Tony Hsieh, You Will Be Missed
Updated: Jan 4
This past weekend I was shocked and saddened to learn of the death of Tony Hsieh, longtime CEO of Zappos. He was only 46 years old.
Over the years, Tony’s philosophy on client satisfaction and office culture has influenced me and my firm greatly. I first became acquainted with Tony’s ideas from his book, Delivering Happiness. Much of what Tony wrote in those pages resonated with me strongly and had a profound impact on my thinking about how we could strengthen our firm and serve our clients better. Some points that stood out include:
identifying and sticking to your core values;
creating a positive work environment where people will want to work; and
wowing your customers/clients.
Tony understood the importance of nurturing meaningful relationships and being part of something bigger than yourself. He was obsessed with the happiness of his customers. These values are very much baked into the ethos and culture at our law firm.
I was so impressed and inspired by Tony’s ideas that, in October 2019, while in Las Vegas for a business conference, I decided to visit the Zappos headquarters, which was nearby.
While there were many memorable aspects of my visit, the most memorable was the graduation ceremony I observed when I first arrived for my tour of the premises. I was escorted to an auditorium where the newest cohort of employees was celebrating the completion of their training period. Upon entering the room, I was quickly overwhelmed by the sound of fog horns blaring and confetti raining down. The air was filled with excitement and silliness, the latter of which was enhanced by the fact that each newly-minted trainee was dressed in a costume for the special occasion. They were having a blast.
It was not your typical work environment. This is not surprising because Zappos is not your typical company and Tony Hsieh was not your typical CEO.
I am grateful to Tony for the wisdom he shared and appreciate the unique way in which he saw the world. I admire the company he built and the culture he fostered. I continue to draw inspiration from his message about living with purpose and passion.
Although Tony is no longer with us, his ideas will live on, especially in our firm.