Z is for a very special business that sounds like an amazing place to work. It is called Zappos. It is an online clothing store that started as an online shoe store. No I have never purchased anything from zappos.com. Nor do I have any sort of personal connection to the company. But, from what I know about it, I really admire the CEO, Tony Hsieh. He has written a book to explain his leadership style called Delivering Happiness. From that alone it is easy to infer that this guy runs his business with a much different philosophy than you usually find out there in the world of work.
He sold his first business for $265 million at the age of 24 and then invested in a small online shoe business and helped grow the company to profits of over $1 billion. In 2009, Zappos (named after zapatos – the Spanish word for shoes) was acquired by Amazon at the cost of $1.2 billion. Pretty amazing isn’t it?
Money aside, what really impresses me about this guy is his philosophy. It’s simple – deliver happiness. And he has written a book to help deliver the message. In fact, it is much more than that, he has started a movement. Here is a brief review of the book as posted on fuschiawoman.
“I think American businesses would be putting more people back to work if they adhered to the philosophy of this book—the importance of corporate culture and WOW customer service. The importance of a higher purpose than just profits (OMG that’s sacrilegious in the business world!) The importance of employees fostering a family spirit. The importance of having FUN at work. The importance of valuing creativity, honesty, and humbleness.”
I think I love this so much because it gives me hope. In a competitive, greedy, dog-eat-dog world it is refreshing to know that there exists another way. Another way to run business, another way to treat people and another way to make sure people know they are valued.
In 1936, Dale Carnegie wrote a book called How to Win Friends and Influence People. When his principles are applied in a sincere, non-contrived manner, when people start to see that there is another way to lead, another way to work and another way to be, I do believe it could change the world. And Tony Hsieh and zappos dot come are living proof.
“Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain – and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.” – Dale Carnegie
“Everyone matters. Treat them accordingly.” - Me
*And so ends the a to z challenge. It was the best of times…..it was the worst of times…..hahaha! Thanks to all who kept up with me, commenting and encouraging me onward. You can not even imagine how much I appreciated it. :)