I just finished reading Tony Hsieh’s new book, “Delivering Happiness.” There are so many great stories and suggestions in this book, I wanted to share them with you over my last few posts. By all means, buy the book. It’s a great read for anyone who owns, or wants to impact, a business.
I like the way Tony Hsieh went from making speeches early on to how he makes them today. When Tony was first asked to speak, he would write the speech out and memorize every word. After giving several speeches, attendees tended to comment on Tony’s personal stories. Tony now goes by three rules for all speeches:
1. Be passionate.
2. Tell personal stories.
3. Be real.
Over time, people starting retelling Tony’s stories and learning about Zappos core values. Zappos was starting to affect how people ran their companies by implementing core values, focusing on customer service, focusing or corporate culture and employee happiness. By doing so, these companies have improved their financial performance.
Zappos is a real life example that it’s possible to run a values-based company that also focuses on everyone’s happiness. Today, Zappos shares what it has learned to help other companies be successful.
Subsequently Tony has learned that alignment with investors and board members is just as important as alignment within the organization. He suggests asking the following questions when looking for investors and board members:
1. Do you really need investors? Can you avoid funding by growing more slowly?
2. How actively involved will your investors be? How actively involved do you want your investors to be?
3. What value, beyond money, can your investors add (e.g., connections, advice, experience)?
4. What is the time horizon for a financial exit your investors are expecting?
5. What, if anything, are your investors hoping to get out of their involvement beyond just financial return? How would they prioritize those things?
6. Do your investors and board of directors buy into the vision and mission of the company?
7. Would they accept fewer profits if it meant the vision could be fulfilled faster?
8. How flexible are your investors and board members in their thinking?
9. Who controls the investors? Who controls the board?
10. Do the core values of your investors and board members match the core values of the company?
What have you learned from these posts from Tony Hsieh and “Delivering Happiness?”