We want missionaries, not mercenaries

Our early emphasis on finding people with high SAT scores who could answer hard questions like “How many windows are there in Seattle?” produced people who were smart, but the process didn’t tell us whether they would thrive at Amazon. Jeff often said in those days, “We want missionaries, not mercenaries.” We have all encountered mercenaries in our career. They are in it to make a fast buck for themselves, they don’t have the organization’s best interests at heart, and they don’t have the resolve to stick with your company through challenging times. Missionaries, as Jeff defined the term, would not only believe in Amazon’s mission but also embody its Leadership Principles.

Working Backwards: Insights, Stories, and Secrets from Inside Amazon – Amazon Link