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Tony Hsieh, the individual best known for his success with Zappos, recently passed away due to complications from a house fire. At only 46 years old, Hsieh made an impact on the world in many ways.
Regardless of the circumstances speculated around Tony’s death, this article’s focus is on the impact he made with his bestselling book on company culture, “Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose.”
The point of this book: “Great things will happen if you make employees happy.”
Communicated another way, it’s about delivering happiness as a business by living a life of passion and purpose.
Who would be interested in this book? Hsieh himself responded that it’s for anyone interested in running a successful business. Others have added that it’s everyone who is concerned with changing the world and being happy.
The book itself is the story of Hsieh and his time at Zappos. While he didn’t start the company, he’s known as the mastermind behind it. Prior to joining Zappos, he sold LinkExchange to Microsoft for $265 million (1999). He retired as CEO from Zappos in August of 2020.
Delivering Happiness was a #1 New York Times Best Seller when it was released in 2010. Interesting points include:
• Realize your passion is important.
• Growing fast can be counterproductive if the wrong people are hired. Take your time to carefully consider each new hire to ensure teams share the vision.
• The success of the company is closely tied to the culture. Hsieh says it’s worth the time to create one you believe in.
• Pursue growth and learning to build a great company. Foster personal and professional development within teams.
• Don’t focus on building buzz around your brand, but rather build engagement and trust by treating people well.
Hsieh’s essence is still felt within the Zappos Core Values in place today:
• Deliver WOW through service.
• Embrace and drive change.
• Create fun and a little weirdness.
• Be adventurous, creative and open minded.
• Pursue growth and learning.
• Build open and honest relationships with communication.
• Build a positive team and family spirit.
• Do more with less.
• Be passionate and determined.
• Be humble.
“We must all learn not only to not fear change, but to embrace it enthusiastically and, perhaps even more important, encourage and drive it.”
Spend some time with Tony Hsieh during a candid interview discussing his book and general philosophies here:
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