Boy, have I got a treat for you.
I was fortunate enough to receive an advance copy of the book Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose, a book written by Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos.com. I was also lucky enough to receive an additional copy to give away to one of you. (See the end of the post for details on how you can win.)
Before I get into the details of the book, I have to say I love it. It was a fast, fun and fascinating read. So many of the choices Hsieh made literally shocked me – everything from starting his own business in grade school to changing his business model in the eleventh hour. I saw this tweet today and believe Hsieh will more than reach his goals for writing the book:
The book takes the reader on a journey through Tony Hsieh’s life and highlights different lessons he learned along the way that shaped him as a person and businessman. He has a keen way of being able to take a look at his own life and pinpoint how select moments shaped him. It’s fascinating.
One section of the book brilliantly compares business to poker – it makes perfect sense. Think about it. Here are a few of his points (in no particular order):
- Hope is not a good plan.
- You’ve got to love the game. To become really good, you need to live it and sleep it.
- Educate yourself. Read books and learn from others who have done it before.
- Don’t cheat. Cheaters never win in the long run.
…I won’t spoil it but the list goes on.
Zappos wasn’t a success right from the start. When their future was unclear, passionate employees gave up pay, benefits, you name it to continue working on a project they knew was going to be successful. Those who weren’t passionate about the venture left, making the business that much stronger.
One of my key takeaways from the book is the importance of work culture. This is not a new concept but one that may often be ignored. When you love what you do, you not only do it better for your job, but do it better for you. You’re happier. Your boss is happier. Your customers are happier. We are all happier.
They emphasize the Golden Rule: treat others how you would like to be treated. Sounds logical enough, right? Logical, yes, but not always carried out. The lines of communication at Zappos are open – they have a monthly newsletter where employees are encouraged to ask anything anything about the company. When they had layoffs, a memo was sent out outlining the exact reasons of why it absolutely had to be done.
Everyone needs to read this book. Even if you think it wouldn’t apply to you, it does. It’s more than insights on a company and more than insights on business. It’s insights on life, how to be a good person and how to, well…deliver happiness.
Purchase the book on Amazon.com.
WIN A COPY OF THE BOOK: As mentioned, I’m giving away one free copy of the book courtesy of Delivering Happiness. To win, leave a comment describing your favorite work-related memory – did you win a business deal? Have a great conversation with your boss or mentor? Come up with a creative solution to a work issue? Laugh until your sides hurt at coffee with a colleague? Be creative!
The contest runs through June 21st at midnight EST. One entry per person. Good luck!
I received advanced copies of the book free of charge from Delivering Happiness. My opinions are my own.
CONGRATULATIONS to Courtney for winning the Delivering Happiness contest. I’ll be contacting you via the email address you provided to send you the book. Thanks to all who entered!