Take the infamous Fire phone as an example. While certainly a failure of massive proportions, Bezos acknowledges that the Fire phone paved the way for the development and wild success of Amazon's Echo and Alexa.
Whether failing or succeeding at levels unfathomable to most of us, Bezos has described the process behind the decision-making of his business affairs as a matter of the heart.
Run that by me again, you say?
Speaking at the Economic Club of Washington, D.C. back in 2018, Bezos shared a more humane philosophy to doing business that the media rarely portrays:
All of my best decisions in business and in life have been made with heart, intuition, guts... not analysis. If you can make a decision with analysis, you should do so. But it turns out in life that your most important decisions are always made with instinct, intuition, taste, heart.
Science's take on leading with the heart
You've probably heard at one time or another the advice to "follow your heart" at the crossroads of a major decision. While that may be Bezos' personal mantra to making his own (according to his rather-surprising admission in the interview), leading with instinct, intuition, and certainly taste is hard to pull off without the heart orchestrating it all.
And who knew Jeff Bezos, often portrayed by the media as cutthroat in his management style, was actually a softie? Actually, that impression (if you've gone there) may be far from the truth. While many of us will tag the word "heart" to all sorts of negative associations in business, medical science has arrived at a different conclusion than conventional thinking.
That blood-pumping organ inside your chest doesn't just function to circulate blood and supply oxygen to your body. What science has discovered is that the heart and brain work together as an intelligent unit, communicating with each other. In fact, the heart appears to be the boss of the brain -- transmitting more signals to it than the reverse.
In an interview with author Marc C. Crowley, Dr. James Doty, a world-class brain surgeon and author of the best-selling book, Into The Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon's Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and The Secrets Of The Heart, notes, "Rather than passively waiting for instructions to the brain, the heart not only thinks for itself, it sends signals to the rest of the body."
He explains that most of us aren't even aware that the heart has anything to do with "influencing human choices, decisions, and motivations." He tells Crowley, "All leaders must know that the heart can have more influence on your success than your brain."
Rollin McCraty, Ph.D, executive vice president and director of research at HeartMath Institute, tells Crowley that studies confirm "the heart routinely informs the brain of the body's emotional state, and the outcome has a profound impact on brain functioning and decision-making."
McCraty explains to Crowley, "When human beings experience a steady flow of positive feelings and emotions (e.g. appreciation, inspiration and happiness), the heart flips into what's called 'coherence.' And when people feel appreciated by their bosses, supported, healthily connected to the people they work with, growing, loved and able to live meaningful lives, this inherently creates coherence. All boiled down, it means the communication going on between the heart and mind is so ideal that it puts people into their optimal level of performance."
Follow your heart
A recent study conducted by Medical Alert Buyers Guide that came across my desk also caught my attention. People who follow their heart tend to experience higher career and life satisfaction. While the clichéd advice of 'following your heart' isn't embraced by everyone, not following your heart because you're too 'in your head' may increase your risk of regret later about "the one that got away."
So, if you want to prosper in business and at work and lead a more satisfying life, heed the advice of the world's richest person, Jeff Bezos: follow your heart.