Amazon the Beginning
Jeff Bezo’s began Amazon in his garage in July 1995 with three Sun workstations setting on wooden doors for tables and extension cords running from everywhere (Academy of Achievement, 2010). Right from the beginning he was a visionary leaving his well paying job as a senior vice president with D. E. Shaw to begin Amazon.com (Academy of Achievement, 2010). Being the visionary that he is he saw an opportunity prompted by the huge growth rate of internet use in a single year and ran with it never looking back. Jeff realized that the internet had “no real commerce to speak of” so he began researching possible businesses (Academy of Achievement, 2010). “After reviewing 20 mail order businesses and deciding which could be conducted more efficiently over the internet than by traditional means he decided on books” (Academy of Achievement, 2010). He thought books were perfect because attempting to send huge catalogs for all the available books would be expensive and cumbersome, but an online resource database that was easy to navigate would provide customers with easy access and a single point from which to shop. “In 30 days, with no press, Amazon had sold books in all 50 states and 45 foreign countries, obviously by the success of Amazon he was right (Academy of Achievement, 2010). In a case study written by Javad Kargar called “Amazon.com in 2003” he stated that “Amazon's online store was a big hit, with about $5 million in the first year of operations” (2004). This huge success so quickly would have confirmed for Jeff that his idea was viable and drove him to continue to strive for more. Jeff Bezo’s charismatic-visionary leadership is the key to his and Amazon’s success.
Jeff Bezo’s style of leadership
Jeff’s leadership style as described by Robbins and Coulter is as a “charismatic-visionary who exudes energy, enthusiasm and drive” (2012, p. 470). To begin Amazon Jeff had to convince investors that his idea was profitable and one worth taking the risk to invest their money. He was able to “raise several million dollars from private investors” to start his company (Kargar, 2004). His parents who invested a substantial portion of their savings stated that “they weren’t investing in the internet they were investing in Jeff” (Academy of Achievement, 2010). Jeff had that ability to convince others to follow him and continue to do so which has shown through not only in his ability to find investors but also in Amazon’s success.
Jeff leadership style motivated his employees during the early years when the company was expanding and not bringing in profits. Robbins and Coulter stated “Jeff Bezos has demonstrated an ability to inspire his employees through the ups and downs of a rapidly growing company” (2012, p. 208). How did he manage to motivate his employees? He did so through building a strong culture of customer satisfaction and innovation. Jeff wanted Amazon to be "Earth's biggest anything store," and...