Leadership Analysis Of Jeff Bezos – Founder Of Amazon Inc

Background of Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos was born to a teenage mother in the year 1964. He had always been a bright kid. It was four years after Jeff’s birth that his mother remarried a Cuban immigrant (Forbes, 2018). Jeff was brought up in New Mexico and depicted an immense interest in computers. Bezos studied engineering in the field of computer science from Princeton University. He graduated as a valedictorian of his school. After completing his graduation, he worked with The Wall Street. He was also appointed as the youngest senior vice president of D. E. Shaw.

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In the year 1994, Jeff decided to quit his job in order to materialize his dream of opening an online book store. The name of the store was Amazon.com. Amazon’s office was started by Bezos and a few friends in his garage which later expanded to a two bedroom space.

Jeff Bezos is one of the finest leaders of the present times. Bezos has adopted a transformational leadership strategy in his approach. A transformational leader aims to identify loopholes in the current status quo and works towards creating a transformation for the better. The aim of a transformational leader is to bring about a valuable and positive change (Nguyen, Mia, Winata & Chong, 2017).

As a leader, Bezos adopts a democratic leadership style. A democratic leader is participative in nature and aims to create an open communication system in the workplace. Jeff Bezos highlights the importance of openness in communication within the organization. A participative leadership fosters innovation and creativity and enhances employee growth (Alimuddin & Sukoco, 2017). As a leader, Bezos encourages his team to take risks. He strongly believes that any organization or individual cannot grow without taking risks. This form of leadership enhances the risk appetite of employees as well as assists in fostering creativity within the firm (Renko et. al., 2015).

The success story of Jeff Bezos is evidenced by the grandeur that is Amazon Inc. Jeff Bezos is an example of exceptional leadership skills depicted by any leader in the current times. Bezos adopts a democratic leadership style. This style tends to encourage employees in the business to participate in the decision making process. Owing to this attitude, Amazon Inc. depicts a high rate of employee retention. This is because of the fact that consistent participation in decision making enhances the sense of ownership of the employees towards the business (Jussila et. al., 2015).

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Leadership approach adopted by Jeff Bezos

One of the most essential attributes of an effective leader is the ability of the leader to take risks. Bezos has always depicted a high risk appetite which has led to the continuous growth of Amazon Inc. At present, Amazon is a global name with loyal customers across the globe. Amazon Inc. ventured into several countries with little knowledge and succeeded. The customer base as well as consumer buying patterns observed in Asia and Australia were highly different. Even then, Amazon Inc. as a team took those challenges head on and established itself as a strong brand. The ability to take calculated and strategic risks by Jeff Bezos as well as his consistent encouragement to his team members is one the pivotal factors behind the success and growth of Amazon Inc.

Amazon employees depict high levels of work place motivation. The ability to motivate team members is an essential ability of being a leader (Miner, 2015). It is important to note that not just employees within Amazon but people across the globe have been motivated by Jeff Bezos through his speeches, blogs and books. This indeed is a sign of a true leader.

Last month, Amazon was listed as one of the few companies with a valuation of over $1 trillion. This mammoth valuation clearly depicts the effectiveness of Jeff Bezos as a leader. Amazon’s success is credited to the consistent hard work, efficacy of business strategy and excellent entrepreneurial abilities of Bezos.

Within the Ecommerce industry, Amazon is renowned for the large array of products sold by the brand. It is considered as the one stop shop for all the needs of an individual. The wide range of products offered by the brand are yet unmatched by any of its competitors. This was the dream of Jeff Bezos to create a platform which offers easy access to all customer needs. An effective leader is the one who can determine clear goals and ensure their efficient accomplishment (Ong & Kam, 2015).

Today, Amazon continues to be one of the most innovative organization that has changed the shape of the Ecommerce industry. This continued innovation is the result of Jeff Bezos’s ability to foster creativity and innovation through every facet of the organization.   

Considering the growth of Amazon Inc. from Bezos’s garage to a one trillion dollar organization, the impact of Jeff Bezos’s leadership is exemplary in every manner. Bezos depicted immense risk taking ability while he quit and job and started the operations of Amazon in his garage. This risk appetite of him continued to assist all the stakeholders of the organization in their growth and development.

Democratic leadership style

Eventually, Amazon book store grew its customer base. Amazon was the first book store to offer over a million books under a single platform. This depicts the man’s ability to dream big and excel. The company went public in less than two years of its establishment. Such strong steps are a clear sign of how Jeff Bezos leads by example. A leader must always lead by example in order to garner the trust and respect of team members (Brown, 2018).

During the dot com bubble, Jeff Bezos was named “Man of the year” by Time. A leader must possess the ability to be prepared for challenging times and face these challenges head on (Clinton, 2018). Bezos was prepared for the change and Amazon was one of the few organizations that survived the test of time during the phase where all the other IT driven companies went bust.

By 2000, Amazon moved from an online bookstore to the “everything store”. Amazon’s logo during this time was creatively design which shows an arrow moving from A to Z. In the period between 2000 and 2006, Amazon acquired several businesses like ToysRUs. Such strategic moved by Jeff Bezos depicted his excellent strategy towards the growth of the business. All the moved by Amazon were well planned and even better executed.

Even today, Amazon continues to innovate and strives to offer excellent services to customers. From Prime delivery to drone delivery, Amazon has paved a long way for other players in the Ecommerce industry to follow. All of this has been possible owing to the vision of Jeff Bezos. Over a period of time, Amazon has become a solid brand not just in terms of an online platform which enables people to buy things but also as a brand with a large range of products under its own brand name. Amazon’s Echo and Alexa is the organization’s first step towards artificial intelligence. Amazon’s Kindle has changed the reading style adopted by people. Not just that, Amazon sells clothes, shoes, bags and electronics under its own brand.

The impact of Jeff Bezos’s leadership can be depicted throughout the scheme of Amazon’s growth. The entire life cycle of Amazon until today is evidence of excellence in leadership and epitome of entrepreneurial skills.

Conclusion

Leadership is the backbone over which an organization rests. It is one of the most essential pillars for the growth and development of any organization. There are several leaders across the globe who have changed the shape of organizations throughout the world. This report throws light upon the exemplary leadership of Jeff Bezos who is the owner and founder of Amazon Inc.

The leader has demonstrated excellent abilities to motivate people, foster innovation among the team members and instilled a sense of ownership towards the brand. His ability to take risks and strategically plan the way ahead has paved a way for others within the industry to follow. Today, Amazon is a household name and it has all been possible owing to the one dream that Bezos saw in his own garage back in 1994.

References

Alimuddin, A., & Sukoco, A. (2017). The Leadership Style Model That Builds Work Behavior through Organizational Culture. JURNAL LENTERA: Kajian Keagamaan, Keilmuan Dan Teknologi, 3(2).

Brown, J. (2018). The Duty to Lead by Example. Journal of minimally invasive gynecology, 25(3), 347-351.

Cheema, S., Akram, A., & Javed, F. (2015). Employee engagement and visionary leadership: Impact on customer and employee satisfaction. Journal of Business Studies Quarterly, 7(2), 139.

Clinton, R. (2018). The making of a leader: Recognizing the lessons and stages of leadership development. Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. United States.

Forbes, (2018), ‘Jeff Bezos’ Available at https://www.forbes.com/profile/jeff-bezos/#28cbcc231b23, Retrieved on 27 October 2018, 2018.

Jussila, I., Tarkiainen, A., Sarstedt, M., & Hair, J. F. (2015). Individual psychological ownership: Concepts, evidence, and implications for research in marketing. Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, 23(2), 121-139.

Miner, J. B. (2015). Organizational behavior 1: Essential theories of motivation and leadership. Routledge. United Kingdom.

Nguyen, T. T., Mia, L., Winata, L., & Chong, V. K. (2017). Effect of transformational-leadership style and management control system on managerial performance. Journal of Business Research, 70, 202-213.

Ong, P. F., & Kam, E. W. C. (2015). Transformational leadership, work motivation and performance: An exploratory study on the context and process/Ong Pooi Fong and Elden Kam Weng Cheong. Social and Management Research Journal, 12(1), 2-21.

Renko, M., El Tarabishy, A., Carsrud, A. L., Carols, B., & Brännback, M. (2015). Understanding and measuring entrepreneurial leadership style. Journal of Small Business Management, 53(1), 54-74.