Weekend Leadership Reading: 6/26/20

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Weekends are time when things slow down a little. Your weekend shouldn’t be two more regular workdays. That’s a sure road to burnout. Take time to refresh yourself. Take time for something different. Take time for some of that reading you can’t find time for during the week.

Here are choice articles on hot leadership topics culled from the business schools, the business press and major consulting firms. This week there are articles about Jeff Bezos and Amazon

From Sean Silverthorne: Amazoned: Is Any Industry Safe?

“Like the Amazon River itself, Jeff Bezos’s company cuts a powerful, meandering channel through the business landscape, changing every industry it touches.”

From Taylor Locke: Jeff Bezos: This is the ‘smartest thing we ever did’ at Amazon

“‘Many, many years ago, we outlawed PowerPoint presentations at Amazon,’ Bezos said at the Bush Center’s Forum on Leadership in 2018. ‘And it’s probably the smartest thing we ever did.’”

From Franklin Foer: Jeff Bezos’s Master Plan

“At 55, Bezos has never dominated a major market as thoroughly as any of these forebears, and while he is presently the richest man on the planet, he has less wealth than Gates did at his zenith. Yet Rockefeller largely contented himself with oil wells, pump stations, and railcars; Gates’s fortune depended on an operating system. The scope of the empire the founder and CEO of Amazon has built is wider. Indeed, it is without precedent in the long history of American capitalism.”

From Tricia Gregg and Boris Groysberg: What We Learned from Reading Jeff Bezos’ Patents

“The founder’s early fascination with innovation proved key because he remains an active inventor with many patents to his name. Bezos has been known to view Amazon as ‘a technology company pioneering e-commerce, not a retailer.’ We decided to test our hypothesis by examining Bezos’ patent activities at Amazon. To do so, we began by looking at Amazon’s patent history using the Derwent Innovation database for the years 1998-2018, which included more than 11,000 published patents in the United States. We learned four surprising things from our analysis”

From Leo Kelion: Why Amazon knows so much about you

“Founder Jeff Bezos frames it in terms of being a ‘customer obsession’, saying the firm’s first priority is to ‘figure out what they want, what’s important to them’. And he qualifies this by saying Amazon mustn’t violate people’s trust in the process. Yet as the company continues to grow, and expand into new activities, there are calls from both inside and outside Amazon to keep its data-feasting obsession in check.”

From the Economist: The genius of Amazon – The pandemic has shown that Amazon is essential—but vulnerable

“Jeff Bezos’s vision of a world shopping online is coming true faster than ever. But the job of running Amazon hasn’t got any easier”

Book Suggestions

The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone

Bezonomics: How Amazon Is Changing Our Lives and What the World’s Best Companies Are Learning from It by Brian Dumaine

The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google by Scott Galloway

The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon by Steve Anderson and Karen Anderson

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