The CEO of Zappos, Tony Hsieh is the author of this inspirational book. He applies his expertise in motivation to instruct leaders in various levels of business. His primary aim is to train others how to provide inspiration to employees and inculcate a sense of happiness and real satisfaction. In this book, Hsieh utilizes a reflection of his own journey to the discovery of happiness.
When Hsieh was 22 years old, he graduated with a degree in computer science from Harvard University. Immediately after graduating, he secured himself a job with Oracle Corporation but he felt disappointed in the corporate world. That’s when he decided to start his own company Link Exchange which was a platform for online advertisements. His business had grown to above $265 million in a period of two years when he decided to trade it to Microsoft in the year 1998. After one year of being filled with discontent, Hsieh was appointed to be the CEO of Zappos. In this company is where he discovered the secret of his happiness.
In the course of his journey, Hsieh realized that the secret of having true and sustained happiness is to fulfill his passion of establishing a company. He wanted to have the satisfaction of improving the lives of others and at the same time having a successful company yielding lucrative profits. He wanted to feel of being a part of the bigger system and change the world. In order to obtain his true happiness, Hsieh knew that he had to concentrate on his inner desires to love whatever he did with his life.
According to Hsieh, outstanding businesses are those that are able to bring together profits, passion and purpose. He discovered that when a business is able to lay its focus beyond the profits and have a change on the world, much success of the business will be based on those particular efforts. In fact, all the stakeholders of the organization will identify the benefits such a business brought. Ultimately, the business will be more successful and sustainable.
Hsieh identified four primary components that build happiness in the workplace. The four components are perceived progress and control, meaning and connectedness. He noted that when employees are able to comprehend strength in the four components, they obtain happiness and true purpose. Based on the component of perceived progress, Hsieh noted employees are happier at work when they see growth in their career path.
Hsieh also posited that given the component of perceived control, employees will be happier at work if they perceive having more control. Hsieh also noted that is employees make more friendship in the work place, they are more involved. The book also explains that when employees belong to an organization that has its focus beyond profits, they obtain more happiness and fulfillment.
In his CEO position, Hsieh viewed this as an opportunity to offer outstanding services to customers. He believed that he would develop the company by providing excellent customer service and presenting both the employees and customers with true happiness. For example, service benefits of Zappos entailed a 24/7 service hub and free shipping among other critical benefits. Hsieh established a policy where the customers would be treated as Kings and initiated core values of being different from others. As a CEO, he established a culture where the primary objective of the company was delivering happiness and service.
In his position at Zappos as the CEO, Hsieh put into practice the four practice components of building happiness within the work place. In order to implement the first component of perceived progress, he modified the current classification of jobs and advancement arrangement that was set at Zappos. He also provided employees with a sense of perceived control where he came up with a unique framework on how wage would be raised.
He introduced a system where employees would earn additional income based on their skill sets. Hsieh implemented the third component by introducing a sense of close relationships and friendship into the norms of the company. He believed that when employees viewed one another as family they would be happier and involved at work.
The fourth component of meaning was implemented by changing the vision of the company. The new vision was delivering happiness and it gave the employees the drive to attain stronger goals. The employees worked passionately fueling creativity to make the future of Zappos profitable and sustainable. By executing the four components that build happiness at work, Zappos has become one of the biggest and most lucrative online shoe dealers worldwide.