Last week I read the book, Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose, (affiliate link) by Tony Hsieh. And while it was an easy read, it really does challenge you both personally and professionally. My personal opinion is regardless of your role in a company or the segment your business plays in, you will enjoy this book.
The book is full of insights about making your brand irresistible. And at the end of the day, isn’t that what we all want? Or do we? Are we more focused on profits than customer loyalty and happiness? We have all been there when management declares: “we need our stock price to be x”, or “we have to make our numbers no matter what.” And I agree profits are important as are the shareholders. However, if you are focused only on the bottom line, or the quota then sometimes your customers suffer, your vendors suffer, your employees suffer, and in the end so will your profits and shareholders.
In Delivering Happiness, we learn that Zappos is not only focused on making their customers happy. They are focused on all of the relationships in their supply chain…even the employees. I really love this philosophy. If you have ever had an interaction with Zappos, or any other brand that operates this way, it is obvious and the experience stands out. Employee enthusiasm is contagious not only amongst the other employees but the customers as well.
While many business scholars may view the Zappos model as a little unorthodox or “loose”. The customers and employees might beg to differ. Zappos has created an environment where the employees are empowered and are responsible for the care of the brand. While I was reading the book, I carried it with me everywhere (it’s hard to put down), to the gym, out to eat, waiting in lines….you get the idea. Interestingly, when people noticed what I was reading they wanted to engage me about Zappos and their experiences with the brand. And in every case, their story was just that, their own personal story of how Zappos had delighted them. Candidly, after I finished the book I carried it around for a couple more days because I truly enjoyed hearing the stories, and while the overarching theme was the same, no two stories were alike.
So….as we kick off this first day of summer, I thought it would be fun and interesting to spend this week talking about the brands and people who have delighted us. I like the idea of sharing the goodness for a variety of reasons:
- Brands or people who have delighted us should know – let’s create a place to brag about them or thank them for the goodness they delivered.
- Others want to know and do businesses who are delivering happiness, it’s a tall order.
- We can learn from these positive experiences and put them into practice in our own businesses.
On my end I will spend the week sharing my personal stories as well. How about you? Are you willing to share your story? Have you had an experience that surprised and delighted you?