I am over 50. I did not go to Harvard. I did not start my own business at age 22 and sell it 2 years later for hundreds of millions to Microsoft or Google. I am not a Twitter expert. Some could say I have little in common with Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh.
I am, however, a business leader. I have a broad range of experience leading companies, both large and small. I am also a huge supporter and practitioner of Zappos path to success:
1. focus primarily on employee culture and values, to
2. deliver the best possible customer service
Tony points to research on Happiness and how he applied it to run a better business. I point to research provided by John Kotter and James Heskett twenty years ago in Corporate Culture and Performance that leads to the same conclusion, and one offered by legendary management guru Peter Drucker – “Culture eats strategy for lunch.”
In businesses ranging from a start-up with $1M in revenue to a global organization with revenues exceeding $12B, I can point to many examples over 20 years where we used a Zappos-like focus to drive consistent growth. Further, I developed my own roadmap to establish strong, positive cultures in each of these situations. The roadmap is called All-In Leadership.
Critical parts of the All-In Leadership roadmap include a balance of Discipline, Insight, Support, Creativity, and Values that enable employees to excel and achieve the organization’s goals. Each of those choices can be further broken down into specific areas that help unlock the potential in others.
Access the free summary of All-In Leadership on this site that includes a specific case study of where we tripled the growth rate of a $3B global business and sustained that growth for three years.
I remain a fan and customer of Tony Hsieh and Zappos. Hopefully, many more companies will follow what has become known as a Zappos approach. It can work 4 U2!