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Leadership Principles for the Modern Revenue Organization

Business leaders come in all shapes and sizes, so do their leadership styles. However, great business leadership principles tend to stand the test of time.Business leaders come in all shapes and sizes, so do their leadership styles. However, great business leadership principles tend to stand the test of time.

This article will discuss some of the most critical leadership principles for the modern revenue organization, from the Chief Revenue Officer to the front-line managers.

To do this topic justice, we will look at leadership principles put forth by some of the most outstanding businesses and organizations in the process.

Lets’s dive right in.

What do we mean by leadership principles?

Leadership principles are beliefs and codes of behavior that leaders use to guide their decision-making and overall behaviors.

Many of the best organizations, and their leaders, have shared theirs.

Leadership Principles from Amazon

Jeff Bezos, the Founder of Amazon, has focused the entire company on these principles, and the Amazon leadership principles are publicly available for anyone to read on their website.

We will share each principle for this article and translate that into terms applicable to the modern go-to-market team.

Let’s dive into the 14 leadership principles.

First – In Bezos Own Words

Second – Our Summary

Customer Obsession

The revenue team is paid to meet the revenue goals set by the business. They must obsess over each customer’s ability to receive value in working with your company and, in so doing, achieving their success.


This team owns that revenue target, and they are thinking strategically over the long-term while also ensuring their teams are hitting their quota and forecasts in the short term.

They remain focused on the company’s overall success and don’t shy away from owning their internal challenges and solving them.

Invent and Simplify

The modern organization understands they won’t have all the answers. They look to others, other CROs, other businesses, other industries to discover new ideas simplify, and apply them to their business needs.

Are Right, A Lot

Guided by data, a deep understanding of their customers and market, and many experiences, the teams know how to make the right decision decisively and move forward.

Learn and Be Curious

Sharks die when they stop swimming. Great revenue leaders do the same when they stop learning.

Hire and Develop the Best

Each hire represents a step forward for the organization. This applies to any new employee, in any role, on the team. Great revenue teams and their leaders strive to improve with each hire and continuously grow themselves and their teams.

Insist on the Highest Standards

Great revenue leaders have high standards and expectations – for themselves and their teams.

And when they hit those standards, they keep pushing to see how far they can go.

These standards apply not only to the way they sell to and care for customers, it applies to the products and solutions they sell.

Think Big

Great leaders want to achieve great things.

Bias for Action

Analysis paralysis can kill teams.

Gather data, analyze it quickly, make a decision, and execute.


Accomplish more with less.

Great revenue organizations understand that they don’t need every new software tool and device. They need to focus on the process, understanding customers, and flawless execution.

They buy what they need, hire additional teammates, but start with the mentality of solving challenges with what they already have in place first.

Earn Trust

No one is perfect. From the CRO down, everyone owns their mistakes, respectfully identifies when things are not working, and seeks continuous improvement.

Dive Deep

No task is beneath the leaders or anyone else on the team.

Dig in when necessary to learn or help.

Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit

Revenue teams can debate strategy and tactics with them and each person is expected to get the best ideas out. However, once a final decision is made, execute and make it work.

Deliver Results

Get the job done. When you commit to a revenue forecast, find a way to hit it.

Strive to be Earth’s Best Employer

The success of your employees is essential. Achieving business targets while creating unhealthy, harmful environments is not acceptable.

Success and Scale Bring Broad Responsibility

Leaders create more than they consume and always leave things better than they found them.

This belief principle should apply to your entire revenue organization.

Those are the 14 leadership principles of Amazon.

Let’s look at another organization.

Leadership Principles from the United States Marine Corps

As with the Amazon leadership principles, the Marine Corps publishes its principles.

First, our summary

The 11 leadership principles of the US Marine’s Corp are:

  • Know yourself and seek self-improvement
  • Be technically and tactically proficient
  • Know your Marines and look out for their welfare
  • Keep your Marines informed
  • Set the example
  • Ensure the task is understood, supervised, and accomplished
  • Train your Marines as a team
  • Make sound and timely decisions
  • Develop a sense of responsibility among your subordinates
  • Employ your command in accordance with its capabilities
  • Seek responsibility and take responsibility for your actions

Many of these should remind you of the Amazon leadership principles, focused on continuous improvement, sound decision making, and taking ownership.

For this article, let’s look at one more set of leadership principles.

Second, hear from General James Mattis


Leadership Principles for the French Foreign Legion

Leaving the examples from US-based organizations, let’s look at the French Foreign Legion. Noting that their principles are:

  • Honor
  • Discipline
  • Courage
  • Obedience
  • Unselfishness
  • Achievement

While they look slightly different, these principles again focus on achievement through teamwork and discipline.

The Modern Revenue Organization Leadership Principles

At this point, we have reviewed the Amazon Leadership Principles and those from the US Marine Corps and the French Foreign Legion.

How do we leverage these insights to create a set of leadership principles to guide our revenue organization?

We will steal, er, borrow some of the best in defining the Five Trust Enablement Leadership Principles for the Modern Revenue Organization.

#1 The Company Puts Our Customers First

Your revenue organization must share the customer obsession that Jeff Bezos put into the Amazon leadership principles.

This is manifested in:

  • Understanding each prospect’s key pain points.
  • Always seek to sell your customers what they need to overcome their challenges, not to hit your quota.

You build customer trust and deliver exceptional business results by creating long-term successful outcomes and relationships.

#2 Your Employees Come Next — Before your Shareholders

Not only should you seek to hire exceptional talent, but your employees also should never be done learning and striving to improve personally and professionally.

Hire and develop great human beings who bring diverse perspectives into your business.

#3 Challenge decisions – before they are finalized

Respectful debate should be part of any decision-making process.

However, once the decision is made, all employees must commit wholly to what was agreed.

#4 Learn and Grow Every Day

Every employee should set the highest standards for their growth.

You are never done learning.

#5 Take Ownership – Deliver Results

Success comes from making commitments and delivering on those commitments.

Build a culture where the entire company and its leaders expect to succeed.

And balance that culture with one that understands failure can happen, where people learn from those failures and then continue to raise the performance bar to hit the next challenging milestone.

The 5 Modern Revenue Organization Leadership Principles

Final Thoughts

While our five principles are fewer than the Amazon leadership principles or those of the Marines or the French Foreign Legion, they represent the most essential five core pillars of success for any revenue organization.

Will you embrace them?

What would you add to them?