20VC: Top Three Lessons from Working with Jeff Bezos for 23 Years at Amazon, How the Best Leaders Hire, Fire, Prioritise and Make Decisions & How to Be Responsible for 1M Employees and Be a Rockstar Husband and Father with Dave Clark @ Flexport

Posted on 17th July 2023 by Harry

Dave Clark is the CEO of Flexport, the global freight forwarder and logistics platform that has now raised over $2.5BN to build the category leader. Prior to Flexport, Dave began his career at Amazon in 1999 as an Operations Manager, working his way up to become the CEO of Amazon’s worldwide consumer business in 2021. By the time Dave left, he was responsible for over 1 million employees. Dave spearheaded the launch of Amazon Robotics and grew the company’s logistics divisions to include Amazon’s own planes, trailers, and last-mile delivery vehicles through Amazon’s own delivery network (which today ships more packages than FedEx and UPS). Huge thanks to Ryan Peterson for some amazing question suggestions today.

In Today’s Episode with Dave Clark We Discuss:

1. From Operations Manager to CEO @ Amazon:

  • How did Dave Clark make his way into the world of startups with Amazon in 1999?
  • What are 1-2 of his biggest lessons from spending 23 years at Amazon?
  • What are 1-2 of his biggest takeaways from working alongside Jeff Bezos for 23 years?

2. How Big Leaders Make Big Decisions:

  • What is Dave’s decision-making framework when it comes to big decisions?
  • What is the biggest decision Dave made that went wrong? How did it impact his mindset?
  • How does Dave think through prioritization as a leader today?
  • What are the biggest mistakes founders make when it comes to focus?

3. How Big Leaders Hire Big Talent:

  • What are 1-2 of Dave’s biggest lessons on what it takes to acquire the best talent?
  • Does Dave believe that people can scale with the scaling of the company?
  • How does Dave think through the challenge of promoting internally vs bringing in external talent?
  • Why does Dave like to hire people straight out of college? What are the benefits?

4. How Big People Deal with Big Problems: Kids, Money and Ego

  • What are 1-2 of Dave’s biggest lessons when it comes to parenting?
  • How does Dave think about giving his kids the same hunger and ambition, when they are brought up in such affluent environments?
  • How does Dave assess his own relationship to money? How has it changed over time?
  • What does a truly great marriage mean to Dave? Where do so many go wrong in trying to find work-life balance?

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