Received an unexpected special delivery at the C3 HQ today. Inside a brown, corrugated shipping label was a hard-bound book. The sender and author is well-known Zappos founder, Tony Hsieh and the book is “Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose“. I had completely forgotten about his long ago Tweet discussing the upcoming tome and asking if anyone was interested in having a copy. I quickly responded, as I knew that Tony’s remarkable success with Zappos and exemplary on-line customer service were often cited as a case-study example at seminars and workshops and I wanted to know the whole story.
In the book, Tony shares life lessons gleaned from the various business ventures he has undertaken and the importance that changing corporate culture can have on achieving success. The main premise of the book is that by creating a culture where people feel connected both personally and professionally, their happiness increases and that in turn affects others as well as the business.
This concept reminds me of Matthew Kelly’s book “The Dream Manager” which became the premise for his Floyd Consulting work with corporations. Matthew, like Tony, believes that if people can focus on their dreams and get assistance and support toward that end from their workplace, they will be happier and more connected people. Isn’t it true that people who feel in tune with the company’s mission; who feel respected and validated are happier and more engaged with their work? Think of the effect on productivity if people were truly in that ‘Happy Place’. What a sweet spot to be in!
Some of the standard operating principles that Hsieh implemented at Zappos include:
- Make Customer Service the responsibility of the entire company- not just a department
- Focus on Company Culture as the #1 priority
- Apply research from the science of happiness to running a business (my favorite!)
- Help employees to grow- both personally and professionally
- Seek to change the World
These are concepts which personally call to my heart and soul and have been recent topics of discussion at Authentic Leadership Cincinnati (find us in LinkedIn Groups) panel events. So this weekend, I plan on grabbing some personal happiness time, perhaps poolside, to get up close and comfy with “Delivering Happiness” and to be as Matthew Kelly suggests: