On happiness by the Zappos CEO

September 7, 2010 by Merlin

Tony Hsieh, the CEO who had led Zappos from a small start-up to a 1 billion dollar company sold to Amazon last year, recently wrote a Delivering Happiness book. In it he tells us about his entrepreneurial ventures, but mostly about Zappos, its world famous company culture and first class customer service.

One thing he mentions are what he thinks of as four pillars of happiness on a workplace, but also in life in general. For a person to be happy he or she must have:

  1. Perceived control – A person has to have a certain level of autonomy and a right to make a decision, even a small one.
  2. Perceived progress – A person should be able to see progress of its skills, positions, levels of autonomy, etc. The workplace should be arranged in a way to provide a regular feedback.
  3. Connectedness – It is much easier to work with people who are treated as peers and friends, not as company’s resources.
  4. Vision/Meaning – Nobody likes to work on something and than never to see it come to life or just watch it getting discarded without an explanation. A goal or at least a direction is something that can be a much stronger motivator than a paycheck.