Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest person, released his company’s annual letter to shareholders a few days ago. The letter is eagerly read in business circles because Bezos is a relentlessly competitive and thoughtful CEO who likes to share advice about achieving and maintaining success.The theme of his 2018 letter: having high standards.An audience we wish would read and contemplate Bezos: the political class of Illinois.Bezos, who lives in Seattle, is no irrelevant figure. He is considering Chicago among 20 potential locations for a second Amazon headquarters, which would employ up to 50,000 people. Illinois could use those jobs. If the state hopes to win the competition, officials had better understand Bezos. He’s a visionary entrepreneur and world-class manager. Chicago is a world-class city for business, but Illinois finances are a disaster. Bezos is worth nearly $130 billion. Illinois state government has a $130 billion pension system deficit.So what can Bezos teach Illinois?Obviously there are differences between government entities and the private sector, and only so much truth to the idea that a city, a state or a country can benefit from being “run like a business.” But if there are universal values of leadership, they include a commitment to… Read full this story
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