Recently, Jeff Bezos announced he would no longer be the CEO of Amazon. Instead, he will become the executive chairman later in the year. In my opinion, Bezos realized that it would be better for someone else to lead the company. He had reached his limit for his ability to positively impact and grow his company.
Bezos did mention that his responsibilities with Amazon were very time consuming. In an email about the change, he stated, “When you have a responsibility like that, it’s hard to put attention on anything else.” He told his employees that he wanted time to focus on the “Day 1 Fund, the Bezos Earth Fund, Blue Origin, The Washington Post, and my other passions.”
In my opinion, these other organizations in Bezos’s life also impacted his decision to leave, along with reaching his cap as leader of Amazon.
One of the hardest things for leaders, CEOs, and entrepreneurs to do is to recognize that they have hit their caps, or the lids of their jars. John Maxwell, a leadership guru, calls this the “Law of the Lid.”
Most leaders never recognize when they’ve hit the lid of the jar. Instead, they blame other people, and their businesses don’t grow. They stagnate, and the “Law of the Lid” is one of the biggest reasons businesses stagnate. Leaders very seldom recognize this and put themselves in the position where somewhere else can be brought in to grow the business for them.
It’s very rare that you are blessed with the traits that allow you to start a business and then grow the business the way that Bezos did.
You can be very good at starting a business, but you’re not good at running it long term. Other people are good at running businesses long term, but they aren’t good at starting them. Some people are better at being entrepreneurs, and other people are better at being professional managers.
Some people do have the ability to start at zero and go all the way to a billion in revenue. For example, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Sara Blakely (founder of Spanx), and Jamie Kern Lima (founder of IT Cosmetics) were able to start companies and turn them into billion-dollar businesses.
Although we can’t all be a Jeff Bezos or a Sara Blakely, we can all implement good leadership techniques to help our companies scale up. If you’re struggling and wondering if you’ve hit your lid, reach out to me. I can help you improve your leadership abilities and unscrew that lid from the top of the jar so you can help your company continue to grow.
Written by: Wade Wyant
Red Wagon Advisors, West Michigan Scaling Up Coach