can entrepreneurs learn from the recent Amazon articles?

4 min read


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Q. What is one important leadership lesson we can all learn from stories like the recent Amazon profile(s)?

1. Be intentional with your culture

Different companies have different cultures and expectations. There’s no “right” way to run a business. However, whatever your culture is, be intentional about it. Document your values, communicate them to new hires, and celebrate them over and over again throughout the company. If employees know what to expect, they’ll likely be happier. — Bhavin Parikh, Magoosh Inc

2. Empower people instead of pushing them

Pushing people and grinding them down is not as effective as empowering them to greater heights. There’s no doubt this is challenging at a company that large. That said, empowering people with opportunity and positive reinforcement is the best way to create talented employees. Also, they’re far less likely to leave after they’ve reached a new level in their professional and personal development. — Andrew Thomas, SkyBell Video Doorbell

3. Make time to be connected

No matter the size of the organization, you have to make time to ensure that the values you have as a CEO are being executed on a regular basis, and that’s best viewed from the bottom up. — Michael Spinosa, Unleashed Technologies

4. Don’t rely on one person’s view alone

Don’t pass judgment when you don’t have all the details. Just because someone “spoke to a few people” doesn’t make their view gospel. Get as many diverse inputs as possible to help you make higher quality decisions. — Chris Cancialosi, gothamCulture

5. Remember that everyone is different

One issue with controversial leadership is that they expect every employee to fit into a cookie-cutter mold. Amazon even claimed in a recruitment video: “you either fit here, or you don’t.” The best way to inspire innovation is by allowing employees to embrace their uniqueness — not getting them to conform. Allowing everyone’s unique talents and personality to flourish is what makes a team great. — Elle Kaplan, LexION Capital

6. Rules don’t really exist

Of course there’s conduct that we should all prescribe to, but rules to success really don’t exist. People who would like to lead large organizations have to remember that if they’re not the ones doing the disrupting, they’re more than likely to be disrupted by someone braver. It’s a lesson to all leaders to be brave at all times. Inspire brevity in those you lead by making it a habit. — Cody McLain, SupportNinja

7. Emphasize a fair and open culture

It is easy to write down core values and ask everyone to follow them. But it is really hard to create a fair and open culture that supports those values. It is absolutely important to educate your people about what it is like to be fair and open. Culture should be open enough for everyone to speak up without any fear. Management should encourage this across the board. — Shilpi Sharma, Kvantum Inc.

8. Keep everyone in the loop

Regardless of what kind of culture your company sets, the important thing is to keep everyone in the loop. It is crucial to foster an environment where every employee feels comfortable in not only receiving feedback, but also in giving feedback to their colleagues and supervisors. If your employees don’t feel comfortable voicing themselves, they will take their concerns and voice them elsewhere. —  Sathvik Tantry, FormSwift