This is a great profile on Tony Hsieh and the Zappos recipe. While I like the idea of a strong culture, I don't like the idea of it becoming my "lifestyle." However, a deep and value-driven culture is critical to success in any organization - yet nearly impossible to quantify.
I think leaders within an organization should take notice and invest generously in culture, even if it's just in their own humble department or branch. Happy employees do work that impacts. Organizations are catching on and if you don't have culture, you'll see your people leaving for places like Zappos.
I went on a tour of Zappos while I was in Henderson, NV earlier this year. It was a very remarkable experience. At first, seeing their culture firsthand seemed sort of superficial, I think the media amplifies it to be greater than it really is, but Zappos believes in promoting progression - I believe that people who are learning and growing are happier, and thus do greater work. This is the only way such a terrible business model could not only succeed, but thrive.
I have shared in Gary Vaynerchuk's conviction for a very long time. He breaks it down:
Those who "get this" now will be much farther ahead than the shortsighted transactional "salesman" trying exploit as many people as possible just to turn a few bucks. Wouldn't you rather have a network of people that will sustain your career for years ? The latter requires building, caring, creativity, and emotional labor. Are you up for it?
If you haven't already noticed, in today's economy you actually have to do the right thing and care about people...I like how Gary said "It's like the force."
This week a lot has come at me all at once. The looming question I always seem to have on my mind is, "What's the most important thing should I do next?"
Would you agree that this is not the most the most important decision of your day, but your career even?
I've learned that "What next?" used to be a question your boss or your clients would answer for you.
Today we have a multitude of opportunities, we also have so many constraints. Successfully deciding what to do next will be your moment of highest leverage. Would you agree that it deserves more time and attention than most people give it?
I really liked this thought by Seth Godin: If you're not willing to face the abyss of choice, you will almost certainly not spend enough time dancing with opportunity.
What am I going to do next? Well I'm going to do a lot of things, I'm starting my day organizing 2000 fourth graders so they can learn that their food comes from a farm, not a supermarket. I'm going to lead, serve and have fun doing it.
When making a decision about what to do next. Think about this:
Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.
I really enjoyed reading JFK's 1963 Address at Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City. He praised the Mormons for their perseverance, dedication to education, and persistence.
Here's an excerpt I found inspiring:
"Let us remember that the Mormons of a century ago were a persecuted and prosecuted minority, harried from place to place, the victims of violence and occasional murder, while today in the short space of 100 years, their faith and works are known and respected the world around, and their voices heard in the highest councils of this country. As the Mormons succeeded, so can America succeed, if we will not give up or turn back."
-John F. Kennedy, 1963
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