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Thom Rainer reflects:
- Throw away the box. Most of the time we use the well-worn phrase “Think outside the box.” The problem with that type of thinking is that the box is still our point of reference. We need to be asking how we can do things well beyond our existing and traditional systems. It’s a difficult but necessary exercise. Amazon is Amazon because they refused to use current paradigms as their starting point.
- Hard work is strategy. I’ve never known a successful leader who did not expend years working hard. Sometimes we tend to think that there is a lot of luck in success. While there may be fortuitous circumstances, great leaders work hard to take advantage of them. Just eighteen years ago, Bezos was taking Amazon packages to the post office himself.
- “Complaining is not a strategy”. A lot of energy has been expended complaining about Amazon. Many have said they have unfair competitive practices. Others object to the way they acquire companies. Great leaders don’t waste time complaining about others. They use the precious resource of time to look to the future. The reason I have the sentence above in quotation marks is because it came directly from Bezos in the interview. It was my favorite quote of the segment.
- Constantly take incremental steps to do everything better. Even if Amazon is not making dramatic changes or causing disruptive innovation, the company is constantly seeking to improve its existing systems. If you decide to watch the segment, see how they are improving their fulfillment centers incrementally but constantly. Continuous small improvements lead to major improvements.
- Create your own disruptive innovation. It is better for an organization to innovate, even if hurts your existing services, products, or even ministries. If you don’t innovate, some other organization will, and the lifespan of your organization will be reduced.
Books by Thom Rainer: