Reviews for “The Amazon Way” emphasize the insights, practical ideas and humor in this management book on leadership principles

by | Jul 31, 2014 | Blog

amzn-bookEarly reviews for “The Amazon Way:  14 Leadership Principles Behind the World’s Most Disruptive Company” emphasize the insights, practical ideas and humor in this management and leadership book. Below is the review written by Kirkus.

Succinct, engaging and crafted from a high-level viewpoint; a rare open-kimono look at how one of the world’s most innovative companies executes its vision.

What others are saying about The Amazon Way:
  • “This is my perfect beach read, deeper and more thought provoking than any HBR, Fast Company or Inc. magazines reading”
  • “Our president read [The Amazon Way], and found it interesting, inspiring, and very entertaining. So much so that he bought it for his entire extended leadership team (app. 60 individuals), and asked that they read it in time for our next quarterly meeting.”
  • “Just a quick note to thank you so much for my copy of The Amazon Way…. I will make time to read this type of book that quickly gets down to brass tacks, and stresses the importance of common sense and good, old-fashioned values while leveraging cutting edge design and technology as tools”
  • “This is a quick, easy and great read for any business professional. ‘Disruption’ has become one of the ‘it’ words in business and Jeff Bezos continues to lead the way in disrupting every and any industry he sets his sights on. This book gives great insight into how he has been able to continually succeed where many have failed. The leadership principles presented here provide some powerful lessons that can be applied to any business, even if the extreme Amazon environment is not your goal. And, it is fun to get direct anecdotes from someone on the inside who lived the Amazon culture. Highly recommend.”
  • “This is an excellent read for a manager at any organization (not just tech companies). The author has done a nice job distilling the core leadership principles into an easy to consume book that can be read on a couple of cross country flights or a weekend. While a few of these principles may not be entirely new to the reader the author has presented them with colorful anecdotes from his time at Amazon will provide an excellent reminder of the importance and value of these principles. I strongly recommend this book.”
  • The head of the marketing department at Texas A&M would like to assign the Amazon Way to students in his Leadership Class this fall.

A former Amazon executive offers an insider’s perspective on the company’s guiding principles.  Tell-alls about exceptional companies and their founders are commonplace. Amazon has had its share of coverage, including Brad Stone’s The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon(2013). But this lean book cuts a different way. Rossman, an executive at Amazon who left to become a managing director at a consulting firm, weaves his own war stories around Amazon’s 14 leadership principles. While these principles are no secret (they’re posted on the company’s website), Rossman brings them to life with insightful commentary of his own. Each chapter begins with a salient “Leaders at Amazon…” statement, e.g., “Leaders at Amazon focus on the key outputs for their business and deliver them with the right quality and in a timely fashion. Despite setbacks, they rise to the occasion and never settle.” Rossman then offers observations and anecdotes illuminating the corresponding idea. For example, in Chapter 1, “Obsess Over the Customer,” he discusses Amazon’s three customer desires, which the company considers “its holy trinity”—price, selection and availability. Instead of generalities, however, Rossman shares specific insider details that make each principle more dramatic. He relates one instance when Amazon was told by Apple that the company couldn’t deliver 4,000 iPods in time for Christmas. “We were not the kind of company that ruined people’s Christmas because of a lack of availability—not under any circumstances,” writes Rossman, so Amazon purchased the iPods at retail and had them shipped to their warehouse to be repackaged and delivered to customers. At times, readers might glaze over details of Amazon’s inner workings, but Rossman’s focus on how the company applies its principles is fairly fascinating stuff. So too is Rossman’s characterization of Jeff Bezos, who comes across as a remarkably driven, if irascible, leader. As for the iPods, Bezos agreed but quipped, “I hope you’ll get in touch with Apple and try to get our money back from the bastards.”  Succinct, engaging and crafted from a high-level viewpoint; a rare open-kimono look at how one of the world’s most innovative companies executes its vision.


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