Remembering What Tony Taught

Nov 30, 2020

Oh no!  We still need him!

Who will remind us that Happy is about taking care of people?  

  • That happy employees make happy customers?
  • That it’s wise to ask people, after 3 – 4 months, whether they’re confident that they’re a ‘good fit’ for the company, and pay them to leave if not?
  • That task/objective-informed teams don’t need a ‘manager’?

"We're not trying to maximize for every single transaction. We're trying to build a lifelong relationship with customers." Tony Hsieh in 2010 on Zappos' approach to customer service

Here’s a test of your business acumen:  did you know that Tony shaped modern commerce with a simple way of taking care of people?  He offered free shipping and returns so that people could enjoy buying cool shoes online.  He thanked them for returning what didn’t fit and asked what didn’t work.  A brilliant application of common sense.

Tony is one of a small, revered set of Matristic* leaders, including Max dePree, Riccardo Semler, Muhammad Yunus and C.K. Prahalad, who made fortunes driven by pristine [read: impenetrable] respect for individual and collective wellbeing. Touted in business schools worldwide, all four grew wealth through collective caring.

Simply stated: our brains evolved - over ca 300,000 generations – to be smart for whatever our group may need ( to thrive.)  Servant leaders put that powerful legacy to use.

Both Tony* and Riccardo operationalized happiness: they built their businesses to forward their own and others’ happiness – to stellar results. Haven’t read Maverick or The Seven Day Weekend?  Pick one – they’re fun.  That’s what Tony would want you to do this weekend.

These men are perhaps the most famous of many dedicated servant leaders whose respect nourishes best work environments.  You can rely on the same ancient neural pathways they used: tempered to keep our ancestors aliveCollective discovery in small groups works.  Your brain was made for it.

Tony’s early death furthers our joint determination to forward Matristic practice.  Our brains evolved to care for a small group of people: to contribute our best watching each others’ backs.  You can make this happen around you – it’s all about practicing. Collectively.

Want practice buddies?  You are welcome to our open Community Practice, twice monthly, no fee.   Want invitations?  Sign up and we’ll send them.

*’Matristic’ is a term from Cultural Biology, referring to the way mammals organize to care for their young.  Matristic means ‘collective caring’.



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