In this article, we will talk about five Amazon leadership principles that helped me build a successful online business, and can help you too.
“Hi Sira, we have all enjoyed speaking with you and getting to know you over the last few weeks. The team and I would love to formally offer you a position as a Vendor Contact Management Associate at Amazon. This position will start on the 22nd of January 2018 and full joining instructions will be sent to you shortly.”
I was just offered a job at my dream company, Amazon. I was over the moon.
I had applied for at least ten different job offers at Amazon that year and had always been rejected. However, that time was different. I did something right.
Before applying, I had stumbled upon an article that talked about the fourteen leadership principles Amazon employees live by, every single day — now the principles are sixteen.
So I spent a good amount of time studying those principles and preparing for the interviews with them in mind.
And it worked. The interviews went well and they finally offered me a job.
Considering how these principles are applied every day by every employee, it’s no surprise Amazon is today one of the most powerful companies in the world.
Later on, I realized that living by those principles every day helped me succeed not only as an employee at Amazon, but also as a creator in my free time.
In particular, what follows are the five Amazon leadership principles that helped me most succeed as a freelance creator and make more money from my side hustles than with my full-time job.
“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.”
When learning and applying this principle, you need to make clear who your customers are. For example, if you’re a writer, your customers are your readers, the publication you work for, or the client you’re writing for.
Obsessing over your customers means thinking about what they want and what they’re looking for before even starting to create content. It means creating not for yourself, but for your audience. And it also means focusing on your audience instead of obsessing over your competitors.
It’s only when you do this that you start succeeding as a creator.
“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.’”
For me, having ownership means you never say “this is not my job.”
Successful creators have ownership, especially when they are freelancers, because they know that in order to succeed they can’t only focus on creating.
They also have to take care to all the other aspects related to their business. They can’t say “it’s not my job.”
For example, they know how important it is to take ownership and do research before creating content.
They know how important it is to learn more about the platform they publish their content on, and they consistently learn more about digital marketing and SEO.
In my personal experience, learning about SEO and marketing, helped me identify which content people wanted to consume, engage with and share.
Then I created content around what my target audience wanted. And that’s how some of my content went viral.
Recommended read: How to Succeed in Life: 4 Mental Shifts You Must Make
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.”
This means basically innovate. If you are a creator, one of the best things you can do is innovate for yourself, and simplify your life, as much as you can.
Improve your personal system, the way you get organized.
For example, if you usually manually proofread your content, try a good proofreading software — like Grammarly for example. If you are a video content creator and struggle to find time during the week to record yourself, try to make a few videos only on one day.
Invent and simplify also means being creative, and put out original, unique content that your audience can’t find somewhere else.
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.”
Being “right a lot” for a creator means you not only put out content based on what you know or believe, but you also make sure the message you are going to convey is valuable and credible.
You back up your claims with research, and take into consideration several different perspectives.
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.
Successful creators are learning machines. They learn and consume content, because they are genuinely curious about their niches. And this is what makes them create valuable, high-quality content.
In my personal experience, reading and learning a lot about personal development, psychology, and relationships is what actually led me to write my first articles and create my first Instagram posts. Being curious is what made me keep learning more about the topics I write about and creating even more content.
The Amazon Leadership Principles That Helped Me Build a Successful Business – Final Thoughts
Living by principles like customer obsession, ownership, invent and simplify, learn and be curious, literally transformed my mentality while working at Amazon.
They helped me — without me realizing it for a long time — succeed not only in my career at Amazon but with my side hustles as well. And if they helped me, they will probably help you too.
If you want to read all the sixteen Amazon Leadership principles, you can find them here.
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