Two caveats to start this post. First, I received the book Delivering Happiness for free for the purpose of reviewing it here on my blog. I also received a copy to give away. Second, this is posted now in association with Momalom.com’s Five for Ten challenge.
Delivering Happiness is not a total memoir of Zappos.com CEO Tony Hsieh. It is a chronicle of the creation of a corporate culture. To understand where this culture comes from, Hsieh does have to tell you a bit about his life and how he came to be at Zappos.com but that just makes the timeline more real in my mind. I knew I was in for a great read and a mind-changing experience when I read the following paragraph on page 53.
I thought about how easily we are all brainwashed by our society and our culture to stop thinking and just assume by default that more money equals more success and more happiness, when ultimately happiness is really just about enjoying life.
As the book progresses from Hsieh’s childhood to his college years, I laughed. I could see my own children pulling some of the stunts that Hsieh did to give himself more time and less need to practice his instruments. The college years, especially since I had just been in Cambridge, Massachusetts, painted pictures for me. But, the true meat and potatoes of the book comes when Hsieh starts in with his entrepreneurial years.
Who has ever dreamed of going to a job they loved? A job that brought true happiness on a day in, day out basis? The culture that has become the norm at Zappos.com does just that. There are statements written by employees to support the Core Values statement.
No corporation has been without bumps in the economic landscape we are currently living through but Zappos.com has managed to survive and thrive, having recently been purchased by Amazon.com. By emphasizing a corporate culture – as opposed to say casual Fridays – Hsieh has shown how a company can grow and stay true to itself.
A corporate culture that is followed throughout a company and is designed with input from all levels of employees can truly deliver happiness.
Look for additional information about this book, Delivering Happiness, on June 7th – the official release date. Leave a comment and be put in a drawing to win the book. Drawing will take place on May 24.