Here’s a Workplace Where Being a Little Weird Is Celebrated

Zappos, the hugely successful online shoe retailer that is now part of Amazon, seems like a fun place to work, thanks to its set of strong corporate values and the positive, fun-loving attitude of Tony Hsieh, its CEO.

Here are the 10 core values that Zappos employees live by:

  1. Deliver WOW Through Service
  2. Embrace and Drive Change
  3. Create Fun and A Little Weirdness
  4. Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded
  5. Pursue Growth and Learning
  6. Build Open and Honest Relationships With Communication
  7. Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit
  8. Do More With Less
  9. Be Passionate and Determined
  10. Be Humble

And less you think that Zappos just hangs these core values on its walls and then ignores them, here’s a great interview Tony did with Barbara Walters that offers a good look inside the Zappos magic:

Tony notes in the video that he thinks it’s important for employees to have fun at work, and he seems to do all he can to ensure that happens.

If you haven’t read Hsieh’s best selling book about Zappos, Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose, I can highly recommend it.

Zappos seems like my kind of place to work; I particuarly like core values 3, 4, 5, and 10

  • Create Fun and A Little Weirdness – I’d bring the weirdness to work every day
  • Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded – I like trying new things
  • Pursue Growth and Learning – My number one strength from the Clifton StrengthsFinder is learner
  • Be Humble: I’d like to say this one comes pretty easy for me, but that wouldn’t sound so humble

After reading the book and watching the video, one of my initial thoughts is that the basic concepts are pretty simple. Treat people well, do what you love, and have fun – it’s a simple formula for success, and Zappos is proof that it works.

So why aren’t more firms embracing these concepts?

First, it’s worth noting that several firms have adopted this approach, but they are in the minority.

It’s never easy to try something new, especially when it so radical. People are resistant to change; they like the status quo and not going out on a limb.

But as Hsieh shows, going out on a limb is often what is necessary to achieve greatness.

So head on over to amazon.com, and order a copy of the book. I am confident it will live up to its title.

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