Sunday, June 6, 2010

Poker & Raves Change the World by Delivering Happiness -- Zappos

Poker winnings and late night raves led Tony Hsieh to head a $928 million tribe (by the time he joined forces with Amazon in 2009).

His book (released today) Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose is the continuation of the movement Tony started more than 10 years ago with Zappos . It is now about far more than shoes – it is about changing the world.

This is not your typical run-of-the mill internet start-up story. Instead, Tony's fledgling shoe company started a revolution. It was (and is) a movement away from the normalcy of corporate governance, the mystery of management curtains , and the leverage of corporate power plays.

In describing his company he said,

“I…[made] sure I never lost sight of the value of a tribe where people truly felt connected, and cared about the well-being of one another.”

Tony employed business practices that many in his position would have been terrified to do. His transparency with employees and customers, the local paper and the world-wide-web (in a public company blog) was "risky," but in perfect alignment with the values of his tribe.

This approach alone challenged the status quo of corporate communications, and fit perfectly into the tribe he was creating; a company and tribal culture where people cared about more than just company profits, they cared about the happiness of each other and recognized the humanity of every person.

Tony isn’t a “shoe guy,” rather he is a people guy, a culture guy, a tribal leader. The culture of Tony’s tribe now extends far beyond Zappos “employees” to include its vendors, applicants, customers, unexpected tourists (yes tourists!), other company’s CEOs, Amazon execs, and even me!

Tony is more than a CEO, he’s more than a tribal leader; Tony is an ordinary person just like you and me – he challenged the status quo, committed to a tribe, and started a movement. A movement of which even Seth Godin, author of the bestseller Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us, would be proud.

Tribes are what change the world. What tribe will you lead?

No comments:

Post a Comment