Life is short. Some want to make a quick buck. Others, like me, in studying the 10Xers, can't afford to get it wrong. Which is why years after placing Elon Musk at #18 on my Top 20 list, we're distancing ourselves from the Elon cult and turning to the quintessential Level 5 leader, Jeff Bezos.
$20.4 billion is a lot of money. True. But why would any reasonable person cling to a larger-than-life Tony Stark or dangerous cliché of a Silicon Valley magnate, narcotics and all, when a $159 billion—or if you trust Bloomberg, $166 billion—Jeff Bezos is much easier to study? From his customer obsession to his well-documented frugality, sound management and leadership principles and practices, to what celebrated business management consultant and author Jim Collins calls empirical creativity.
Indeed as Collins rightly observes: “Level 5 leaders display a powerful mixture of personal humility and indomitable will. They're incredibly ambitious, but their ambition is first and foremost for the cause, for the organization and its purpose, not themselves. While Level 5 leaders can come in many personality packages, they are often self-effacing, quiet, reserved, and even shy. Every good-to-great transition in our research began with a Level 5 leader who motivated the enterprise more with inspired standards than inspiring personality.” So in a social media era and globally and geopolitically tricky competitive time with the average person or so-called 'entrepreneur' or 'leader' preoccupied with idolizing or emulating dangerous entrepreneurs or leaders, often for all the wrong reasons, if you're serious about getting not letting success get into your head, rise above the noise.
Therefore, in studying both the man and his business empire (click bottom images) ponder his words:
Will inertia be your guide, or will you follow your passions?
Will you bluff it out when you’re wrong, or will you apologize?
How will you use your gifts? What choices will you make?
Mindset of a Billionaire Series