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Analysis on the Leadership of Jeff Bezos

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Leadership Analysis on Jeff Bezos

Xavier Xu

Dr. Shanetta Robinson-Minton

Pepperdine University

Leadership Analysis on Jeff Bezos

        Leadership is a complex concept for which a determined definition may long be flux, the definition of it was first introduced in early 20th century, focusing on control and centralization of power with a common theme of domination. And now, in the 21st century, people believe that leadership refers to one's influences on a group of individuals to achieve a common goal (Northouse, 2015, p. 4). For this paper, I would like to use the example of Jeff Bezos to talk about what is leadership, and what kind of leadership characteristics he may share for his great achievement.

        Jeff Bezos is the founder of Amazon.com, the world's largest online shopping retailer. The company began as an Internet merchant of books in 1994 and expanded to a wide variety of products and services. For now, Amazon has more than 200,000 employees and provide services in nearly 100 countries. To achieve such success, it firstly credits for Jeff's skill in technology, human and trend vision.

        Technical skill is knowledge about and proficiency in a specific type of work or activity. It includes competencies in a specialized area, analytical ability, and the ability to use appropriate tools and techniques (Katz,1995, p. 33). For companies like Microsoft, the technical skill refers to the knowledge of computer, programming, and other crucial technologies related to computers. Jeff has a Bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering and computer science from Princeton University, and after graduated, he went to Wall Street working in the computer science field. After which, Jeff went to several technology companies including D. E. Shaw & Co, Bankers Trust, and Field. All of his working experiences were involved with high technology, which did great help for Jeff so that he could have the ability to start Amazon at the very beginning. Otherwise, without such technical skill in computer and engineering, Jeff would not have the ability to start a company that sells books via the internet. Jeff also knows that technical skills are crucial to his company, hence Amazon has composed thousands of SOPs (standard operation process) for different job positions in Amazon. Amazon even has their own Wikipedia for employees looking for answers when encountering with technical problems. And if the problem cannot be solved, there is a thing called Andon Cord, employees can pull it and looking for answers from superior technicians.

        Human skill is knowledge about and ability to work with people. It is quite different from the technical skill, which has to do with working with things (Karz, 1995, p. 33-42). To be specific, human skill refers to the skill to dealing with people: finding right people for different occupation; leading people and getting together people to work for the same goal; building trust within people and making use of people's advantages.During his study life at Princeton, Jeff also served as the Princeton chapter of the Students for the Exploration and Development of Space. And when working in Bankers Trust, he was the vice president of the company. Jeff must have improved his human in the process of running the company. Together, Jeff's experiences make him have enough human skills to manage a huge company. Otherwise, without Jeff's early experience and the human skills, he may fail soon at the starting of his company or in the process of expanding.

        Broadly speaking, conceptual skills are the ability to work with ideas and concepts. Conceptual skills are central to creating a vision and strategic plan for an organization. For example, it would take conceptual skills for a CEO in a struggling manufacturing company to articulate a vision for a line of new products that would steer the company into profitability. It has to do with the mental work of shaping the meaning of organizational or policy issues-understanding what a company stands for and where it is or should be going (Northouse, 2015, p. 45). Jeff possessed exactly what it needed to start the company, Amazon. In the late 1900s, seldom people know about the e-commerce and what value it can create, but Jeff had that vision,  and knew that it is important to envision the future (Kouzes & Posner, 2008, p. 103). And we can tell that Jeff has the conceptual skills from Amazon's later development. In 2018, many other e-commerce companies started to come up, which impact Amazon a lot, and Jeff came up with a new idea toward the impact: third-party seller. By allowing third-party seller selling on Amazon at the same time, it made Amazon become more competitive and popular more than ever. Another thing that can tell the conceptual skills of Jeff is the Amazon's tenet: customers are everything. Amazon dedicates to the shopping experience of their customers, to provide better logistic services, they started the Amazon logistics so that people can get their orders as fast as possible. To make sure their customers are satisfied with their shopping, they provide the best after-sell services. If you don't like the item, you can return it at any time, you can even write an e-mail to Jeff, and he will help you with it. Except that, Jeff also knows that he should provide the best working environment for his employees so that they can devote themselves to works. Knowing that, Jeff created a spectacular working environment and set lots of policies which brings benefits to employees.

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