Learning about Happiness from the CEO of Zappos
I recently finished the book, Delivering Happiness, by Tony Hsieh, the founder and CEO of Zappos. My interest in reading this book came from some of the anecdotes I heard about Zappos’ company culture, others’ recommendation of the book, and the success of Zappos (Amazon acquired Zappos for more than one billion dollars).
From my various work experiences I’ve learned that a fun place to work is more satisfying and does trickle down into the financial bottom line. Working at Zingerman’s, a place that focuses on three bottom lines (food quality, service quality, financial results) really opened my eyes to how a company can be great for people and great for growth and financial return.
There are a few key things that I took away from Delivering Happiness, and summarized below:
1. People Matter. Employees and customers alike are REALLY important. Zappos attributes much of its success to its investment into customer service, culture, and employee training and development – all of which focus on people.
2. Continuously Improve. Zappos asks employees to make at least one improvement every week that makes the company better reflect its core values. Not only does Zappos encourage continuous improvement within the company, but also encourages employees to improve themselves – recommending they wake up every day and ask themselves not only “what is the 1% improvement I can change to make the company better”, but also “what is the 1% improvement I can change to make MYSELF better personally & professionally.” A company is only as strong as its team, and a company cannot grow unless the individuals grow as well.
3. Never Outsource your Core Competency. Zappos’ core competency is its customer service, so if the company had call centers run its customer service they do not control that experience and are not delivering their core competency. You want to deliver your core competency…it’s key to your company and your position in the market.
It was challenging to narrow down my key takeaways to only three, so I also jotted down all of my notes, which you can check out here.
Have you read Delivering Happiness? What did you learn?
Mary AKA Venture Gal