I have been reading non-fiction books for a long time. One of my favourite books is Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose by Tony Hsieh. I remember feeling full of such hope while I read it, as the philosophy behind the book really resonated - and still resonates - with me.
Tony Hseih passed away on November 27, 2020. He was just 46 years old.
It’s always hard when someone passes away. This year has been particularly hard with grief and sadness all around. I have dealt with my own losses this year. Maybe this one hits me harder than most “celebrity” deaths because I am close to his age. Or maybe because I strive for many parts of his philosophy. Regardless, these moments are reminders that life is short, and we only have so much time on this earth to live, and to hopefully impact others in positive ways.
I work in organizations that are messy. There is always a healthy dose of distrust, fear and apathy. But these are also companies that produce really great products and services, and employ people that are super smart, genuinely caring people. One of the things that I have learned is people want more. They want to work at a place that values and respects them, they want to contribute and be acknowledged for that contribution, and they want to be seen by their managers, their peers, and the “powers that be”. But mostly, they want to be compensated for their craft while having fun and solving really interesting problems. They want to give their time and energy to something that makes them feel alive and happy, rather than feeling drained. In the words of Brené Brown - “People, people, people are just people, people, people.”
Here is a quote that I would like to leave you with. I hope it helps you to understand a bit of why this book has had such an impact on my life, and how I intend to show up every day as a leader.
“I think when people say they dread going into work on Monday morning, it’s because they know they are leaving a piece of themselves at home. Why not see what happens when you challenge your employees to bring all of their talents to their job and reward them not for doing it just like everyone else, but for pushing the envelope, being adventurous, creative, and open-minded, and trying new things?” - Tony Hsieh