Happiness as the Ultimate Business Objective
Jenn Lim understands the power of happiness. She operates ‘Delivering Happiness’, the organisation inspired by the bestselling book of the same name written by Zappos founder and entrepreneur Tony Hsieh. (Jenn also played a vital role in the creation and authorship of the book).
Delivering Happiness has led to a large scale movement involving thousands of people across the USA and the world, and has been endorsed by many high profile celebrities including Ashton Kutcher, Lance Armstrong and Demi Moore. Jenn is the CEO and Chief Happiness Officer of Delivering Happiness.The main objective of the company is to grow a movement that inspires and spreads more happiness in the world.
I had the opportunity to have an extended interview with Jenn for my new book.
(To get the full interview which is just one of a dozen other great ones – go to http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LGCVVYK)
During our interview she revealed how the movement began and what the key components behind their business and social philosophy is. “After the book came out we started hearing from people and it was not just from business folks, which was kind of expected because the book was marketed as a business book, but we started hearing from people from other sectors – from hospitals, from schools and students; even churches and government.”
It appeared that a universal cord was struck where people from all over the world were writing in and thanking them; expressing how they planned to change the way they do business and live their life. Guided by a strong higher purpose and ultimately focussed on serving and enhancing entire communities, Jenn revealed Delivering Happiness’ 4 steps to transformational change.
“Number one for us is training the community and internally we call it ICEE, and that stands for Inspire, and we get inspired by people telling us how they’ve changed their lives. The C stands for Connect, so connecting the community around us. The first E stands for Education, so educating people based on the research and scientific studies done on happiness and the last E stands for Experience. We want to provide meaningful experiences because in the end it’s more about that. That equates to your greater happiness more than material goods”.
When it comes to business practices, a similar theme emerges as having the right company culture is paramount at Delivering Happiness and Zappos’ The first objective at Zappos is to offer incredible customer service, and the second is to have a harmonious and aligned team environment. Zappos has 10 core values that were created over a period of several years and involved all the staff. Employees are strongly encouraged to respect and adhere to the values of the organisation. In fact, Zappos do everything they can to protect their company culture and will even entice people to leave if potential employees do not feel aligned to the values of the organization., they are offered $2,000 to leave after their trial training period ends and encouraged to find work somewhere that aligns more with their values.
What appears to be most interesting is how two very different paths can unify when a higher purpose is recognised and pursued. Before Zappos, Tony was a founder of LinkExchange which was sold to Microsoft in 1999 for $265 million. As part of the sale, he was contracted to stay on for a year with the company or lose out on a very substantial (10’s of millions of dollars) sum. Yet, being unfulfilled, he chose not to stay on and seek something more meaningful. Jenn on the other hand had been laid off and had no financial security but also refused to go after a safe income. At that point Jenn asked herself a very important question, one that perhaps we all should ask: “What would I do if I didn’t fear the risk of failure?”
This may be the most difficult question a person can answer and also the most important. It requires a level of courage few people ever develop and yet is critical for real happiness and success. “It’s #1, just being true to yourself, and I think that’s what Tony and I have shared in our choices along the way. In hindsight living really parallel lives because of that decision is just to be real and do things that are meaningful to us and that’s what carries on to what you’re passionate about, and carries on to knowing your higher purpose and knowing your real meaning in life.”
I hope you enjoyed this brief article on my interview with Jenn. If you would like to obtain the full interview, which is just one of a dozen amazing interviews in the book Destiny Defining Decisions – go to http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LGCVVYK