You may have heard that a small e-tailer named Amazon is looking for a second headquarters in North America. And, some folks put us at the top of their list of prospective homes for Jeff Bezos’ company.
We know the impact it could lead to in Colorado: 50,000 jobs over the next 10 to 15 years, $5 billion in investment and a major boost to corporate philanthropy.
But what impact could Amazon have on how we lead in Colorado?
Over the last two years we’ve worked with the community to put a name to our own brand of leadership: Colorado’s Civic DNA™. It brings together our values and how we want to work through collaboration, a shared vision, inclusivity, responsibility and a style of leadership that doesn’t rely on power and authority, but instead focuses on pragmatism and empowering others. If you look at Amazon’s leadership principles and Jeff Bezos’ “Day 1” philosophy, I think you’ll see we’re on common ground:
Future-focused. In a letter to shareholders, Jeff Bezos talks about the importance of focusing on the long-term when it comes to business decisions. Our approach has been the same for action in our community. We know that vision – and one that’s shared in the community – matters. It leads to innovative, bold thinking. While it may take time to pay off, we’ve found that approach, with projects like Denver International Airport, means we’re making Colorado better for future generations.
Healthy curiosity. For us that means understanding that you’re never done learning as a leader – and everyone’s journey is different. In Amazon’s leadership principles, they encourage team members to learn and be curious: “Leaders are never done learning and always seek to improve themselves. They are curious about new possibilities and act to explore them.”
How we get to decisions matters. At Amazon, they’re famous for their approach to “disagree and commit.” They value inclusive conversations where diverging opinions are raised, but in the end, they strike a decision point and everyone agrees to get on board. Inclusivity and collaboration are key to what we do. Here in Colorado we pride ourselves on being respectful and willing to listen – and anyone is welcome. Our history has shown us we get more done together.
We think Amazon would love Colorado’s leadership. What do you love about Colorado that you want Amazon to know? Tell them at coloradolovesamazon.com – an exciting campaign being spearheaded by Leadership Foundation alum and 2017 9NEWS Leader of the Year Stephanie Donner.
Dan Lewis is the executive director for the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation.