Jeff Bezos hadn’t yet settled on a name for his company, but he had settled on the one skill that was essential for his first job opening in 1994. Bezos was looking for a talented Unix developer to work for Cadabra, later renamed Amazon. To land the job, Bezos said:
“Top-notch communication skills are essential.”
Today, 25-years later, top-notch communication skills are so essential that when LinkedIn surveyed 4,000 hiring professionals, “leadership and communication” topped the list of must-have job requirements.
Bezos was ahead of his time. For my new book, Five Stars, I interviewed HR managers, authors, historians, entrepreneurs and CEOs. The theme that emerged was that communication skills are even more important today than they were when Amazon started.
For example, I spoke to author and tech journalist Brad Stone who wrote a book on Amazon called The Everything Story. Stone argues that successful startups today are often run by “extroverted storytellers,” entrepreneurs who can convince employees, partners, investors and customers that their vision is worth pursuing.