Posts Tagged ‘Amazon’

Amazon Fulfillment Centers meet shipping demandsAmazon’s unquintessential leadership is not confined to their corporate office. It literally permeates the entire company including their fulfillment centers from which all shipping of purchases directly from Amazon are done.

Unfortunately, Amazon customers are unknowingly complicit in this aspect of unquintessential leadership, although their demand – and payment for, in the case of Amazon Prime – is why this aspect is in place. (more…)

Amazon: What Unquintessential Leadership Looks LikeIn an August 16, 2015 articleThe New York Times took an in-depth look at how Amazon, initiated and encouraged by CEO Jeff Bezos, operates internally. Even in a time when unquintessential leadership is the norm in almost every organization, the environment and culture at Amazon stands out as being at the most extreme end of unquintessential leadership.

Let’s look at what unquintessential leadership looks like from Amazon’s playbook. I hope everyone reads the article because the details are that important, but I’m going to look at the big-picture areas of unquintessential leadership here.

There is no teamwork at Amazon. Instead, each person is out for themselves and is encouraged to do whatever it takes to get themselves noticed, promoted, and distinguished from everyone else.

There are no boundaries and there is no room for respect. The environment and culture at Amazon says, instead, that everyone else working there is the enemy and must be eliminated with extreme prejudice.

Extreme prejudice is a military euphemism for assassination.  Amazon not only encourages extreme prejudice, but it promotes it by having many mechanisms in place to accomplish it.

The Amazon culture and environment is one of competition, backbiting, sabotage, bullying, and spying. Everybody is looking at everyone else and looking for something, anything to denigrate, criticize, or destroy everybody else. If nothing exists in actuality, the culture encourages manufacturing it (lying) to get ahead.

A secret feedback system is in place where everyone can continuously give feedback on everyone else based on every interaction they have with each other. Amazon spins this as a state-of-the-art data-driven performance system, but it is really a tool that seeks to eliminate with extreme prejudice. 

Beside the malevolent intent behind this feedback system, which is in itself unquintessential leadership, the data – which now rules everything in our society – is corrupt because it depends on humans. Who have bad days. Who have positive and negative emotions. Who sometimes have really bad interactions with or negative reactions to even people they love and cherish and would give their lives for, but who are far, far more prone to those with and toward people they don’t know, don’t like, or they see as their enemies.

Unquintessential leadership at Amazon can also be seen in its oppressive micromanagement system. It appears that the people in mid-level leadership positions spend all their time with microtracking the corrupted data about their employees and using short threat-filled and bullying mostly faceless interactions based on the corrupt data instead of actually working with their employees and helping them to contribute to the company.

The Unquintessential Leadership of Jeff Bezos and AmazonEverything’s a test at Amazon. Emails sent in the middle of the night with an expectation of immediate response. Working long and grueling hours. Sacrificing everything – health, family, and life – to Amazon. Amazon is the god that must be exclusively worshiped by its employees.

If an employee can’t make and keep that commitment, then that employee is eliminated. And much like the people who disappear in George Orwell’s 1984, every trace and record of the eliminated is expunged. They simply never existed.

Amazon’s culture is designed according to the unquintessential leadership dream: completely break everybody. Those who survive can be rebuilt into the automaton Amazon mold of unquintessential leadership. Those who don’t survive were weak, useless, unworthy, and never mattered anyway. They are not missed because they never existed.

This quote from the article highlights this aspect of the unquintessential leadership at Amazon: “Bo Olson…said that his enduring image was watching people weep in the office, a sight other workers described as well. ‘You walk out of a conference room and you’ll see a grown man covering his face,’ he said. “Nearly every person I worked with, I saw cry at their desk.'”

These are the overarching areas of what unquintessential leadership looks like at Amazon. 

But I challenge each of us not to sit here smugly patting ourselves on the back because we’re not like THAT.

The reality is that a lot of the elements of unquintessential leadership at Amazon – for which the company is not only unapologetic for, but also wears like a badge of honor – exist in most organizations today. 

It may be more hidden, more subtle, or sugarcoated as being helpful or productive, but it is just as dangerous, just as damaging, and just as destructive.

As quintessential leaders, we can never allow ourselves to be deceived into thinking any manifestation of unquintessential leadership is permissible and okay. It is never permissible and it is never okay.

Here’s where the mirror test comes in for you and for me.

What do you and I think about the unquintessential leadership at Amazon? 

What do you and I think about the unquintessential leadership in our own organizations?

Are you and I okay with it or are you and I standing up to it and fighting against  it, even if it costs you and me everything to do so?

Our answers to these questions determine whether we are on the main road of unquintessential leadership or we are on the less-traveled-by road of quintessential leadership.

How are we doing?

Building Trust and Being Trustworthy is available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle versions.

Many readers of this blog have asked how they can help get this blog publicized. Here’s how. 

Subscribe to this blog to get email updates so you don’t miss any posts. There is an email subscription option at the top of right-hand column. That will ensure that you get every new post and it will give you an opportunity to read all of them at your pace. I know the posts are lengthy and we live in a “quick-hit” world, but I strongly encourage you to take the time to read them, think about them, respond to them, and share them.

tql-logoOnce you read them, please share all the blog posts you read and like here with your social media networks (Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, WordPress, Tumblr, Reddit, etc.).

Think about this each time you read a post. Then do it right then. 

If you press “Like” on a post from this blog on The Quintessential Leader Facebook page, then share the post, with your thoughts or with a quote from the post that resonated with you, on your own Facebook page.

Think about this each time you like a post and do it then. Liking a post is not enough. Sharing a post means more people get to see what you think about, like, and that reflects values and principles you share. If you don’t share the values and principles of this blog or of a particular post, then let me know why you aren’t sharing it.

This blog is interactive. I need your input – comments or messages – to know why you agree or disagree. Please comment on each post. Nothing, short of profane or inflammatory, will not be approved. And I promise to answer each comment with respect and thoughtfulness.

This blog also has links to The Quintessential Leadership eBooks. If you have not read them yourselves, then I ask you to purchase them (they will not break the bank for most of this blog’s readers). I’ve had a lot of endorsements for these books from people who have not purchased nor read them.

If you have purchased and read them, then please leave feedback (at Amazon, on the blog, or here). 

If you have purchased them or do purchase them, and they have provided valuable information for you, then please include links to The Quintessential Leader’s store to share them with others and when you share posts.

One book, Building Trust and Being Trustworthy  is also available on Amazon in paperback version and Kindle version.

For those of you who have already purchased copies of The Quintessential Leadership eBooks or the Amazon versions, thank you!

I encourage you, if you have found them helpful and instructive, to post on your social media sites a direct link to to the eBooks and share why they helped you, or to go to Amazon, if you purchased the book there, and leave a review that explains how the book was helpful to you.

All of this will help us get the word out about quintessential leadership and let people know there are real-world, practical application, and what-it-does-and-doesn’t-look-like examples of quintessential leadership.

Each one of you who reads this blog is part of my team. I cannot do this alone. I need each and every one of you to help me. Know that I appreciate, value, and count on you, just as I know you appreciate, value, and count on me. We’re in this together. It’s a team effort.

As a final note to this blog post, I’ve added a PayPal link to this blog for donations if you, the people who stop by here regularly, find the information presented here informative, helpful and useful. Please carefully consider a small donation to this blog.

There are many costs with running a blog. The information The Quintessential Leader provides is free to you, but not free to provide. To help offset the costs and keep the blog up and running, The Quintessential Leader needs your help.

The Quintessential Leader has only the shares and the donations with which to assess its value. Each of you who read this, in the end, determine what the information here is worth. So the value and the worth comes from the actions of The Quintessential Leader’s readers. You – each of you – must determine what that is to you, personally, and as a quintessential leader.

I thank everyone who stops by and hope and pray that when you leave you always have something of value to take with you. Even if it is a single sentence or a single thought that you take, I am thankful for the opportunity to share that with you. Please be sure to comment to let me know. Again, I will answer each and every comment and hope that we, together, can continue this dialogue for a long time.

I think long, carefully, and prayerfully about what I post here, because I am personally responsible for everything I say, do, and am. I thank you for supporting my efforts and humbly ask that you will continue, as you see fit, to do so.

Thank you all again.