Jeff Bezos is playing a long-term game. Are you?

Instagram Photo / Eugene Hsu

Jaws dropped last week when Amazon announced its intention to purchase Whole Foods for $13.7B ($18B AUD). What are the leadership lessons from the announcement?

One obvious answer is that no business is immune from disruption. Amazon, a technology business intends to move into an adjacent bricks and mortar industry as the lines between technology and business become blurred. John McDulig, writing in the Australian Financial Review put it this way, “The distinction between tech and business is becoming irrelevant. Amazon is a trendsetter in many ways. So, don’t be surprised if more deals like this happen.”

But what are the leadership lessons from the long-term game that Jeff Bezos is playing? He has presided over a meteoric rise in Amazon’s share price over the last two decades. What are the principles that are driving his success? He says, “What we’re really focused on is thinking long term, putting the customer at the center of our universe and inventing.”

Recent new research suggests that Bezos is on to something with his long-term thinking. This study found that companies that operate with a long-term mindset have consistently outperformed their industry peers since 2001 across almost every financial measure that matters.

Bezos’ principles could be equally applied to your own personal leadership as much as at a company level. For example, game-changing leaders are building a personal brand of long term value. Being customer centric with your own clients and stakeholders ensures that they become your advocates. Continual reinvention of your own leadership goes hand in hand with changing the game.

Are you playing a long-term game with your leadership?

Best regards, Brian

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