Book Review: The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon

The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon

The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone

This book was an absolute page turner. I kept finding myself reaching for the book to even get one more page read whenever I had a free minute. I usually fall asleep after reading a few pages at night, but this one kept me up much later than normal.

There were many times in the book I found myself getting excited as I could start to envision how I can pull bits of the Amazon process into my own work, specifically:

Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit Leaders are obligated to respectfully challenge decisions when they disagree, even when doing so is uncomfortable or exhausting. Leaders have conviction and are tenacious. They do not compromise for the sake of social cohesion. Once a decision is determined, they commit wholly.

I may have a natural tendency to enjoy debate, but I really do appreciate when people stand up for their beliefs. Think of how often, especially now in a time of endless Zoom meetings, and idea is proposed and is met with silence. This could be due to people not paying attention, but it is likely that at least one person there does not agree, but is hesitant to speak up and be a trouble maker. I like the idea of this being codified as a foundational principle of the company – stand up for your beliefs and fight for them with passion, but if your idea does not win out, you must dive in to the plan with 100% commitment. Highlighting this from the highest levels, and making sure to support the people that live out this principle, will ensure your teams are not simply saying “yes” because it is easier.

This comes as one of the Amazon Leadership Principles – 14 principles that would serve any leader well in reading and implementing.

Oddly enough, this book was a gift, and was purchased for $2 at a Goodwill store – Amazon hasn’t reached that absolute “everything” store just yet.

This was a 5/5 book for me – I’m looking forward to reading many of the books recommended at the end as books covered in the Amazon exec book club.

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