Andy Jassy, ​​Amazon CEO: ‘Embarrassing’ amount of your success in your 20s depends on your behavior

Generation Z may be on to something when they say that having a “delulu” mentality—having unjustified belief in yourself—is the secret to success. That’s because Andy Jassy, ​​CEO of Amazon, just revealed that what will make you stand out at the beginning of your career is not a fancy college degree or the best networker, but a positive attitude.

“An embarrassing amount of how successful you are, especially in your 20s, has to do with your behavior,” Jassy said in an interview. interview With LinkedIn CEO Ryan Roslansky.

After abandoning a career in sports broadcasting and then a career in music management, Jassy — who took over Amazon’s leadership after Jeff Bezos stepped down in 2021 — joined the tech giant in 1997 as chief marketing officer. The Harvard Business School graduates went on to launch the cloud computing platform Amazon Web Services with Bezos. By 2020, AWS was created $13.5 billion From Amazon $22.9 billion in annual operating incomeWhich makes him an obvious candidate for CEO.

Looking back, he told Roslansky: “There are a lot of things you can’t control in your work life, but you can control your behavior.”

“I think people would be surprised at how rare situations people have,” he said. “I think it makes a big difference.”

The reason Jassy believes positivity defines success is straightforward: People want to be around positive people.

“You can choose defenders and mentors much more quickly,” he added. “People want these people to succeed, which is completely controllable.”

A cheerful disposition alone won’t get you far — ambitious workers need to follow their behavior through action, Jassy cautioned.

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“Are you working hard? Are you going to do what you said you were going to do?” Asked.

The excitement doesn’t have to end with your twenties

It’s easy to assume that once you’ve risen through the ranks, it’s now your turn to pass on your knowledge to others. But Jassy cautions that your enthusiasm for learning doesn’t have to end in your 20s — or when you reach management.

“The biggest difference between the people I started with in the early stages of my career and what they do now has to do with how great they are at learning,” he said.

“There are some people who get to a certain point and it feels threatened for them when they’re learning,” Jassy noted, adding that it can highlight gaps in your knowledge and make you question whether or not you deserve your rank.

“But the moment you think you know it all, is the moment you start to really relax.”

That’s why he’s a fan of a curvy career that allows you to expand your abilities and try many different roles and industries depending on size.

“Along the way, you’ll keep picking things up if you allow yourself to,” Jassy concluded. “You’ll work your way up to something you’re really good at.”

Success begins in the school field

Before entering the working world, Jassy revealed that he was an aspiring athlete. The millionaire told Roslansky he spent “a lot” of his school time on the playground playing “all the sports”, rather than keeping his head down and studying.

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“I had this illusion that maybe I could become a professional athlete,” he revealed. “I played on the national tennis circuit and then I played football competitively, and of course I wasn’t good enough to be a professional athlete, so I’m not.”

Although Gacy failed to achieve his athletic dreams, the success he enjoys today can be attributed in part to his years on the field. A large study of Ivy League graduates shows that those who take an interest in sports – not books – in their youth become more successful than their peers later in life.

The researchers found that student-athletes were significantly more likely to obtain finance or business-related jobs after college, with higher positions and higher salaries, compared to non-athletes.

Gacy may not have known it at the time, but research suggests that while he devoted his free time to competing in soccer — which often relied on teamwork, communication and accountability — his banking skills were ripe for the boardroom.

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