Monday, October 15, 2012

The Less Simple Path

The legend of Zappos continues. Barbara Walters recently did a 20/20 piece on Tony Hsieh and his roving band of costume wearing customer service advocates. Astonishment crosses the face of the corporate accountant who tours the Zappos facility to find young people doing aerobics to start their work day. While Tony Hsieh seems to have mastered the ability to build culture, his real strength lies in his ability to convince us that the job is all fun....

Zappos (like every other company) has inter-personal disputes and customer service issues. The difference is that problems are much easier to dispel when collaborative culture leads. By Tony's own admission, if you are passionate about your purpose; the profits come naturally. Which leads us to Simon Sinek....

In his book, Start With Why, Simon Sinek mirrors Tony Hsieh's sentiment by letting culture lead. His contention is that "people don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it".

Both leaders have allowed transparency as a guiding light in their organizational strategy:
- People have been conditioned to believe that their "work self" is not their true self.
- The things we hide are easy to discover.
- Open and Honest are cross streets on the road to progress.

You are the only YOU...
I am convinced that self-empowerment is the single most important element of success. Unfortunately, most people would rather listen to others than to trust themselves.

- There is too much information to disprove any motivation you may have to try something new!
- There are too many people who will tell you that you cannot do that thing you may wish to!
- Facts and figures couldn't be wrong, could they?

There is a jumbled grab bag of excuses at your disposal. It is extraordinarily easy to not do something, no one will fault you for playing it safe, and when you don't try you can always pretend to possess a certain ability.

You CAN pretend to be who you are not!
I would agree that one should concentrate on what they are good at and let it drive. But, I would not rule out someone who wanted to step out of their comfort zone. Too often, I hear leaders tell employees that they are not a fit for a certain role. This is a simple way for a person to manage talent instead of challenging people to expand their skill set.

Make it harder!
Don't play it safe. Don't accept the norm. Don't pretend you are happy if you are not. Don't listen to people that wish not to inspire you. Don't allow people to tell you that you are not talented.

Set your own rules. Push yourself. Create opportunity. Stop listening to criticism and put on your i-pod.

There are no set rules. There are no limits. Only you can determine how this story will end.

Don't Forget to Remember!


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