There is an interesting article on CRN about Andy Jessy, who runs AWS at Amazon. It's a lengthy read, but there's a bunch of interesting tidbits in there regarding leadership, culture and building and running teams.
This is a key thing I learned over the past half a year or so at STX Next. Everybody can come up with million dollar idea, few can actually execute on them. Especially if it requires involvement of a dozen, hundred or even more people, things fall apart. It takes people with skills to execute those ideas.
People like Andy Jessy.
So, what are those people like?
So yes, there's an element of "visionary ideas" in there, but more important is the ability to explain those ideas and persuade people to come aboard.
So, how do you get there? Where do you get this skill set?
Wow. I'm putting that one on my wish list for Santa this year.
So, you are given the opportunity to build what would become AWS. Who do you put in your initial team?
And how do you behave?
This is a recurring theme in great leaders, I think. Steve Jobs had it too. Laser-focus, relentlessness and perfectionism.
What kind of background do you need to be successful in this area?
Another thing I've learned that's an extremely valuable skill -- perhaps one of the most undervalued skills: the ability to ask the right questions.
Asking questions is also a great way to push things in a certain direction, without forcing your opinion (I use this technique myself quite often):
Pulling the ropes through meetings:
I'm still puzzled about how to make this type of meeting effective: pulling together a large group of people, and going through a bunch of numbers. Highlighting bad performers and then what, humiliating them in the group to pressure them to fix performance?
These days, as a guy who no longer programs computers but "programs people." (terrible analogy, but it gets a smile when I use it to explain to developers what I do now.) These articles are super interesting to me.
So often you read about CEOs and high-level executives in successful companies and you wonder "what the hell do these guys do?" What is their job? Do they possess some specific trait or skill, or did they just happen to stumble across a good idea, were they at the right place at the right time? Increasingly I believe that execution is everything. So, I'm on a journey to master what it takes to make things happen, especially at scale.