Jeff Bezos Says 'No, No, No. You're The Boss': How Amazon Founder Avoids Yes Men, Gets True Opinions From Employees

Zinger Key Points
  • Jeff Bezos has advice to bosses on how to conduct employee meetings.
  • Over the years, Bezos shared tips at how to make meetings more productive.

As the founder of, Inc. AMZN, Jeff Bezos is one of the most well-known figures in the world and one of the wealthiest.

Tips on how to conduct meetings for increased productivity could be one of the ways that Bezos and Amazon have been successful over the years.

What Happened: Bezos has a current wealth of $126 billion, ranking third in the world.

The wealth was driven by an increase in the valuation of Amazon over the years, the company Bezos led for 27 years before stepping down as CEO in July 2021.

One of the reasons Amazon might be so successful could have been Bezos’ leadership and business practices.

A company such as Amazon likely held many meetings between executives, employees and potential partners. One practice Bezos did during meetings with employees was to speak last, something his current girlfriend Lauren Sanchez recently said was one of the best business lessons she’s learned from him.

“I hold a lot of meetings, and I would talk first in a meeting, and (Bezos) goes, ‘No, no, no. You’re the boss. You talk last. You let everyone else talk, so that they don’t get swayed by your opinion,’” Sanchez said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.

Sanchez said living with Bezos has been like “having a master class every day.”

“What he’s taught me a lot about is management.”

Related Link: 5 Things You Might Not Know About Jeff Bezos 

Why It’s Important: Bezos previously shared that changing practices for meetings helped with the success of Amazon and could have been “the smartest thing we ever did” at the company.

Bezos shared in 2018 that Amazon did away with PowerPoint presentations, choosing instead to open meetings with a 30-minute silent reading period. This gave employees time to read through a detailed memo that covered the discussion topics prior to the start of the meeting.

Similar to the Bezos's speaking last, mentioned above, these meetings would see employees share reactions to the memo before the CEO would share his own thoughts.

Bezos said the silent reading helped create “the context for what will then be a good discussion.”

The former Amazon CEO said the silent reading period also ensured that attendees read through the notes rather than ignoring emails.

“Executives will bluff their way through the meeting as if they’ve read the memo, because we’re busy, and so you’ve got to actually carve out the time for the memo to get read.”

Bezos also recommended keeping meetings as short as possible once the silent reading period is done. Sanchez said Bezos told her the key was to keep meetings under an hour if possible.

CNBC reported that other business leaders such as Twitter co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey also shared a similar belief in starting meetings with a silent reading period to go over the meeting agenda.

“This practice makes time for everyone to get on the same page, allows us to work from many locations, and gets to truth/critical thinking faster,” Dorsey said.

The business advice from Bezos could be worth it for bosses and companies to consider with Amazon shares up more than 600% in the last 10 years and the company now one of the largest in the world. 

Read Next: Jeff Bezos' Girlfriend Lauren Sanchez Is Headed To Space, Here's When The Flight Will Happen And Why It's Important 

Photo: Shutterstock

Market News and Data brought to you by Benzinga APIs
Posted In: EntertainmentNewsMovers & ShakersTop StoriesGeneralBusiness AdviceJack DorseyJeff BezosLauren Sanchez
Benzinga simplifies the market for smarter investing

Trade confidently with insights and alerts from analyst ratings, free reports and breaking news that affects the stocks you care about.

Join Now: Free!