Amazon leadership Principles - Frugality and Earn Trust

Next Amazon Principles are Frugality and Earning trust. We will discuss these two in detail and take a look at the questions associated with them. To eliminate any kind of overlapping we will go by each topic one by one.


The next principle is Frugality, the word Frugal in literal English means spending less and spending carefully. Frugality again might seem like a confusing word for a few as it also has a direct relation with misery which is not seen positively often however here in Amazon's terms it holds a slightly different meaning. Here is what Amazon says

"Accomplish more with less. Constraints breed resourcefulness, self-sufficiency, and invention. There are no extra points for growing headcount, budget size, or fixed expense."

Highlighting the main points, we get

Accomplish more with less

This point right here talks about the 'limited resources but more results' concept. Amazon expects you to shine even with minimal effort and resources. This principle tests all the aspects such as if you can deliver results with less manpower or if you could achieve a high sales target with just limited resources all of this count here.

Questions you could expect

  • A time when you implemented a mechanism that saved money for your business
  • A time when you spotted something in the business was wasting money


Answering in the STAR format


We know already by now that most of the questions start with asking about a situation directly hence there is no heavy trick required to insert the situation, it is pre required.


If you were able to save money what was the task you were required to do, if you saved on the manpower, you could add the requirement of initial manpower along with the task.


Again, your time to shine, what did you do? How did you manage it? You could talk about your excellent delegation skills or your budgeting skills, everything that can show you as a person of great value here.


Then comes the most important and concluding part of the answer to your results. Do not just mention whether you were able to produce results or not but also mention the magnitude of the results, if you increased sales then by how much? Mention these details here.

Earn Trust

As a simple yet vague principle, we know what earning trust in the literal sense means, but to earn who's trust? Here is what Amazon says

"Leaders listen attentively, speak candidly, and treat others respectfully. They are vocally self-critical, even when doing so is awkward or embarrassing. Leaders do not believe their or their team's body odor smells of perfume. They benchmark themselves and their teams against the best."

Highlighting the major points

"...Leaders do not believe their or their team's body odor smells of perfume. They benchmark themselves and their teams against the best."

The following sentence can give you an idea that it is talking about the team and their trust which sure is important as if you do not have trust in your team your coordination and productivity would likely get hampered. However, look at the opening sentence as well

"Leaders listen attentively, speak candidly, and treat others respectfully..."

This right here talks in a broader sense; it could be in a meeting or a formal conversation or even this interview, this principle can be very evident even from your etiquette in the interview.

Questions to expect

  • A time you significantly contributed to improving morale and productivity on your team
  • 3 things you’re working on to improve overall effectiveness
  • A time you received tough or critical feedback.


Answering with the STAR method


Again, start with describing the situation, but here is a catch, unlike other questions here you are not necessarily asked about a problem, hence you have to be quick with your wits to find the situation that does not necessarily tackle a problem could be challenging.


Next up is the task, again there is no guarantee that there will be a specific task in these questions, such as questions about building trust, yes you can and you should pick up examples of something very specific but the questions are most of the time focused on a long-term result as trust is built in a long term.


Actions here could be the things you did to gain their trust; it is important as it talks about the main stuff that you did in detail.


Then the final part results, yes this is as important as ever if the questions are like tell me when you were able to win the trust of someone make sure your results are positive as you are asked about your successful results.


That brings us to the end of another blog, remember there are still more principles we are supposed to cover, hence stick around till we cover the remaining principles.