Tony Hsieh recommends 7 books that will blow your mind5 min read

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photo: Silicon Prairie News

Zappos CEO and founder recommends truly amazing books

 “Search Inside Yourself“ byChade-Meng Tan, Daniel Goleman and Jon Kabat-Zinn

Tony Hsieh

Also mentioned in Eric Schmidt On Books About IT Trends

According to a Google worker, a Stanford scientist, and a Zen master, meditation should contain a reality larger than head-shaving in the East and West Coast attempts at communes. Somewhere between Meng’s compulsive engineering mindset and Goleman’s insights on emotional intelligence, the average reader can get insight into how they can gain self-awareness without neglecting empathy or leadership skills. Inner joy should not have to shift aside for work demands, and happiness should not come at the expense of creativity or satisfying relationships. From the Greater Good Science Center to The Economist, this book receives both business and mindfulness accolades.

The Happiness Hypothesis:Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom” by Jonathan Haidt

–from interview to USA Today

Tony Hsieh wouldn’t waste time on a book that didn’t lead to good business principles, or list it as the book of the biggest impact on his company’s culture. Along with Good to Great and Tribal Leadership, Haidt’s Happiness book struck a big and positive nerve with the CEO of Zappos, perhaps because of the emphasis on giving and serving as a way of producing happiness. There are helpful lessons on adversity and forgiveness, compulsive gift-giving, and the scientific affirmation or rejection of either Western or Eastern ideas. The mystery of the satisfaction of reaching toward goals, rather than achieving them, may be an overwhelming reason to read the book.

“Outliers: The Story ofSuccess” by Malcolm Gladwell

Tony Hsieh recommends this book on Inc.com as one of his favourite

Also recommended by Charlie Munger

A lifelong fan of the fascinating story of failure,Gladwell, turned his eye to unlikely success stories. Though the Tipping Pointmay have moved the author on to personal fame and fortune, this book about thehard workers who scrambled their way to the top certainly contributed toGladwell’s inclusion in Time’s list of influential people. Beatles fans will beglad that their brilliance is recognized, and those who favor reading lists ofGreenwich Village authors should note that it’s Gladwell’s residence. His ownfascinating background, as the child of a math teacher and thegreat-granddaughter of Jamaican plantation owners, no doubt contributed to thebook’s assertion that society and environment play a strong role in success.

“Crush It!” by Gary Vaynerchuk

Tony Hsieh recommends this book on Inc.com as one of his favorite

From local wineseller to worldwide sales, Vaynerchuk promotes living the dream while harnessing the power of technology. His video blog, Wine Library TV, shows tasting and investment tips, demonstrating the book’s ideas on how to turn your passion into a worthwhile brand with profit. Building an online community with an eye toward monetization may be a common theme now, but the author’s breezy style can give readers hope that they really can avoid the jog slog in favor of being responsible and relevant — while remaining true to their passion and allowing for zig-zags.

“The $100 Startup: Reinvent theWay You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future” by Chris Guillebeau

Tony Hsieh

Also mentioned in Best Marketing Books According To Seth Godin

The author’s lifestyle of earning his way across the globe may not be duplicatable for everyone. However, this business vagabonding book offers compelling examples of turning ideas into an income stream, beyond borders and outside of paycheck land. The examples include stories from 50 case studies of those who had ‘gone and done likewise’, beginning with a small investment and turning their concepts into cash. Nor are the errors excluded in favor of fist-pumping motivation – the entrepreneurs reveal real monetary start-up costs and real errors that preceded insight. Maybe that’s why it’s listed on Detailed Success alongside The Millionaire Fastlane.

“Tribal Leadership: LeveragingNatural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization” by Dave Logan, John King, and Halee Fischer-Wright

–from interview to USA Today

Between Shift and Stephen Covey’s The Speed of Trust, Excell Puget Sound has listed this leadership book as a recommended resource. It’s no secret that people automatically form cliques – or ‘tribes’ numbering between 25 to 150 individuals – and the group often acts as a unit with its own set of ideas and rules. If leaders harness this trait, and know the cultural stage at which their team operates, it will be easier to harness the group’s strengths rather than fight against the weaknesses. That alone will help set a company above its competitors, and gain an economic edge.

 “Peak: How Great Companies GetTheir Mojo from Maslow” by Chip Conley

–from interview to USA Today

While Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy pyramid of needs fulfillment is most often used in psychological circles, per a Fast Company interview, Conley says that the concept also works well in business circles. Making the shift from monetary motivation to meaningful fulfillment can work with customers, employees, and investors. The resulting employee pyramid has three themes: survival, success, and transformation at the peak. Money does not motivate as much as either meaning or recognition, even in the Joie de Vivre hotel chain hit by a post-2008 and anti-tourist economy. From the personal to the theoretical to the application, the author spells out how soft business skills can turn into a real business turnaround.

I Love You More Than My Dog” by Jeanne Bliss

Tony Hsieh recommends this book on Inc.com as one of his favoriteSince the book’s forward was written by a former Southwest Airlines President (Colleen Barrett), it’s not surprising that the focus centers around customer service without excluding either money or fun. Company examples include AAA, Costco, and Symantec, former author workplaces. The first chapter begins with a Connecticut store that allows test rides on its $6,000 bikes, and the last chapter ends with a Netflix apology. The book’s placement on 800CeoRead may have to do with the message of rallying a tribe of impassioned and influential fans, or it may be due to Harley-Davidson and Zappos examples of outstanding customer centricity and loyalty. Either way, it’s readable and thought-provoking

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