Friday Book in a Page: Delivering Happiness

Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh 

What would happen if you turned away from all the things that you were supposed to do when growing a business and building a corporate culture and instead said, ‘What if we focused on building a happy place for employees and they focused on making customers happy?’  This is the story of how American entrepreneur, Tony Hsieh re-defined the online shoe business and corporate culture, built Zappos from the ground up and within 10 years sold it to Amazon for $928 million. 

Key Messages of the Book:

  • Doing what you love to do, like really have a passion for, isn’t a luxury.  It’s the key to success. Your passion creates your energy and your energy infects and attracts others.
  • Pay attention to who you hire and not what they can do.  You can teach the right person to do anything but you can’t teach someone to be the right person for your culture.  It’s better to be stretched people wise than try and un-do the damage of having the wrong person in your culture.
  • Creating an environment where your people feel fulfilled and connected to each other is key to their personal fulfillment.  Spending time with each other outside of the workspace is vital to this. 
  • Create a culture with a growth mindset.  This goes along with the message of hiring people for who they are and not what they can do.  Encourage your employees to train for other job areas and be continually stretching themselves to learn new things.  Funding personal development is your best retention strategy.
  • Choose the one thing that you want your company to be the very best at it and never outsource it. In the case of Zappos, Hsieh focused on creating a WOW experience for customers.  This resulted in operation efficiencies like overnight shipping and free shipping on orders and returns and setting up offices next to freight carriers headquarters.
  • Be about something bigger than yourself or generating profits.  Profits will come if you have a higher purpose.

Stop chasing the money and start chasing the passion.

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