People Before Profit? What is that about?

When asked what a company’s best assets are, most company leaders would say it is the company’s employees. “Our employee’s are the best this company has to offer.” How many times have you heard that one before?

Truth is, many say that, but their actions don’t always fall in alignment with that sentiment. Most leaders put profits above all else. And sometimes at the expense of the employees.

What would happen if instead of putting profits first, above all else, we put our employees first? What if we put company culture before profits? Do you think that would be a good idea? Would something like that work? Would your company leaders go for something like that?

Actually, it can work. And guess what? As it turns out, it can be very profitable. Putting company culture first is actually a very good business strategy. In fact, for one company, to the tune of 1-billion dollars in gross sales.

Delivering Happiness

Fundamentally, for me, that is what Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh is all about. Focusing on the people, that create the culture, that provide the customer service that brings in the sales. Tony shares with us his belief that if you get a company culture right, you’ll get the customer service right, which will in-turn bring you the profits.

There are many lessons in Delivering Happiness. I learned that delivering happiness to customers is an unwavering commitment. It is not something that just happens.

But probably the most important lesson I learned from Tony’s book is that you can’t impose a corporate culture.

For example, one of the things that Tony and his team did when Zappos was still a young company, was ask their employees what it meant to them to work at Zappos. The feedback they received sparked many of the employee initiatives they still use today and in many regards, created the foundation for their company culture. But it all started with asking the question to their employees.

If you are looking for a good, funny, and insightful read about how to create a billion dollar company, pick up Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh.

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