Most of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos' relatively few Instagram posts highlight milestones achieved by his various teams. For example, he posted an update to the construction of a facility where Blue Origin rockets will be built and another promoted the latest Amazon wind farm.
But his latest post stands out: Bezos congratulates his Amazon Web Services team on setting a Guinness World Record for the largest chicken-wing-eating competition. Yup. A chicken-wing-eating competition!
The competition happened on Nov. 29 in Las Vegas. The Amazon Web Services team achieved the title with 214 participants, according to an email confirming the record to CNBC Make It from Guinness World Records.
While the chicken-wing competition may seem, at first glance, a silly post for a man worth almost $100 billion, it's a brilliant leadership strategy right out of the playbook of management guru Jack Welch.
According to Welch, the three tenants of good leadership include setting a vision, being direct — and making the work environment fun. In his two decades at the helm of General Electric, Welch grew revenues to $130 billion from $25 billion and profit to $15 billion from $1.5 billion. Market capitalization ballooned to $400 billion, growing by a multiple of 30.
Your team needs to feel like the office is the "the cool kid's basement," says Welch, speaking at the Synergy Global forum in New York City. "If you have a unit, you want the six people in your unit to think they have the world by the a-- and the same thing if you have a 400,000-person GE."
That's because, "It's not about me, it's about them. The workers," Welch says. "Am I making them so excited they hate being home on the weekend — they want to be in here, working? Am I making it so much damn fun here? Am I celebrating every little victory with a keg of beer or something else?" says Welch.
"We had kegs before you could spell Silicon Valley," he adds, referring to the tech mecca famous for its perks. "I am telling you, you have got to make your place ... the place everybody wants to be."
The chicken-wing-eating competition happened the same week as the Amazon Web Services re:Invent conference, also in Las Vegas. Throughout the week, AWS has been making announcements including scoring Time Warner's Turner broadcast unit as a client and launching a camera with artificial intelligence. The team's work has impressed at least one high profile analyst.
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