One of the productive secrets of a busy dad is taking advantage of little opportunities along the way. Rarely will you get hours of freedom in bulk to dedicate toward making progress on projects.
Riding the bus to/from work provides such an opportunity. Besides the fact that I hate driving (for obvious reasons) commuting via public transportation gives ample time each day to catch up on reading, writing, or take a much needed nap.
Speaking of reading, I just finished reading this book by Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos, called Delivering Happiness.
The title didn’t really make sense at first, but as the pages of the final chapter were turning something Tony said really struck a chord. Like a single string on a bass guitar the deep tone reverberated over the sound of traffic on the bus ride home.
Tony proposed that if you ask people what they want and continually ask “Why?” you will drill down to the root motivation of their hearts. Basically, at the base of every desire is a compulsive yearning for happiness.
We want to be happy.
It’s so simple that it feels stupid to write it out, but that’s what makes it powerful. People want to be happy. If your mission is to contribute to their happiness in a tangible way, you’ve got a win-win scenario on your hands.
Of course authenticity and genuine care are at the foundation of a mindset dedicated to “delivering happiness”. Ulterior motives rarely stay hidden for long. It’s harder to hide greed than it is to mask the funk of a teenage boy’s room with Febreeze.
Part of the philosophy of Delivering Happiness is creating WOW moments for your customer. And Tony challenges the reader to think beyond the realm of business and consider the implications of offering WOW moments to people in every areas of your life.
As it turns out WOW has a broad range of application. It doesn’t have to be extravagant (although, it can be). WOW is about special, incremental, thoughtful ways to give someone happiness and make the little bit of effort to move from ordinary to extraordinary.
The key difference between ordinary and extraordinary is “extra”.
[ctt title=”The key difference between ordinary and extraordinary is ‘extra’.” tweet=”The key difference between ordinary and extraordinary is ‘extra’. http://ctt.ec/cfe06+ #DadLifeRules” coverup=”cfe06″]
For Zappos, WOW moments are upgrading shipping for a customer so their shoes are delivered to their doorstep overnight, a generous return policy (365 days), or indulging a cheeky customer who wants to talk in the third person (true story). Coupled with the attitude of improving themselves by 1% each day this has equated to an incredibly successful business that is defined by a signature culture many want to emulate.
The more I write about fatherhood the more I try to interpret the world around me through the lens of a dad. How can the principles in books and the examples observed at work positively influence the impact on my kids?
Kids are simultaneously easy to please and relentless consumers of everything. They always want one more piece of candy, one more hug, one more glass of water, or one more toy. And yet the tiniest thing can make their day. It’s all about paying attention to the little moments.
As I write this it’s nearly midnight on Friday and the weekend calendar is jam-packed. Honestly, the schedule gets stressful at times and it’s understandable to allow the mayhem to mandate my mindset.
But as I sat on the couch and finished Tony’s book after the kids went to bed I started asking 2 questions.
- What can I do to deliver happiness to our family?
- How can I improve myself and The Procter’s by 1% each day?
That’s some meaty stuff to chew on this late at night, but the words needed to be written down. That way I know they’ll be on my mind and perhaps on yours too.