Here’s How Jeff Bezos Combines Two Opposites for Ultimate Success

The leadership principles at Amazon are publicly posted for everyone to see, including you. They are not a grocery list where leaders can learn by checking the box. They are all parts of a system that interacts for full bodied success.

Engineers see systems. Jeff Bezos lives systems. Everything is connected to everything else. That, my friends, is how the world works. It works that way in business, politics, and love relationships.

Unless you see the connections, hear the connections, feel the connections, you miss the big picture.

Leadership principles are merely a guide to success. They are not a final blueprint.

The success of Amazon takes into account two of the most important aspects of human interactions: stubbornness and flexibility.

Think of it this way, too much or too little of anything becomes toxic, too much or too little oxygen causes illness, even death. Too much food, obesity. Too little food, anorexia.

Take a page from Jeff Bezos himself when he said:

If you’re not stubborn, you’ll give up on the experiment too soon. And if you’re not flexible, you’ll pound your head against the wall and you wont see a different solution to a problem you’re trying to solve.

High level leadership,according to Bezos, is about the ‘what if’s’ and the ‘what and’s.’

Here’s a great example:Looking at the Amazon principles, if you spend too much time being self-critical and examining everything you do and say (often called analysis paralysis) which is #principle 5 then you may become limited in your ability to action which is #principle 9.


Let’s dig deeper into stubbornness and flexibility.

It’s often said it’s best to be stubborn about your goals and flexible about the methods. Good advice so you can get to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. You just have to pay attention to the fact there are many routes available to get there.

One key question to you is: Are the goals you are following one’s that fill you with passion  and pride? Or perhaps, are they goals imprinted on you from your childhood?

I’ve coached many clients who were in the wrong careers with the wrong goals because they were fulfilling a dream of a parent or a legacy from the family. If so, flexibility comes in the form of changing your goal. Not easy and most people are stubborn and loyal rather than flexible and free when the goals have been set in stone years ago.

Others however, with clear goals are not focused day to day and end up with the ‘shiny object syndrome.’ They will give themselves over to the newest tech solutions without the due diligence to see if they are a right fit. They will say ‘yes’ to anyone and anything that comes along and not worry about consequences.


Are you stubborn and rigid or flexible and impulsive?

Do the personal growth work that guarantees a modicum of real success. Use the Amazon leadership principles or create your own. Just remember whatever you follow, these are tactical measures to use everyday and they can be amended as the world changes.


Originally published at Inc