How CEOs Hire: Jeff Bezos on having an “explorer mentality”

Some companies, if you wanted to put it into a single word, they have a conqueror mentality, and we have an explorer mentality. And the people who like our mentality of exploration and pioneering, they tend to stay here, and have fun here, and that’s self-reinforcing.

Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO, Amazon

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos starts his High Orde...

Photo credit: Wikipedia

In the wake of Jeff Bezos’ purchase of The Washington Post this week, I thought this insight from him on Amazon’s culture and what he looks for in new employees particularly revealing. Often, companies that are hyper-focused on the competition can become reactive rather than proactively looking for ways to innovate. That said, one size does not fit all when it comes to company values or culture. Bezos has done a great job managing for the culture he wants, with a consistent set of values. In the process, he has certainly broken new territory in the digital domain and in cloud computing. Hopefully, an old media property like The Washington Post will benefit from his entrepreneurial approach and experience. Here’s some additional insight into what he looks for in his employees, from a Business Insider article:

When they wake up and are thinking in the shower in the morning, they’re thinking about customers, and thinking about how to invent on behalf of customers, and they find that fun. And if you get here, and you find that you get your motivation from having a more competitive-focused culture, you might find our culture dull. We don’t. We find a culture intensely fun.

Related articles:

Jeff Bezos on Leading for the Long-Term at Amazon (Harvard Business Review)

Can Amazon CEO ship online savvy to Wash. Post? (Businessweek)

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