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More Businesses Should Follow the Jeff Bezos ‘Country Club’ Rule

Inc | Don Reisinger | Jul 11, 2020

Jeff Bezos image - More Businesses Should Follow the Jeff Bezos 'Country Club' RuleWhy the Amazon founder's simple rule might inspire innovation--not recreation--in your company.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has plenty of rules for his company to follow, but arguably none of them may be as impactful on small business success as his "country club" rule.

In his 2013 book The Everything Store, author Brad Stone recounted how Jeff Bezos would often say he didn't want Amazon to become "a country club" where people who want "to retire" land after they work hard in their careers. He'd reference Microsoft when talking about the "country club" mentality, Stone wrote, and believed Amazon should keep its fast-moving and constantly innovating culture.

In an interview with CNBC earlier this year, former Amazon executive John Rossman referenced the time he heard Bezos make the same country club analogy and explained it as follows:

"The point being that even if you're doing well in the marketplace, you always have to work hard and not hold back to ensure that you and your staff are creating a future that's every bit as bright as the one you may have inherited."

Like it or not, your business needs to stay hungry and stay away from country clubs. Just ask Jeff Bezos.

See:  Manager and machine: The new leadership equation

The truth is, there's no guarantee that the future will be bright, even if things are going well now. There's always a new innovation that comes along and changes everything. And there's always another entrepreneur ready to swoop in and steal market share.

Microsoft learned that lesson the hard way.

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