Start everyday the Maya Angelou and Jeff Bezos way – SCN Encourager

File this under: Easier Said Than Done

Maya Angelou lives on.

She took “the way you make people feel” personally and seriously.

No wonder she lives on through her words.

But she created more than words.

Angelou’s words carry meaning in ways that other combinations of the exact same words do not.

You might find it interesting that one of Angelou’s key life mantras has been foundational to Jeff Bezos’ success at Amazon.

(And if you don’t… well, it’s too late now. I’m on a roll!)

I don’t thinks it’s an accident Maya Angelou (who died in 2014) and Jeff Bezos (who became the world’s person this year) share this mindset.






And it’s one we can embrace, too!

Unfortunately, living this out everyday isn’t as easy as just “flicking on” a switch in our brain.

(Not that I could even find it! The wires in my brain need some radical untangling first!)

But as school leaders and communicators, how Jeff Bezos anchors his team at Amazon in Maya Angelou’s maxim is instructive.

At Amazon, Bezos insists that everyday must be approached with a DAY ONE mindset.


Because he believes all things positive and likely to “trend up” are grounded in DAY ONE characteristics.

And his DAY ONE characteristics are quite simple, really.

what’s new?,
what awaits us?,
how can we better serve?,
is there something we can improve?,
what can we learn?,
how can we better connect?,
and what exciting adventures and people will come our way today?

Contrast this to Bezos’ DAY TWO characteristics.

continuing the routine,
defending the status quo,
maintaining silos,
de-emphasizing the needs of the people we serve,
so we can shift more of the emphasis to our needs.

Given what’s contained in DAY TWO, you can see why Bezos fights like heck to avoid DAY THREE.

DAY THREE is even more dead simple – literally!

Because if you’re in DAY THREE mode, you and/or your organization are stagnant, wheeling spinning, and rapidly sliding down to irrelevancy and insignificance.


How can you not see the value of embracing and promoting a DAY ONE approach?

You sure can’t knock the results.

A DAY ONE approach helped both Maya Angelou and Jeff Bezos become incredibly rich, each in their own different ways.

So I’m definitely going to give it a try.

Starting tomorrow.

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