The Art Of Leadership As A Heart-repreneur®
What does leadership mean? What are the leadership principles of doing business heart-to-heart? In this article, I will explain what principled leadership is and how this ties into the Heart-repreneur® philosophy. First, let me define leadership in my own words.
To me, leadership is moving people to follow a leader toward a goal that is mutually beneficial.
To begin with let’s look at Amazon leadership principles. These are the leadership principles Amazon lives by:
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
Hire and Develop the Best
Leaders raise the performance bar with every hire and promotion. They recognize exceptional talent, and willingly move them throughout the organization. Leaders develop leaders and take seriously their role in coaching others. We work on behalf of our people to invent mechanisms for development like Career Choice.
Insist on the Highest Standards
Leaders have relentlessly high standards – many people may think these standards are unreasonably high. Leaders are continually raising the bar and driving their teams to deliver high quality products, services and processes. Leaders ensure that defects do not get sent down the line and that problems are fixed so they stay fixed.
Thinking small is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Leaders create and communicate a bold direction that inspires results. They think differently and look around corners for ways to serve customers.
Bias for Action
Speed matters in business. Many decisions and actions are reversible and do not need extensive study. We value calculated risk taking.
Accomplish more with less. Constraints breed resourcefulness, self-sufficiency and invention. There are no extra points for growing headcount, budget size or fixed expense.
Leaders listen attentively, speak candidly, and treat others respectfully. They are vocally self-critical, even when doing so is awkward or embarrassing. Leaders do not believe their or their team’s body odor smells of perfume. They benchmark themselves and their teams against the best.
Leaders operate at all levels, stay connected to the details, audit frequently, and are skeptical when metrics and anecdote differ. No task is beneath them.
Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit
Leaders are obligated to respectfully challenge decisions when they disagree, even when doing so is uncomfortable or exhausting. Leaders have conviction and are tenacious. They do not compromise for the sake of social cohesion. Once a decision is determined, they commit wholly.
Leaders focus on the key inputs 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.
Knowing Amazon’s principles for leadership it is important for prospective employees to understand how this ties to their job interview. Here are some of the Amazon leadership principles interview questions according to Glassdoor.
1. “Who was your most difficult customer?”
2. “How would you introduce AWS in an elevator pitch?”
3. “What is the worst mistake you ever made?”
4. “If your direct manager was instructing you to do something you disagreed with, how would you handle it?”
5. “Describe what Human Resource means to you.”
6. “What is the angle between the hour hand and minute hand in an analog clock?”
7. “How do you detect whether or not a word is a palindrome?”
8. “Do you know our CEO? How do you pronounce his name?”
9. “Here’s a string with numbers from 1-250 in random order, but it’s missing one number. How will you find the missed number?”
10. “Are you willing to work on your feet for ten hours, four days a week?”
11. “Do you think you’ll reach a point where you storm off the floor and never return?”
12. “Would you tell on a employee for stealing?”
13. “How would you solve problems if you were from Mars?”
14. “How do you persuade people?”
15. “Describe what happens in your browser as soon as you hit enter after writing a URL in the address bar.”
16. “Tell the story of the last time you had to apologize to someone.”
17. “Walk me through how Amazon Kindle books would be priced.”
18. “What would you do if you saw someone being unsafe at work?”
19. “What would you do if somehow you misdirected 10,000 units of something?”
20. “How would you improve Amazon’s website?”
21. “You have 30 people working under you with 2 working indirect. Each employee can do 150 units/hour. Each work day has two 15 min breaks and one 30 min lunch. In a 5 day work week, how many total units can you complete?”
22. “What is the most difficult situation you have ever faced in your life? How did you handle it?”
23. “How would you tell a customer what Wi-Fi is?”
24. “You are Amazon and Samsung offers you 10,000 Samsung Galaxy S3s at a 34% discount. Is that a good deal?”
25. “Design an online payment system.”
26. “Give me an example of a time when you were 75% of the way through a project, and you had to pivot strategy–how were you able to make that into a success story?”
27. “Should we sell private label cleaning products?”
28. “What would you do if you found out that your closest friend at work was stealing?”
29. “Which Amazon leadership principle do you resonate most with?”
Let’s look at another example of principle centered leadership. This time we will look at the Marine Corps leadership principles.
The USMC leadership principles are:
• Know yourself and seek self-improvement.
• Be technically and tactically proficient.
• Develop a sense of responsibility among your subordinates.
• Make sound and timely decisions.
• Set the example.
• Know your Marines and look out for their welfare.
• Keep your Marines informed.
• Seek responsibility and take responsibility for your actions.
• Ensure assigned tasks are understood, supervised, and accomplished.
• Train your Marines as a team.
• Employ your command in accordance with its capabilities
These are the leadership principles of the USMC.
Heart-repreneur® Centered Leadership
These are the principles of how to do business as a Heart-repreneur®:
- A leader is a colleague
- A leader mobilizes others toward a goal shared by the leader and their followers
- You are a leader if people want to follow you
- Leaders use cooperation
- Leaders use collectivism
- Leaders are inclusionary
- Leaders are open communicators
- Leadership is built on trust
- Leaders deal with direction
- Leaders deal with vision and keep the mission in sight
- Leaders motivate people to work
- Leaders foster mutual respect and build a complementary team
- Leaders share responsibility
- Leaders have a clear focus that is understood
- Leaders select team members that are gifted in needed areas
- Leaders provide learning opportunities
- Leaders encourage risk taking
- Leaders see failures as a refining process
- Leaders are flexible
- Leaders delegate
- Leaders always embody authenticity, transparency, and integrity
- Leaders always communicate with team members
- Leaders promote a team mentality
- Leaders are continual learners
- Leaders are enthusiastic
- Leaders exercise physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally
I am curious what your leadership principles are? I invite you to post them here.