Flip the Switch

103: Learning to Lead Like Amazon w/ John Rossman

To become the digital leader and business disruptor Amazon is today, the company has firmly operated on 14 leadership principles.  First and foremost, they are driven by customer obsession.

This week, we are joined by John Rossman, managing partner of Rossman Partners, author and keynote speaker.  John spent nearly four years as an Amazon executive, responsible for launching and scaling the merchant integration team and Amazon Marketplace business, which accounts for more than 50% of all units sold on Amazon.com. Since leaving, he has helped organizations understand the strategies and core principles that propelled Amazon to success.

Before you think “this isn’t applicable, I don’t have Amazon’s staff or budget”, the tangible tactics can be applied to help businesses of all sizes excel.


Show Notes:

2:44     Background to John’s Books

6:02     Debunking the “I’m Not Amazon” myth

9:14      5 Primary Lenses to Apply Digital Frameworks

12:09    Speed vs. Agility

14:44   Applying Amazon’s Leadership Principles to Decision Making

17:33    Customer Obsession

18:09   Are Right, A Lot

20:18   One-Way Doors vs. Two-Way Doors

21:12    Have a Backbone, Disagree and Commit

24:04  “Best Customer Service is No Customer Service”

28:55   The Empty Chair at the Table

32:21    Amazon Prime is a Loyalty Program that Doesn’t Feel Like One

34:49   Dive Deep

38:48   Amazon’s Annual Planning Process

43:55   Achievable vs. Stretch Goals

45:09   Deliver Results

46:33   Uncontrollable Outputs vs. Controllable Inputs

49:21   Objectives and Key Results


For more info on topics covered in this episode:

John’s Books

The Amazon Way on IoT: 10 Principles for Every Leader from the World’s Leading Internet of Things Strategies

Think Like Amazon: 50 ½ Ideas to Become a Digital Leader

The Amazon Way: Amazon’s 14 Leadership Principles

Subscribe to John’s newsletter – The Digital Leader Newsletter and check out his website, The Amazon Way

Connect with John via email 

Other Books Recommended by John:

Measure What Matters by John Doerr

OKRs vs. KPIs

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