Many of us know about Tony Hsieh, Jenn Lim, and Zappos. Even more of us have read Delivering Happiness when the book was published in 2010. However, there is something brewing in the world of business management and employee engagement. There is a force being built by Tony and Jenn that may (perhaps… will) revolutionize the way companies build “happiness” among their clients and employees.
Recently, I read an article from Antonio Neves of Business on Main and Cool Runnings about the “Happiness Revolution” being built by Hsieh and Lim. The interview is absolutely outstanding and helps describe the idea of the “Delivering Happiness” movement.
In the interview, Jenn describes the movement as “essentially a company with the cause to cultivate this community of people and inspire happiness in the world.” They follow an acronym, ICEE, which means Inspire, Connect people together, Educate, and provide meaningful Experiences.
There are pieces of wisdom to take away from the interview for both the for-profit and nonprofit world. The thoughts and opinions of Tony and Jenn are extremely important when trying to foster a company or organization of dedication, energy, and community-oriented workforce.
1. Be True to Yourself
It is important to know yourself and know why you want to build the specific business or organization. Jenn states in the interview that it is important to focus (hopefully) on something other than money. MindFrame follows the same approach when building software and strategy for nonprofits. We are committed to helping organizations of the world be better at what they do because they are making a difference in the world.
2. Two Types of Entrepreneurs
I believe that entrepreneurs can be built within the for-profit and nonprofit world. The mindset of each individual is different, but the fundamental idea is the same. Tony talks about the two types of business people as,”Those who see money as a means, and those who see money as an end. Today, it’s much more about having profits to be the fuel to drive a greater goal and purpose in the company: delivering happiness.” The idea works in both a company and an organization. Do you drive gifts and donations or sales and marketing as a means to an end or as a means?
3. The Reflection of All Not One
It is important to remember that the culture of an organization should be the reflection of every individual involved instead of one person. This drives against the idea of the “Founder Syndrome” where the owner or founder of an organization/company believes that THEIR mission is of the utmost importance and micromanage their talented team. I believe that truly stunts a company and organization if the founder syndrome is built within your structure.
Tony asks the question, “Who are the type of people I’d choose to hang out with even if we weren’t in business together? Over time, the Zappos culture has evolved, so it’s really much more a reflection of all of us at Zappos not just me.”
4. Passion is Fundamental
When asked what he would tell entrepreneurs whose sole purpose was to build and sell his or her company Tony responded with, “I usually ask people to think about what they would be so passionate about doing that they’d be happy doing it for 10 years — even if they never made any money — and that’s what they should be doing.” Brilliant.
5. It Is Not All About Kumbayah
You may be reading this post imagining your employees sitting around a campfire signing Kumbayah and hugging after an emotional struggle. However, Jenn and Tony have completed in-depth research on the science of happiness and the ways it has shown to improve productivity. And with productivity… grows the bottom line.
Remember that creating a culture of productivity and happiness within your company or organization is extremely important when building your long term goals and aspirations.