*Note – Be sure to comment on this post for a chance to win a free copy of this book!
I received my advance copy of Delivering Happiness, by Zappos.com CEO Tony Hsieh, and began by skimming the contents. I was intrigued to read what this Boy Genius Entrepreneur had to say and pledged to give the contents my undivided attention. I set the book aside a few hours, so I could tend to some pressing commitments, then made myself comfortable and settled down to read.
Before I knew it, I had blazed through the first half of the book. The casual style made it a quick read. I was swept away on a fun ride full of raves and Red Bull, parties and poker. I could only dream of a life so charmed. (Tony details in the preface his reasons for writing Delivering Happiness and he defends his writing style by explaining, “he writes like he talks”. I like that. I write like I talk too. Sometimes my writing takes on a rather proper, British tone… but …I do that when I speak as well.)
I stopped reading and flipped back through the pages I had consumed. There was far more to this book than a cute story of a boy who struck it rich. I chastised myself for not digging deeper and went back to review what I recognized as a surefire template for success. I was particularly struck by his concept of TRIBE. Pages 75-80, Connectedness – “I made a note to myself to make 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.”
When I read that sentence, I was struck instantaneously with the realization that I had forgotten and neglected the importance of tribe. As I advanced through the book I found that Tony’s story wasn’t always pie-in-the-sky, fun and games. He had suffered tremendous financial burden and the stress that came along with it. But in this case, Tony had identified the source of his demise and had committed to re-focusing his intentions back where he knew his success had come from.
Core values and culture are at the heart of every organization and disaster looms with weak values and diverse culture. Single minded unity of purpose seemed to be his secret.
The book is divided into 3 sections;
Profits and Passion
Profits, Passion and Purpose
With invaluable insights such as “Top 10 ways to Instill Customer Service in Your Company” (p.147) and “Top 10 Questions to Ask When Looking for Investors and Board Members” (p.210) this book is loaded with simple, easy to grasp, concepts of how to attain happiness.
I’m not running an internet based sales organization but the values presented in Delivering Happiness are just as applicable to my career and success as they are for Zappos.com.
I’ve been inspired to create Core Values for my film production company. Being reminded of the importance of tribe has helped me to identify why I’ve been struggling (I’ve been working independently on development, DUH! Filmmaking is a collaborative process… I better get busy building my tribe) and… I’ve already identified key areas to focus my recovery plan on.
The themes in this book resonate with those in both my personal and professional life as I’m sure you’ll discover. I chose to become I filmmaker because I love to make movies. I’m passionate about it! I chose to make socially responsible movies (Passion with Purpose) and now, thanks to Tony, I have a clearer idea of how to include Profit in my plan. (Typically, filmmaking is not a profitable business )
Okay, but what about the free book? I was sent 2 copies of Delivering Happiness and I’m giving away the 2nd copy to one of my readers. Here’s how you can win!
Write a comment about how a particular book has helped you. (Either business or personal, or both) If you don’t want to post your comment publicly you can email directly instead. I set up a special email just for this purpose firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline for entries is June 30th, 2010. I can’t wait to hear from you!