The Grapes of Amazon: Leadership & Work-Life Balance in the Innovation Age

Leadership is key to the success and failure of any company. If a leader understands the needs of the company and its human resources, there can be positive results for the company. If a leader dismisses the needs of its employees in favor of simply advancing the growth of a company, all could be compromised. Of course, most great leaders want a strong growing company propelled forward by motivated, energetic employees.

Calls for improvements in leadership and work-life balance have become more important as innovations in science and technology progress rapidly and require more of employees. Lately, the topic of work-life balance is getting its share of space in the media.

In August, the New York Times released a scathing report, “Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big Ideas in a Bruising Workplace,” about Amazon’s leadership principles, lack of work-life balance, and maltreatment of employees. Of the New York Times piece, Bezos said the Amazon that the New York Times reported on “doesn’t describe the Amazon I know or the caring Amazonians I work with every day.” Mr. Bezos sent an email to all Amazon employees, and asked that anyone who had similar issues described in the piece to contact him directly or contact human resources.

What did you learn about leadership from Mr. Bezos’ response to the NYT’s article? Was this a sufficient response?

How would many of your current and former employees describe your company’s leadership style and work-life balance efforts?


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