Amazon's Jeff Bezos Gives WeWork's Adam Neumann Leadership Advice: 'Speak Last In Meetings' founder Jeff Bezos has offered some unexpected advice to WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann on how to conduct meetings.

What Happened: Bezos advised Neumann to adopt a leadership style where he speaks last during meetings, a strategy promoted by a prominent organizational psychologist, as reported by Business Insider. Neumann revealed this advice during the Bloomberg Tech Summit in San Francisco on Thursday.

“I was so happy he wanted to give me any type of advice,” Neumann said. “I have investors around the table who are not only comfortable pushing back, I think they like it.”

Bezos’ advice is in stark contrast to Neumann’s previous leadership style at WeWork, which was known for its eccentricity. Neumann’s meetings were often alcohol-fueled and could last late into the night. He emphasized the importance of authenticity and connecting with others, as per the report.

Bezos, on the other hand, is known for a more corporate leadership style, including tightly orchestrated meetings. He has previously highlighted the importance of leaders holding back, aiming for a culture that allows junior staff to overrule their senior counterparts when data supports their thinking.

“I know from experience that if I speak first, even very strong-willed, highly-intelligent, high-judgment participants in that meeting will wonder, ‘Well if Jeff thinks that, I came in this meeting thinking one thing, but maybe I’m not right,'” Bezos said on the podcast with Lex Fridman in December.

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Bezos’ advice to Neumann aligns with the recommendations of organizational psychologists like Adam Grant, a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, who have long championed the idea of having the leader speak last in meetings to fight conformity and hear everyone’s original ideas.

Why It Matters: This advice from Bezos comes at a time when he has been making headlines for his unconventional leadership style. In a recent podcast, Bezos revealed his unconventional approach to productivity, which involves allowing his mind to wander during meetings to foster creativity and problem-solving.

His advice to Neumann aligns with this approach, emphasizing the importance of hearing everyone’s original ideas and fighting conformity in meetings.

Bezos’ leadership style has been a subject of interest recently, with Netflix CEO Reed Hastings crediting Bezos for inspiring his own business philosophy. Bezos’ unconventional approach to leadership continues to be a source of inspiration and discussion in the business world.

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