Bias for Action Amazon- Amazon’s Leadership Principles

Bias for Action Amazon

Amazon is a customer-centric organization with a top-down hierarchical organizational structure. It is visible that the CEOs are accountable for keeping the business on track. Therefore, implementing a bunch of guiding principles often helps the CEOs in representing their objectives. The employees, the customers, the partners, and other stakeholders revolve around those principles to maintain the integrity of the organization. The topic is ‘Bias for Action Amazon’.

These leadership principles should promote innovation and the betterment of the stakeholders. Establishing them is easier for small companies but not for larger ones.

Amazon’s Leadership Principles

The leadership principles of Amazon are described in a few sentences that teach the meaning of each principle with the methods to implement them practically.

Some Aims Of These Principles Are:

  1. To guide Amazon in making business decisions.
  2. To teach various leadership methods to the leaders.
  3. To help the company to be customer-centric, stay close to the customers, and solve their problems
  4. To push the company on the path of innovation.
  5. To have an eye on the trends and competitors.
  6. To work with great power and keep the customer’s trust.
  7. To be open to growth, adaptation, and learning.
  8. To keep the company alert in an ever-changing environment.

The Principles:

  1. Customer Obsession
  • The journey of leaders starts from the customers, while their work goes in the backward direction.
  • They work with great power to win and maintain the customer’s trust.
  • The leaders have to keep an eye on the competitors, but they prioritize the customers.
  1. Ownership
  • This ownership is related to the leaders.
  • They have a far sight and they don’t compromise with the long-term goals for the sake of short-term goals.
  • They represent the whole company and act on their behalf instead of just thinking for their allocated team.
  • They cannot be irresponsible towards any type of job.
  1. Invent And Simplify
  • Leaders want the teams to bring up innovation and invention. They always try methods for simplification.
  • They are aware of the external factors, try to hunt for new ideas from everywhere, and invent everything.
  • They also agree that they may be misunderstood for a long time.
  1. Are Right, A Lot
  • The leaders have strong judgment and positive intuitions.
  • They look for diverse opinions and try to repulse their beliefs.
  1. Learn and Be Curious
  • The leaders have to always keep on learning and improvise themselves accordingly.
  • They are curious about various new likelihoods and work to find more about them.
  1. Hire and Develop the Best
  • The employees are hired and promoted such that they boost the performance of Amazon.
  • The leaders recognize these talents and provide them with internal mobility.
  • The leaders coach others seriously to make new leaders.
  • Career choice is also handled by them on behalf of the company.
  1. Insist on the Highest Standards
  • Leaders have continuous high standards that may not be considered important by everyone every time.
  • They also encourage their teams to deliver high-quality processes, services, and products.
  • They have to ensure that the defects are not carried ahead and the fixes last long.
  1. Think Big

The leaders think differently and find new ways to serve the customers.

  1. Bias for Action
  • Speed has a great value in business.
  • Many actions don’t need a deep study as many actions and decisions can be turned around.
  1. Frugality
  • Growing the fixed budget, expense, or team members has no meaning.
  • Invention, proper utilization of resources, and self-sufficiency are enhanced.
  • More has to be accomplished with less.
  1. Earn Trust
  • They speak frankly, listen with attention, and treat others with respect.
  • They may even criticize themselves vocally.
  • They gauge the teams and themselves against the best.
  1. Dive Deep

They operate at all levels, know the details, examine regularly, and raise doubts when the metrics and the narrations differ.

  1. Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit
  • It may seem to be exhausting or uncomfortable but the leaders challenge the decisions respectfully in a disagreement.
  • They are clinging and judging. No compromise is done.
  • On determining a decision, they get committed.
  1. Deliver Results
  • They concentrate on the main inputs for the business and deliver them on time with the correct procedure.
  1. Strive to be Earth’s Best Employer
  • Leaders work to make the environment safer, diverse, productive, and high-performing.
  • They want their employees to grow, get empowered, be ready for further challenges, and have fun.
  1. Success and Scale Bring Broad Responsibility
  • Amazon’s success over all these years was visible. Leaders have to make everything better than it was. They have to be humble and better each day.

The Ninth Principle: Bias For Action

This principle means that the decision-maker is not afraid of making decisions and takes action even if it leads to skepticism. The decision-maker might have worked with a team with no bias for action. Such individuals freeze in the case of a dilemma and cannot take further decisions. But Amazon needs leaders that are ready for changes and risks without overanalyzing. They make calculated decisions that make them different.

The leaders have to look at the data, calculate it, make a plan, and stay away from getting frozen in the case of uncertainty. They don’t have to wait for approval or withdrawal. However, these decisions should not be made impulsively because impulsive decisions are not always supported by the data and can be more like just a guess. This principle can be also seen as an encouragement for the individuals to take actions, make changes, and be a self-starter. These qualities are expected by Amazon in their interviewees because these qualities lead a business towards innovation and success.

Steps To Develop A Bias For Action In The Team

  1. The Decision Making Process Should Be Simplified

Making huge documentation may slow down the process along with the team’s wish to be innovative. Thus, the team members should be allowed to try new things without going through every formality. The unnecessary steps should be eliminated in the process of approval.

  1. Trusting The Team

Employees get motivated and won’t hesitate to come up with new ideas if they feel that they are trusted by the leader. If the employees are empowered to make decisions without diving deep into the details, actions can be taken at a faster speed.

  1. Setting Deadlines

The deadlines should be achievable and set clearly. The leader should have an idea of how much time a task will require. Also, the date and time of the deadline should be mentioned clearly. This makes the team achieve the goals in time. If the deadlines are not met by the team continuously, the leader has to discuss the problems with the team members.

  1. Breaking Down A Big Target Into Smaller Goals

Instead of working on a big target as a whole, the target can be broken down into smaller goals and every goal can be achieved in a certain period. Else, testing and implementing such a huge target all at once will increase the overhead. Achieving small goals helps the team members to make their SWOT analysis personally. They will also learn a lot step by step.

  1. Perfection Is Not Always Possible

A leader can expect excellence but not perfection from the employees and they should be encouraged for the same. However, the ideas, processes, and products can be improved. An environment for continuous development helps the team members to provide the best possible outcomes instead of making them run behind perfection.

Interview Questions On Amazon’s Bias For Action

  1. Elaborate A Situation Where You Had To Be Quick In Taking A Decision.

Sample Answer:

My team had to write 12 articles within a day and submit it to the manager. It generally takes 6 days to do so. But that day, I decided to distribute the tasks according to the interests of the team members. After writing, I made them exchange the articles with each other and test them. Some of them willingly worked for 2 more hours that day. Thus, the work got completed somehow within the given deadline. I gave the credits to the team members while submitting the work.

  1. Share Your Experience Of Taking A Big Risk.

Sample Answer:

Once, a client asked me to show him a demo of the project he assigned to my team. Some of the modules of the project were not made, testing was not even started, and documentation was incomplete. Still, I and the developer showed him the completed modules. The client was not too happy to see an underdeveloped application at that stage. Thus, I made my team sit with me for some more hours for the next few days to complete the remaining part.

  1. Did You Have To Learn Something Out Of Your Scope For A Project?

Sample Answer:

Yes. I am an I.T. Engineer with experience in database handling. I knew nothing about the testing phase. Once, the project had to be submitted within 4 days, the testing process had not even started, and the tester was on long leave because of some emergency. Bothering other team members could have resulted in more delay. Thus, I didn’t sleep for 2 straight days to study for the test. After finishing the learning, I approached a tester from another department to inspect the testing done by me. That is how I completed the testing within the deadline.

  1. How Do You Handle Stress?

Sample Answer:

To handle stress in the company, I always keep the principles and values of the company in mind. Thus, I can set boundaries for myself and be ready to deal with the consequences of brushing the values. I have learned to accept and correct my mistakes. Apart from that, I listen to music and meditate daily to remain calm.

Challenges In Amazon’s Bias For Action

  • It is easy to understand and describe a bias for action. But it is difficult to implement due to the costs and waste it introduces.
  • It might mean making the mistakes and repeating them like other teams.
  • It might also mean damaging one’s own character and lowering down the trust of the fellow employees in oneself.
  • Mostly, it will be faster but for the remaining times, it might take too long damaging the productivity.
  • A bias for action might sometimes need a highly focused execution, limited approvals, limited information, and limited expenditure.


When it comes to a bias for action, Amazon considers the determined employees who can make the decisions quickly when a lot is at risk.

Frequently asked questions

  1. What Attributes Should A Leader Possess For Amazon’s Bias For Action?


The leader should be ready to make quick and best decisions. The risks should be calculated before taking any decision. However, a deep dive into the situation is not required. The leader should prioritize the long-term goals instead of the short-term goals.

  1. What Are A Few Signs Of Action Bias?


The leader doesn’t say “that’s not my job.” He/she doesn’t hesitate to get the work done even if it doesn’t belong to him/her. The leader is not afraid to make a call in challenging situations. The leader is ready to take risks and helps others who do the same. The leader holds himself/herself accountable for the downfalls.

Bias for Action Amazon- Amazon’s Leadership Principles

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