As a senior executive, what do you really get paid to do?

I need eight hours of sleep. I think better. I have more energy. My mood is better, all these things.

And think about it.

As a senior executive, what do you really get paid to do?

As a senior executive, you get paid to make a small number of high quality decisions. Your job is not to make thousands of decisions every day.

So let’s say that I slept six hours a day. Or let’s go really crazy and say I slept four hours a day.

So now I just got four so-called productive hours back. So if I was going to have, say, 12 hours of productive time during any waking day, now all of a sudden I have 12 plus 4. I have 16 productive hours.

So I have 33% more time to make decisions. So if I was going to make 100 decisions, now I can make 133 decisions.
By the way, if I did that arithmetic wrong, I’m sorry. And so you make 133 decisions.

Is that really worth it if the quality of those decisions might be lower because you’re tired or grouchy or any number of things?

Now, it’s different if it’s a startup company…But Amazon’s not a startup company.

And all of our senior executives operate the same way I do. They work in the future. They live in the future.
None of the people who report to me should really be focused on the current quarter.

I always tell people, sometimes we’ll have a good quarterly conference call or something, and Wall Street will like our quarterly results.

And people will stop me and say, congratulations on your quarter. And I say, thank you. But what I’m really thinking is that quarter was baked three years ago.

Right now, I’m working on a quarter that’s going to reveal itself in 2021 sometime. And that’s what you need to be doing.
You need to be out two or three years in advance.

And then, why do I need to make 100 decisions a day?
If I make three good decisions a day, that’s enough.And they should just be as high quality as I can make them.

Warren Buffett says he’s good if he makes three good decisions a year. And so I really believe that.