“Everything starts with Customer Obsession,” Amazon Australia’s vendor manager for Softlines – Luggage and Accessories, Samson Adams said. “ There is not a conversation or a meeting where the customer isn’t mentioned. I heard that before I joined and it turns out it’s 100% true. It also turns out you end up making better decisions because of it. There’s no question about that.”

Adams joined Amazon Australia two months before it launched in Australia. It was a busy time, but a fun one too. However, launch was not the finishing line for Amazon Australia, but just the beginning. Adams, who began as an Account Manager in the Seller Services team embraced the opportunity to move within the company one year later due to another Amazon Leadership Principle—Learn and Be Curious.

“One of the things I love about Amazon is the Leadership Principle Learn and Be Curious. Simply put, I love any chance I get to learn something new, inside and outside of work,” Adams said. “It is rewarding to confront moments of ignorance and address knowledge blind spots to make better decisions for the customer. This focus on learning extends to your career and when the opportunity presented itself to join a new team and learn a different part of the business I felt it was one I couldn’t miss.”

Two more Leadership Principles Adams subscribes to are Insisting on High Standards and Thinking Big. Everything at Amazon is done with an eye to the customer. Both Leadership Principles ensure team members are always looking for ways to improve, to push boundaries and to think outside the box. Yet, the company realises that there will be missteps along the way.

“Mistakes are very much something you can do at Amazon; you are given the freedom to do hard work, to solve hard problems and in doing so you are going to make mistakes. And that’s expected. As long as you’re approaching them in a productive way there is a lot that can be gained from mistakes. The learnings and follow-ups will benefit the customer. They will benefit you too. At Amazon you are encouraged to go out there and do hard things even though they have a higher likelihood of mistakes because doing hard things is the way you’re going to make something truly worthwhile.

“No one ever discourages you from doing something. They discourage you from doing things because you’re not thinking enough about the customer, you’re not thinking big enough. That can be hard, but it is incredibly rewarding. And when you do something big and you see it come to fruition, it’s unbelievable.”