Former colleagues say Mr. Jassy would spend enormous amounts of time on the narrowest of details if he thought it was important. … When an AWS data center in Virginia was hit by a major outage, Mr. Jassy personally got involved in figuring out the problem. It turned out a technician had been checking a generator and the door accidentally bumped into a switch, shutting it off. Mr. Jassy dug into the incident and pressed the team to redesign the generators. When the CEO is digging at that level, everyone at the company starts to dig at the same level.
Flexibility and a detail-oriented mindset are leadership qualities that Jassy shares with Bezos. As at many founder-led firms, Amazon’s corporate culture has mimicked these traits, and the colossus has historically been able to jump on opportunities quickly and quality-control its organizational capabilities.
Idea for Impact: A fundamental duty of leadership is to guide an organization’s collective awareness. Attention to detail (without micromanagement) matters. When leaders don’t really care about the details and are content to produce low-quality work, their teams will start to do, too.
In areas where influential leaders aren’t detail-focused, they have somebody on their teams that does. Apple’s Steve Jobs famously focused on creativity and innovation while relying on Tim Cook and his tight-knit team of operations executives to run Apple’s operations.