What does it take to succeed at Amazon as a Christian? A group of friends and I compared the Scriptures with Amazon’s Leadership Principles to find out. (For more thoughts on leadership read Why Captain America Leads the Avengers.).
Here are the posts in this series:
Leaders start with the customer and work backwards. They work vigorously to earn and keep customer trust. Although leaders pay attention to competitors, they obsess over customers.
We started with customer obsession because it was the first on the list and because it really is the central principle at Amazon.
What is Amazon’s mission?
To be earth’s most customer centric company.
What does customer obsession look like?
We gave various examples like AWS refunding customers who had passed the trial period without realizing it.
What are the limits of customer obsession? Can the customer ever be wrong?
We debated giving customers what they want versus what they need. One example is the scandal when a book on pedophilia was self-published and after some back and forth Amazon ended up choosing to listen to the customers who were offended by it. Our discussion concluded that it’s about doing what’s right for customers.
What are some relevant Scriptures?
We only got to examine two. The first was Proverbs 20:14:
“It’s no good, it’s no good!” says the buyer—then goes off and boasts about the purchase.”
We can’t always take what customers say at face value, but we can commit to loving our customers and doing what is right for them. I don’t remember the second passage, but the essence of our discussion was about how Christians represent the Lord in their actions and likewise represent Amazon in their deeds.
What happens when we lose customer obsession?
What about sellers and employees? Are customers benefitted at the expense of our vendors, sellers and employees?
The Lord detests differing weights, and dishonest scales do not please him. (Proverbs 20:23)
When Amazon uses its leverage to negotiate better terms for customers, the vendors still have a choice to make. As long as Amazon maintains integrity and does not fudge metrics to get better terms or withhold money that rightfully belongs to the vendors, using its scale to deliver more value to customers seems just and fair.
Food for thought:
What would earth’s most God-centered company look like?
Please leave a comment and read the next post on Ownership, Invent and Simplify.