This week I had the privilege of seeing Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos talk about his company's culture and how Zappos became famous world-wide for providing a memorable customer experience through customer service.
But it was the end of his presentation that really caught my attention. Here he talked about what makes us happy, and it occurred to me that most of us are chasing carrots. You know what I mean -- dangling the carrot in front of the horse's nose so he's always focused on chasing immediate gratification.
Tony calls this type of happiness Rock Star (always chasing the next high). If you're a cleaning business owner it might be something like, "if only I could make a half a million in sales I'd be happy, (or a million, or whatever that number is for you). Or "when I achieve _____, I will be happy". But are you really happy when you've reached that goal? Or are you now on to the next carrot?
The next stage of happiness is called Flow (engagement - time flies). During this stage of happiness you are more engaged in what you are doing and time just seems to fly by. Isn't it fun when business is booming and cash is flowing into the company? Yes, you're happier, but not quite there yet. Suddenly you need to hire more people to handle the extra business and the quality of work starts to slip... Is happiness only fleeting?
The third stage of happiness is called Meaning/Higher Purpose (being part of something bigger than yourself). Ahh, now it's starting to make sense! When have you truly felt happy in your life? Was it when you did something that had meaning or a higher purpose than your own self-gratification? Is it any wonder that people who do charitable work seem so happy? It's no coincidence.
Tony Tsieh discovered that when he defined his company values and culture, it translated into happy employees and customer satisfaction. Suddenly he was a part of something bigger than himself. If you could create your own company culture and transform it into something bigger than yourself, would it make you happy?
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