7 SUPER LEADERSHIP ATTRIBUTES OF THE WORLD’S RICHEST MAN
Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, emerged the world’s richest man in 2018 with a net worth of $112 billion, according to Forbes. In 2019 he has kept the position with a net worth of about $160 billion. He pushed Bill Gates, whose 2019 net worth is estimated at $97 billion, to distant second position
You come to appreciate Bezos’ meteoric rise when you understand that in 2000, he borrowed $2 billion from banks, as its cash balances dipped to only $350 million . Since the company nearly went bankrupt, he had to shut down distribution centers and sack about 14% of the workforce. It was in 2002 that Amazon made its debut at No. 492 on the Fortune 500. In 2018, it made the top 10 of the list at No. 8 positionBy every standard, Bezos is a high-impact businessman, not only because he appears to still fire at full throttle Amazon’s growth run, but because he sits atop a large company that has at least 647,500 employees (2018 figure). How is he able to lead successfully such a big company and large number of staff and produce massive results? Let’s examine some remarkable attributes that go for him.
(1) Very High Value for the Customer: Bezos’ belief that "We're not competitor obsessed, we're customer obsessed" is widely known in the global business circles. According to him, focusing on the clients and not the competition is what really matters because that keeps the company resilient. Jason Grills explains that this would enable the business to create strong relations with them, understand their needs and satisfy them.
Bezos drives this idea of customer valuation to a very high level through the principle of the empty chair. It is said that at meetings, he leaves one seat open at the table and tells all those who attend that they should consider that seat is occupied by their customer, the most important person at the meeting.
As the most important person in the room, their role is to do everything possible to satisfy all the expectations of that unseen client.
(2) Thinking the Future and Seeing Tomorrow: Bezos wrote in 1997 that "Because of our emphasis on the long-term, we may make decisions and weigh trade-offs differently than some companies." He reasons that why he works two to three years ahead is because it permits him to look around corners and forecast the next change in the business environment.
(3) Bezos is Addicted to Experimenting: This is one of the key attributes this number billionaire in the world that has helped Amazon to maintain its lead as the biggest and most successful Internet retail company in the world. In his interview with Hal Gregersen, Bezos said that “Experiments are key to innovation because they rarely turn out as you expect and you learn so much...We’ve tried to reduce the cost of doing experiments so that we can do more of them. If you can increase the number of experiments you try from a hundred to a thousand, you dramatically increase the number of innovations you produce.”
Through numerous experimentation, Amazon knows more of what works, creates innovations and stays competitive in customer satisfaction.
(4) Employee Motivation: Scott Ruhfus gives great insight into leadership, “Leaders get things done through other people. That is going to involve a whole array of attributes which are essentially behavioral in nature.” Jake Wilder’s thought on leadership is also very instructive here, “Leadership is empowerment. It’s lifting others up, helping them advance, and making them a part of something bigger than themselves.”
Bezos keys powerfully into using leadership as a veritable platform for influencing his employees into identifying as co-owners of Amazon. That’s why he said this, “We know our success will be largely affected by our ability to attract and retain a motivated employee base, each of whom must think like, and therefore must actually be, an owner.”
(5) Values the process, not the failure. At Amazon, employees are given opportunity to experiment. This implies that there is also room to make mistakes or record some failures. The failure is not seen as the end of the road for the employee and the company but as a learning and discovery channel for progress and advancement.
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American businessman, investor, and philanthropist. He is the founder, CEO, and president of Amazon.com
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