There’s no doubt that Jeff Bezos is a successful man. Ever wonder his secret to creating one of the largest companies? In a press release earlier this year, Bezos’s shared his three secrets to his success. Before reading this and dismissing it as PR speak, consider briefly how and why each of these has made him and his company so valuable.
1. Surround yourself with the right people.
If you’re going to accomplish great things, you need a team of great people.
Notice how Bezos describes these people as “talented experts.” Aren’t all experts talented? In a sense, yes. But as years of research reveal, it’s not only about who is on the team, but how they work together. That’s why hiring is so important: You don’t simply want a bunch of “brilliant jerks,” as Netflix CEO Reed Hastings calls them. Rather, you want people who know what they’re doing, and have the necessary emotional intelligence to work well with others at the same time.
2. Have a learn-it-all mindset.
The problem with putting a bunch of experts together is you run the danger of everyone thinking they have all the answers.
That’s why it’s important to have what Bezos refers to as “a beginner’s mind.” In other words, you don’t want to be a know-it-all; you want to be a learn-it-all.
By doing this, you adopt a student’s mentality, in which you rethink everything from the ground up. You’re not forced to remain within outdated or irrelevant constraints, rather, you’re looking for new and innovative solutions. Additionally, you’re not concerned by how others view you, rather, you’re focused on growth. That gives you the liberty to pursue bias for action, to experiment and make mistakes–and transform these into learning opportunities.
3. Be ready to play the long game.
Nobody said transforming an industry or solving major problems was easy.
Bezos knows this as much as anyone; he came under fire for decades when Amazon didn’t turn a profit. But he didn’t really care, because he knew that it would take time to achieve goals as lofty as the ones he had set–goals like fundamentally changing the way people shop.
Or, as stated clearly in the set of principles Amazon sets out for their leaders: “They think long term and don’t sacrifice long-term value for short-term results.”
Talented experts. A beginner’s mind. Long-term orientation. That’s Jeff Bezos’s formula for success.
You might want to give it a try.