Comparative Analysis Of The Two Leaders: Jeff Bezos And Elon Musk
Amazon:Amazon. com., Inc located in Seattle, Washington, the United States of America and established in May 1996 by Mr. Jeff Brezos. It’s been known as one of the largest internet retailers in the world and its competitor – Alibaba who has shared the online retail market with. By using the method of online retail website, the presence of Amazon has been in 14 countries through 3 divisions: Amazon Web Services (AWS), International and North America. Thanks to the advantage of its technology, the Company not only provides best services, but also offers variety products to customers. When running business, Amazon plays a role of trader in which it purchases from vendors for resale or receives the offers from third-party.
Amazon has approached their frequent members by hundreds of exclusive & special deals through their channel and delivery process is simplified via website (Reuters, 2018). It cannot be denied that there are many reasons which have made Amazon to be a fast-growing company. Firstly, it provides good & reliable services, fast delivery and competitive prices which all together create Amazon to be one of the best sustainable competitive advantages. Secondly, the Company has been leading by one of the world best leader – Mr. Jeff Bezos (Cohan, 2018). Under Jeff’s management, Amazon has become the world’s best business with its second - quarter profit of $2. 53 billion in 2018 (Stevens, 2018). Jeff Bezos can be picked as a typical example for Transformational Leadership. Under Jeff Bezos’ leadership skills, Amazon has been turned from a little-known online company that sold books at discount to become the largest internet retailers in the world in which it has been dominating in variety industries, such as media, electronics, and so on (Quain, 2018) Jeff has an ability to view the processes of work, strategies of development, quality of services and products which very few people can see. Jeff Bezos who came from the finance world, has brought a new vision for e-commerce industry.
In particular, through Jeff’s strategic methods such as offering discounts, celebrating mass readership of bestsellers, the number of books has been sold better than other publishers and bookstore can (Quain, 2018). By July 1995, in its first month, Amazon was successful to sell books to customers in 50 states and 45 countries while many skeptics had thought that Jeff was crazy, and his company would soon to go bankrupt. The innovation factor is also vital in Amazon’s strategic development plan which Jeff Bezos focuses on (McGinn, 2014).
Therefore, Kindle is invented in order to transform the industry of bookselling. The new revolutionized reading has brought to readers more clean-sheet by changing from printed paper or hardcover books to digital media via wireless network. By July 2018, under Jeff Bezos’s management, Amazon established a giant value of more than $900 million (Quain, 2018). In 2013, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has made many people surprised when buying the Washing Post for $250 million because he did not know any of the newspaper business. Interestingly, in less than three years, the outlook of 140-year-old newspaper has been changed completely by revamping its website and mobile apps. Under approach on the business and technology sides, Jeff made the post friendlier to readers by creating a program which takes articles from other publications and allows readers to choose which objects they’d like to read (Kim, 2016). It cannot be denied that the Washington Post has been revived by Jeff Bezos’s strategic development plan in which the post’s culture has been turned into a more tech-focused organization. Yet, Jeff Bezos inspires others by his vision, along with action and innovation. Another reason that makes Jeff Bezos to be one of the 100 Best Performing CEOs is his impact to employees. Jeff Bezos encourages and motivates his employees to create change which helps Amazon growing and shaping highly competitive environment. The fundamentals of work ethic and personal accountability are also promoted by Jeff.
As a result, employees are inspired to take action and ownership as well. Under Jeff’s exceptional leadership skills, a working culture which inspires and encourages employees by sense of confidence and strength has been created, leading to the success of Jeff’s business (Kim, 2016). By launching Amazon’s 14 Leadership Principles, Jeff Bezos understands what his employees’ likes and dislikes; therefore, he designed the guidelines to drive the innovative thinking and effective response for his employees. Moreover, Jeff’s attitude and action shows employees that hard work will receive pays off in the end (Premack, 2018). In conclusion, Jeff Bezos is a great model of transformational leader and one of the best leaders ranked by Harvard Business Review published in 2013, because he complies full of factors such as a wide scope for organizational culture when implementing new ideas, providing motivation and inspiration with his employees (Hansen et al, 2013). Laura (2018) mentioned about that Jaffe Bezos is a regular person to keep him living in a healthy life.
Although, he always gets up early, but he seldom books the meeting time before 10am, in his words is he need to have good sleep to help him to make high quality decision. And he also enjoy to have family life with his child, he has enough time to have breakfast with his kids and arrange good time meeting with his employees. Stone (2013) in his book mentioned that Bezos is a transactional leader because he can focus on the mission or task and try to find the most suitable people to make team to meet with the task. The employee can be satisfied with doing their work and match with the leader’s willing. And as a transformational leader Bezos played a role as change agent, he made a connection between firm’s long-range objectives and employee’s’ values, to establish a structure of interest and commitment to push forward the team go beyond ordinary possibilities. And all people can see the growth of Amazon since Bezos’s lead. Brandt (2011) mentioned about Bezos’s visionary and innovative leadership style, Bezos focus on the requirements from customer and make the requirements as a target to reach, that is quite different from other companies, those companies would like to create something and obvious customer’s response (like or not).
And the key point of Amazon’s succeeds rely on Bezos’s managing innovation and persist in long term. From his previous letter to Amazon’s shareholders, Bezos announce that he will not give up long-term development to achieve good quarterly results. Levy (2011) pointed out that Bezos knows E-commerce is an emerging industry at that time, and the way to make business become more flexible is motivate employees and bring them more freedom and establish a sense of responsibility. Bezos firmly believes those companies who wants to have free ride cannot doing better than us over time. His vison is correct but at the beginning it is hard to insist. Kantor & Streitfeld (2015) indicate that Bezos clear about the process of innovation is inevitably accompanied by risks but he accepts it without worry. But he is an exacting taskmaster because he wants to get a clearly reply from his think tank, he doesn’t want to hear uncertainty answer but he also encourage and reward his staff, he is strict at beginning at least you need to have a good idea and structure and put it on his table (you cannot invest a doomed fail project) but he doesn’t interfere those project which is running.
For amazon, Bezos’s leadership is successful, but cruel, and there is still some resentment from employees. Kantor & Streitfeld (2015) mentioned in their article, nearly all staff cried in their workplace when they work for Amazon, because of the brutal competitive environment of work, it makes their staff have to squeeze themselves to bring more creative idea and make it getting come true. And the author pointed out that Amazon's brutal internal competition makes thire employees' work affects their normal life and rest, because the staff have to always be prepared to reply their email in anytime and bring more benefit with Amazon to show their self-worth, a lot of them can not enjoy their family life since the work overtime to help them to get good performance. For example, a couple, they are in vacation but the housband has to stay with his in wifi zone to wait her finished her work for Amazon. TESLANo doubt, Tesla is the most successful all-electric vehicles company around the world. Model S, Tesla designed, has become the best car in its class in every category (Tesla, 2018). Tesla’s followers are not only being drawn to the vehicles but also the idea of Tesla, which says Tesla builds not only the car but also the future people want. Why Tesla could have so many fanatical followers? Elon Musk is the best answer. Elon Musk is a gifted entrepreneur from America, but he was born in South Africa in 1971, even in his childhood, he also showed a talent for the computer so that created a video game and successfully sold it to a magazine and got a reward of $500. (Gregersen, 2018).
After he gave up his graduate degree, he started his career with his brother Kimbal Musk, they founded a project, which provides online information for a news agency. Continuously, his partner with he founded PayPal, which is online payment system. PayPal contributed to online consumers could pay safely and conveniently, and it also becomes the most successful and popular online payment method. At the early 21 century, Elon Musk started a new business filed of his entrepreneurial career. Space X is a personalized space launch company, bear the task of sending rockets (Mair, 2016). Furthermore, Tesla Motors makes him more known. We believe Elon Musk is a model of a transformational leader, the reason for that is his behaviors.
As Bennis and Nanus (1985) identified vision, social architects, trust and creative deployment of self are the four common strategies used by leaders in transforming organizations. Musk displays all four sides. Vision. Musk always has a clear vision about what he wants to do and what the company would do next, he suggested that the faster the world stops relying on fossil fuels and moves towards a zero-emission future, the better (Tesla, 2018), and he announced his plans for the colonization of Mars in 2016 (The Economist, 2017). With such a clear vision, the people within the company would easy to know how they follow with the overall direction of the organization (Northouse, 2013, p. 173). Social Architect. Musk is able to make people accept a new group identity, even a new philosophy (Northouse, 2013, p. 173). When everyone thinks that is impossible to make humans into a “multi-planetary species”, he offered an update on his plans that SpaceX is now doing serious design work (The Economist, 2017), and each update is the best way to inspire his followers. Trust. As Northouse said, it is necessary for leaders to build trust by articulating a direction and then consistently implementing the direction even though the vision may have involved a high degree of uncertainty (Northouse, 2013, p. 173). Musk is considered a model of that.
When Tesla faced a shortage of capital, he declared: "I am personally standing behind delivering the cars and the deposits for the company (Page, 2008). " This action made the employees have more confidence in him. Creative deployment of self. Needless to say, Musk is a perfectly effective leader who is able to immerse himself in his tasks and the overarching goals of the company (Northouse, 2013, p. 173). He spends most of his time to work, he works 100 hours per week which is twice as many working hours. There is no doubt Elon Musk is a fruitful entrepreneur, but he is destructive as a leader. These destructive behaviors are toxic leaders, for instance, normally their followers would be worse due to toxic leadership (Lipman-Blumen, 2005). Dark leadership could destruct the leader itself, his followers and the entire organizational environment, just like a toxic triangle affecting each other (Podilla et al, 2007). Musk always ignores the advice of the people who work for him and the people around him, his behavior usually takes a lot of risks (Jardine, 2018). Such as workers from Tesla factories complained about that working for Elon Musk is in the hell, many workers have to overwork (Will, 2017).
With the Elon’s leadership, Tesla is always in a tense atmosphere, and the high-intensity work increases the probability of workers being injured. Meanwhile, Elon Musk’s personal life is a mess. Elon Musk is not pay attention to his family, just like he spends much time on his career, he even no time accompany with his family, he experienced two wife and three marriages in his life, even the final marriage ended in failure, his second wife complained Elon Musk not only dominate his business, but also control family (Marston, 2018). With such a strong desire to control everything, his own body is also exhausted. He once disclosed it to the media that 120 hours working time per week lead to both body and spirit is weak, even board members want him to come down from CEO position (Gelles, 2018). Musk tried to seriously mislead investors in the privatization of Tesla, including making statements about investors supporting their privatization plans, as well as funding guarantees. So, Tesla is entangled in the lawsuits, there is no way to make any financing (David, 2018). Elon’s behavior affected the capital chain of Tesla’s production. Investors began to doubt and did not continue to provide fund, Tesla is getting into trouble.
Comparison Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, and Jeff Bezos, CEO of amazon are huge symbolic figures of the business world at the present time, their inventions have gained substantial attention from the media and the public. Bezos and Musk have a lot in common, both of them share a compelling vision of what the future grasps, as well as their passion and interest towards space, with Musk eagerness to colonize and settle on Mars, and Bezos dream of taking a mass of people to space and setting-up. Their passionate interest in space enabled both men to create their own spacecraft companies in order to pursue their visions of settling and living in space. We agree that Jeff Bezos and Elon musk are both transformational leaders, but their approach is different.
On the first hand, Elon musk suffer from an unwillingness to delegate, and we believe that this reluctance can lead to a huge deal of wasted time and energy, and in the worst-case scenario, the leader will struggle more in the future to delegate power and will become independent, he might think abandoning the total control will weaken him will not trust his followers to perform their tasks properly. Elon Musk undermines one of the most important leadership responsibilities, delegating power, his proneness to underestimate his subordinates represent his major flaw.
On the other hand, Jeff Bezos motivates and fosters his subordinates to create change, he encourages inquisitiveness, intellectuality and critical thinking by pushing them to think on their own. This culture of autonomy and creativity will develop employee’s mindset and enable them to participate in the process of decision-making. As a result, followers will be inspired to enact and create an opportunity for them to put their own idea into practice. Not to mention that Jeff Bezos pays close attention to employees’ needs and dislikes, give them the space they need so they can discover creative ways to achieve their goals. This empowerment will be an effective driver of growth and achievements and will result in building a bond of trust and loyalty between Jeff Bezos and his team. Empowerment and responsibilities delegation are signs of confident transformational leaders. Elon musk’s lack of these qualities make Jeff Bezos a better leader.
In terms of treaing employees, Elon Musk prefer to create tension working atmosphere, As we discussed above Musk can work 120hours per week that makes his life mess, his living stly can not help him to give a good decision even though he is a workaholic but he is tired which can not bring a good result. However Bezons is liveing in a really good life style he can make good arrange with work and life, in his mind an enough break can help him to make good decision and bring well performance to his company. Meanwhil Musk’s disorderly personal life also makes him in a terrible life he has already divorced and sometimes he Caught in a sex scandal which takes him a lot of vigor and do harmful to the company's image, but Bezos never has bad press in his private life he has a stable family with his wife and kids which can help him to put more focus on his job instead of deal with different kinds of scandal.
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