Previous Hatter’s Dozen posts: Introduction, Media, Twitter, Joe Posnanski, Top Posts, Curry Fries & Mayo, Work Projects and Favorite Posts.

A look back on the people that influenced and impacted my life in 2010.

Previously on the Hatter’s Dozen: People
12. Dr. Jerry Root
11. Losties

When the speakers were revealed for Big Omaha 2010, I was curious to see which of the speakers I didn’t know much about that would impress me. Looking back on the conference, and the rest of 2010, it’s easy to pick out who that speaker was. Tony Hsieh.

Tony’s presentation was solid, and didn’t rely on a lot of bluster and smoke and mirrors to hit home what he wanted to say. It was straight-forward, humble and easy to grasp.

There were a lot of good points Tony made, points that you can hear from any number of speakers at conferences. What sticks with me is developing and establishing a culture for your business. Sticking with the core values you espouse.

What stuck with me was the carryover from his talk that is applicable to the church. How often does the church have fancy slogans and sayings, great sounding goals, only to not truly abide by them or pursue them? How often does the church talk about establishing a culture within its walls and the community it is within? It’s a nice talk, but then a few days later people revert back to the way it was and the culture remains the status quo.*

*It seems to be a joke with people in ministry who go to conferences now. They’ll go to a conference, get excited about some new idea, come back to their ministry, stick with it for about a week, revert back to what once was when they face a bit of resistance, and be left wondering why things never change.

What is your culture? What are your values? If you’ve identified them, are you going after them? If not, then whatever you are doing and going after is your culture and your values.

More than company culture, I took it on a personal level. What are the values I’m teaching to my boys? It’s one thing to say, but what is my life reflecting to them as important? And, what am I willing to sacrifice to make sure those values are imparted to my boys?

When Tony came back through Omaha on the Delivering Happiness Bus Tour, I made sure to attend. It was great to hear his story, the Zappos story, and more about establishing culture, developing a brand, and having a great customer experience.

Personally, I feel I’m in a bit of a transition period with my work. As I head into a new stage, I need to make sure the values and company culture I want to have are resolute. I don’t want to be compromising on them in any way.

I’ve seen Jason Fried start to get invites to speak at Christian conferences in 2010. I hope Tony Hsieh starts getting the same invites. Churches, ministries, non-profits and more would benefit from hearing his talk and implementing some of the points he shares.

Click here to read my Big Omaha post about Tony Hsieh.
Click here to read my Delivering Happiness Bus Tour post.

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