Amazon LPs: Ownership

Amazon’s Leadership Principles, or LPs help its employees hold themselves and each other accountable, through tangible and measurable qualities that guide and lead decision-making, with customers at the forefront.

This article will focus on the principle of ownership.

What is ownership?

Amazon’s official quote for this principle is:

Leaders are owners. They think long term and don’t sacrifice long-term value for short-term results. They act on behalf of the entire company, beyond just their own team. They never say “that’s not my job.”

A true leader demonstrates a vested interest in the success of her or his program or product, end-to-end. As large as Amazon is, it’s two-pizza teams behave very much in a startup mentality, and as such a founder of a startup projects ownership and “having skin in the game”.

When you have skin in the game, it isn’t for the duration of the project lifecycle, but for the duration of the product lifecycle. That means, you don’t aim for short-term results at the expense of the long term, you don’t shortcut and absorb bad decisions to release the program on time, but only end up paying for it later on.

This is a cultural mentality and not something everyone can possess, but it shows entrepreneurship and resourcefulness, cutting the bureaucratic tapes and instead of saying “it’s not in my job description”, you demonstrate “all hands on deck”.

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