What do you need to decide before you hire?

{hint} It’s not a job description, a comp plan or your onboarding manual.

No, in my mind you need to start with your principles. Good news is that some people have done a very good job of building you a template of ideas.

Enter Amazon.

I love Amazon. It delivers seamlessly to my home more often than I should admit. The day toilet paper arrived in the mail after our move, Dan groaned and I rejoiced {and would you believe it was less expensive than going to the store}.

While I adore the convenience of ordering “Essentialism”, my favorite toothpaste {Hello Fresh}, and Remy’s Christmas presents, that’s not actually what brings me back.

No, it’s there customer service. It’s not just good. It’s amazing.

This does not come from one person at the top of a customer service department screaming the need for treating people right. This comes down to hiring every employee with the mindset that the customer comes first and then empowering them with the ability to make it happen.

Every employee at Amazon is a leader. And, these are their leadership principles.

These principles are not for the feint of heart. In fact, they are meant to weed out 99% of people who want to work at Amazon, which leaves them with the 1%.

The 1% who will make sure that your customers are satisfied no matter what.

The 1% who strategizes how to both save money and build revenue at the same time.

The 1% who operates your business with the same stringency that you do, because they feel like they have ownership.

The 1% who ignores what their job title is and steps up to the smallest tasks because that’s what a great company requires.

One caveat. There must be balance in these principles. Not just a little, but a lot.

Amazon doesn’t do a great job at this balance, which explains it’s terrible turn over rate. In a quest for perfect customer service it is a wildly imperfect employee manager. So as you build your leadership principles, consider taking a peek at this article in the NY Times. As we wrote our principles, I used the thoughts from here to help me temper them with how I wanted my employees to be treated {with grace, like a family member}.

I suspect you’ll find that creating that balance may not the be the easiest, but once you find it, you’ve created a glorious place for many years to come!

With Grit and Gratitude,

PS. This summer we’re hard at work releasing our podcast {can I say that filming the first dozen episodes is serious work}. I’m sharing some of my favorite articles that have made me think and grow…hope you enjoy them as much as I have!

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