Is Jeff Bezos a Horrible Boss and Is That Good?
One of the common themes since Steve Jobs passed away a couple of years back is that for companies to become ridiculously successful today, they need to have a tyrannical genius at the top. A new book, The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone of Bloomberg Businessweek, reinforces that narrative.
According to Mr. Stone, Mr. Bezos thrives on confrontation and puts employees through "fire drills" when addressing an issue raised by a customer in which he has taken a personal interest. All it takes is a question mark in the subject line of an e-mail forwarded by Mr. Bezos for all heck to break loose.
Mr. Stone writes that Mr. Bezos is not dissimilar to other technology executives, including Mr. Jobs, Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer and Andy Grove, when it comes to making work difficult for employees. Mr. Bezos, Amazon employees say, sometimes explodes into what they call "nutters."
Most of his outbursts are a direct result of his total commitment to improving customer service and, in turn, his company’s performance. That doesn’t make them any less blistering. Here are a few of Mr. Bezos’ greatest hits:
"Are you lazy or just incompetent?"
"We need to apply some human intelligence to this problem."
"This document was clearly written by the B team. Can someone get me the A team document? I don’t want to waste my time with the B team document."
- The Secrets of Bezos: How Amazon Became the Everything Store – Bloomberg Businessweek
- Why It’s So Difficult to Climb Amazon’s Corporate Ladder – Bloomberg Businessweek
- Jeff Bezos’s League of Shadows – Bloomberg Businessweek
- Jeff Bezos Is More Like Steve Jobs Than He Admits – Mashable
Are some leaders successful because they are intimidating and unpredictable? Would they be more or less successful if they combined their intellect and drive with a more even temperament? What talents are required to be a successful leader?