Jeff Bezos and Barack Obama Share 1 Leadership Trait, According to an Exec Who Worked for Both – Inc.

Jeff Bezos and Barack Obama Share 1 Leadership Trait, According to an Exec Who Worked for Both – Inc.

Jeff Bezos
What do Jeff Bezos and Barack Obama have in common? They're both incredibly good at leading for the long-term. It's tough to imagine two public figures more dissimilar than Barack Obama and Jeff Bezos. Obama has a Nobel Peace Prize, while Bezos has been described as ruthless and his personal motto translates to "stepping ferociously." Michelle Obama wrote in her memoir that worry about financial inequality kept her husband awake at night. There could be a lot of things keeping Bezos up at night but it's safe to say financial inequality isn't one of them. He's the world's wealthiest human, but many of Amazon's employees were resorting to food stamps, right up until senator Bernie Sanders introduced legislation to tax companies whose employees earn so little that they use public assistance to get by. It was only then that Amazon raised its company-wide minimum to $15. And yet, they do have one important leadership trait in common, according to Jay Carney, ((??)) and former ((??)), and it's a trait that may explain why both of them are so successful: They don't manage for the short term. For both men, taking a long-term view ....


"He was a phenom who had risen from nowhere to become a candidate for president, " Carney said. "He wasn't part of the Washington game. He hadn't been running for president for most of his adult life and he hadn't been on the national stage." That meant he didn't see things the way most Washington insiders did. "He wouldn't do things that I, and some of his other advisers, would tell him that he absolutely had to do because this is what one does to win the day, or win the week in the media cycle, " Carney recalled. "He'd always listen, sometimes agree, but often just say, 'No, I'm not doing that.' And we might pay a price in the near term politically, but it was very consistent with the way he saw things."  Unprofitable Amazon Bezos looks at things through the same long-term lens, Carney said. Do you remember that for many years, so-called financial experts argued that Amazon was a bad investment because it didn't report a profit? In case you've forgotten, here's an Inc. Q&A with Bezos from 1997, shortly after Amazon went public. .

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