I follow a lot of successful people’s lives and stories because they inspire me to be better. One person I admire is Gary Vaynerchuk — his fans know him as “Gary Vee.” He grew up in Queens (where I now live), and worked in his family wine business. He then pioneered the use of digital marketing and social media to grow the business from $3M per year to $60M per year in the early 2000s. Over time, he founded numerous other businesses including Vayner Media which grossed over $100M by 2015. But, he doesn’t just work on building his empire — he is very intentional about helping others to find success, too. Recently, he posted a thought to LinkedIn that said, “The secret to being a good leader is to actually care about your employees.”
Gary Vee’s quote inspired many people to leave their thoughts. Most comments were positive, while some pushed back on the nuances of his post. One commenter wrote that “caring about employees” was too subjective, and you need to define your terms.
I understood the sentiment of this commenter, yet I agreed with Gary’s quote, despite its lack of specificity. Too many leaders don’t take caring into consideration. For example, Amazon’s leadership principles speak nothing of caring about the team. And while Amazon is a highly successful company, its principles don’t produce a cohesive culture, which could make it a much better company. Let’s explore Gary Vee’s thought about caring leadership and see where it takes us.
A Critique of the Amazon Leadership Principles, Part 1
Amazon is measurably better at building customer loyalty and driving sales than most companies in existence. Much of…
What Caring Means
When you care about someone, it generally means that you want them to achieve what you perceive to be their best interests. Parents who care about their children want them to live happy, healthy, and abundant lives. Friends, spouses, and others who care about each other want the same for one another too. And, the same can be said for employers who care about their teams. We care about people to different degrees, and that has a lot to do with what we have in common.