Sunday, December 14, 2008

Tip#213: Zappos Inspires, Part 1 - Office Space

Part 1: Be Inspired By Living Examples

One way to find an enjoyable work experience is to visualize the environment you want. And if you are looking for a workplace that is fun and productive then just look at a living example to be inspired.

Currently I'm visiting family in Las Vegas which means I've had many memorable times in this big show town for over 10 years. Recently I've added another amazing experience with a tour of the Zappos head offices, North America's #1 online shoe store.

I was completely blown away by the positive energy and passion I felt from everyone I met there. I had originally seen video footage of the workplace on Oprah when she featured Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh and yet in person there's so much more. The positive energy was so tangible that it was like swimming in a delicious sea of my favourite coffee, vanilla bean lattes! (Read more about Zappos in previous blog entry here: tip#205)

When I first arrived at reception I immediately felt this lively carnival atmosphere and an authentic, happy greeting from front desk. The thing is, I received the same type of greeting from just about everyone along the tour.

Whether it was in the hallways or in each of the divisions I visited, there was this warmth I received that made me feel special. And great eye contact too! Eyes don't lie so when it was fairly consistent throughout the 2 floors I toured I knew that these people truly LOVED working at Zappos.

Office Space 1999

Zappos is clearly an amazing model of a fun AND high performance workplace that other organizations could learn from. The opposite of this positive work culture can be seen in the comedy Office Space which portrays the sad (yet hilariously depicted) reality of dysfunctional companies that exist.

The movie stars Ron Livingston and Jennifer Aniston and is a story about company workers who hate their jobs. It's also about how the movie hero suddenly becomes fearless and finally stands up for himself. He also inspires others just by doing whatever he enjoys doing.

For years I've known so many friends and other individuals who have complained about their jobs or workplace so Office Space is like a mirror for so many people. And that's why a big part of what I do as a motivator is to teach people and organizations how to visualize a better life or workplace experience.

It's ultimately a pleasure now to recommend Zappos as a living example of what is possible in a workplace that also has a strong sense of community and family. Plus I got to meet Tony Hsieh and shake his hand for all his amazing achievements that's inspired me!


In the end it was the generosity of spirit that lingers from my Zappos experience. It's like the delicious taste of my favourite vanilla bean latte that has stayed with me far beyond the day of my tour. It's the passion and the positive emotional energy from the people at Zappos that inspires me even as I write this!

So if you are unhappy in your job or workplace be inspired by the Zappos culture. Go on a tour of their offices to see what is possible. Or go online and read their blogs or see their videos to see how FUN can be a catalyst towards a highly productive workplace.

You spend most of your life working so why not balance it with a sense of daily fun. If you don't you'll really only be living half a life.

More tips about Zappos:
Tip#205: Follow Your Passion No Matter What - Zappos
Tip#214: Zappos Inspires, Part 2 – Patch Adams
Tip#238: The Importance of Team Spirit - Zappos – Watchmen
Tip#261: Synchronicity Stories – Zappos & Twitter – I Heart Huckabees
Tip#374: Create Your Own Universe – Tony Hsieh’s Delivering Happiness - Inception

Emmanuel Lopez
Motivational Specialist
© Emmanuel Lopez 2008


Anonymous said...

Great blog! I enjoyed reading it and I'm so proud to be part of the culture and happy work place.

Have a great day!

Pam C.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for coming out to visit! It was so nice to meet you. I read your blog, and it is fun and inspiring.

Lauren G.
Merchandising Assist. - Rideshop

Anonymous said...

Nice blog! I forwarded it on so the rest of the company can see it - way to go...

keep up the great work
motivatorman...the world needs what you got:)

Dr. David Vik

Anonymous said...

We enjoyed having you in the office yesterday. I also enjoyed the blog that you posted on your experience here at Zappos.

Have a great rest of your Holiday, and keep in touch! Cheers!

Josh Schlekewy
Assistant Buyer Surf/Skate

Anonymous said...

Your blog was very well written! Good stuff. As a Zappos Employee I can definitely say I hope to retire from this company and I am 30 years from retirement, LOL! Have a wonderful holiday season!

William B.
CLT Resource Desk