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The Amazon Way: 14 Leadership Principles Behind the World's Most Disruptive Company Paperback – May 9, 2014
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From Kirkus Reviews
Succinct, engaging and crafted from a high-level viewpoint; a rare open-kimono look at how one of the world’s most innovative companies executes its vision.
A former Amazon executive offers an insider’s perspective on the company’s guiding principles. Amazon has had its share of coverage, including Brad Stone’s The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon(2013). But this lean book cuts a different way. Rossman, an executive at Amazon who left to become a managing director at a consulting firm, weaves his own war stories around Amazon’s 14 leadership principles. While these principles are no secret, Rossman brings them to life with insightful commentary of his own. Each chapter begins with a salient “Leaders at Amazon…” statement, e.g., “Leaders at Amazon focus on the key outputs for their business and deliver them with the right quality and in a timely fashion. Despite setbacks, they rise to the occasion and never settle.” Rossman then offers observations and anecdotes illuminating the corresponding idea. For example, in Chapter 1, “Obsess Over the Customer,” he discusses Amazon’s three customer desires, which the company considers “its holy trinity”—price, selection and availability. Instead of generalities, however, Rossman shares specific insider details that make each principle more dramatic. He relates one instance when Amazon was told by Apple that the company couldn’t deliver 4,000 iPods in time for Christmas. “We were not the kind of company that ruined people’s Christmas because of a lack of availability—not under any circumstances,” writes Rossman, so Amazon purchased the iPods at retail and had them shipped to their warehouseto be repackaged and delivered to customers. So too is Rossman’s characterization of Jeff Bezos, who comes across as a remarkably driven, if irascible, leader. As for the iPods, Bezos agreed but quipped, “I hope you’ll get in touch with Apple and try to get our money back from the bastards.”
About the Author
John Rossman is a former Amazon.com executive and tells this story as only an insider could. He is a sought after Amazon analyst by media ranging from CNBC to the New York Times. He develops and implements innovative business models, technology strategies, and operations improvement for Fortune 500 companies in industry sectors ranging from high tech, to philanthropy to retail. He currently works as a managing director for Alvarez & Marsal, a global, professional services firm that delivers performance improvement, turnaround management, and business advisory services.
Prior to A&M, John served as director of enterprise services at Amazon.com, where he developed the Merchants @ program, a B2B network that enables millions of sellers to offer products through Amazon, which now is over 40 percent of all orders. He also ran the relationships with enterprise clients like Target.com, Toys “R” Us, Sears.ca, Marks and Spencer, and the NBA.
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Top Customer Reviews
I feel this book effectively captures the essence of amazon's leadership. There are many quotes and letters by Jeff Bezos which reveal his brilliance and also dedication to customers. He really does seek to delight customers and wants them to have the best experience on the web. Some of his comments are also lol funny. This book explains how Jeff Bezos has built a culture that meets extremely high standards. While other authors have perhaps guessed at what Jeff is thinking, John Rossman actually really seems to know and bases his information off Jeff's words. The heart of amazon is finally revealed. John Rossman excels at paying attention to the details.
Most books on amazon tend to be highly analytical but this one goes even deeper to the core of what amazon is. Working at amazon seems to be a character building process. Some of the stories of what amazon has done to keep customers happy are also amazing. The technology is mind blowing.
I especially enjoy books written by former employees and this one is no exception. Since John Rossman used to work for amazon he has the inside scoop and he presents people who work there in a very positive light.
What this book does well is capture the excitement of amazon. I read this book in one day and had trouble putting it down. It was that interesting. Now I understand the depths to which Jeff Bezos goes to make amazon my favorite website. This book made me wonder what surprises are awaiting us all in the near future.
So I felt this was an intellectually invigorating read and I especially enjoyed Jeff's letters to his stockholders. This book gives sage advice on how to manage a company that is customer-centric. It also explains what attracts high-performing employees. You can't afford not to read this book if you own your own company. It is that good!
~The Rebecca Review
Back to the Book,the Author did an incredible job articulating the Leadership Principles behind Amazon, I'm still getting a buzz trying to put them together in my head and picking the best I can implement immediately to both my carrer and personal life.The good news is that the majority of these can be applied without spending millions of dollars.I also learnt that the normal BI (Business Intelligence) doesn't work because is not realtime.I also liked appendix B, on Free Cash Flow Vs Net Earnings,just another way of being different while seeking to be the best.
I've recently learnt that since this book was published, AMAZON has continued grow and is now number one retailer at $248B by Market Cap, and other news off course.It would seem Amazon is on "everybody's lips nowadays.I enjoyed the book a look,straight to the point.
What to grow? Read this book and learn what you need to move forward in the best way possible.