Why every CEO should read “Delivering Happiness”
First, let me ask you a few questions: What is the value of joy in your work? How much does it matter that you, your employees, and your customer’s are happy? Why is it that the amount of money one makes tends to have a negative correlation with how happy they are? If you’ve ever found yourself thinking along these lines, then it is imperative you read Tony Hsieh’s book, “Delivering Happiness.”
Hsieh is the well-known entrepreneur and current CEO of Zappos. In
“Delivering Happiness,” Hsieh discusses a few of his highly successful
and profitable business ventures. More specifically he discusses the
impact those businesses had on his overall happiness. When the time came
to sell, he could have made exponentially more than the millions he did
– but the money didn’t matter to him. He was completely and entirely
Building Your Own Happiness
Hsieh founded Zappos on one essential principle: happiness. He made the key decision to surround himself with energetic, enthusiastic, likeable, and service-oriented people who in turn helped him create a positive
and uplifting culture. The organization developed a set of core values that created an atmosphere of optimism and success. Hsieh made sure that every employee knew they were a valued member of the team.
Sharing Your Happiness
It really stuck with me the importance Hsieh put on an internal culture
of happiness and positivity. But what caught my attention even more, is
his desire to share that happiness.
As the company grew, that happiness Hsieh worked so hard to establish
spilled beyond the doors of the organization. They shared that same
positivity to their clients through their customer service.
There are a plethora of service oriented professions who don’t hold themselves to the same standards Hsieh established at Zappos. For example: In the book Hsieh shares a story about a particular customer. This customer came back to their hotel late one night and called into room service for a pizza. The hotel staff quickly informed them that
their kitchen was closed for the evening and they could not fulfill the
request. The customer responded asking the hotel employee to promptly
call Zappos and have them send him a pizza. Exasperated, the hotel
employee followed through with the request. To her amazement, the
customer service representative at Zappo’s got their location, and
reported back with 5 pizza delivery services that were open and would
deliver directly to the hotel room and asked what type of pizza they
My point in sharing all this is that both the traveler and hotel
employee are now loyal Zappo’s customers. Because Hsieh built his
business on the principles of happiness and delivering joy to his
customers, he is wildly successful. But his success exceeds the numbers
on his paycheck. The true success of Zappos is the happiness and the
satisfaction Hsieh now has in his job.
What it boils down to is this: When you are happy, your staff is happy.
When your staff is happy, your clients are happy. This cycle of
happiness creates an atmosphere of productivity. People who love their
job work hard at it. When they work hard they get more work done and do
their jobs better.
I highly recommend this book and I urge you to add it to your
library. Hsieh was able to put into words something I have been
searching to describe throughout my entire business career. We all want
to provide that level of customer service. We all want to love where we
work, what we do, and be able to deliver a product or service that
changes other’s lives for the better.