Tony Hsieh hizo una pregunta realmente extraña en Zappos y definitivamente vale la pena recordarla

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Ni siquiera me había levantado de la cama el sábado cuando vi la noticia de que Tony Hsieh, el ex director ejecutivo y la fuerza impulsora detrás de Zappos, había muerto.

Tuve dos pensamientos inmediatos:

Primero, tristeza. Hsieh tenía solo 46 años y eso es demasiado joven.

En segundo lugar, confusión cuando una sola palabra apareció en mi cabeza y me di cuenta de que probablemente estaba vinculada neurológicamente a su nombre para siempre.

Viene en parte de una pregunta que Hsieh hizo durante las entrevistas en Zappos: «En una escala del 1 al 10, ¿qué tan raro eres?»

Explicó su razonamiento hace una década. «Si eres un 1, probablemente estés demasiado apretado para nosotros», le dijo Hsieh a Adam Grant. «Si eres un 10, es posible que seas demasiado psicótico para nosotros. No se trata tanto del número; se trata más de ver cómo los candidatos responden a una pregunta».

Hsieh ha tenido una gran influencia en los aspirantes a empresarios y líderes, especialmente en alguien que comenzó a una edad relativamente temprana. Y cuando pasé mi día el sábado seguía subiendo.

Llevé a mi hija al patio de recreo y charlé con otro padre de 40 años. Nuestra conversación se centró en Hsieh, y ese otro padre me recordó que Zappos tenía una política que ofrecía a los nuevos empleados $ 1,000 para renunciar.

Se trataba de estar en forma, ser culto y feliz: quiero decir, si estás listo para tomar $ 1,000 para dejar un nuevo trabajo, probablemente sea mejor que todos los involucrados lo hagan.

Como alguien que renunció a un trabajo después de un día y se volvió viral por ello, eso me impresionó. Así que escribí sobre la política de 2 palabras como parte del legado de Hsieh.

Casi 1 millón de personas lo han leído y muchos de ellos me escribieron al respecto. Es gratificante haber aportado algo pequeño a la propia memoria y haber destacado este legado.

Aún así, quiero detener la «locura».

Hsieh fue más o menos mi contemporáneo, una vez más, parte de por qué su muerte a los 46 años me afectó tanto. Y cuando estábamos creciendo, «raro» no era realmente un cumplido. Era la versión clasificada G de los insultos que los acosadores usaban en la escuela primaria contra los niños a los que atormentaban.

Hsieh no era la única «locura» redentora, pero era realmente parte de la cultura que quería crear en Zappos.

Estaba entre los valores fundamentales de la empresa: «Valor fundamental n. ° 3: Diviértete y crea un poco de locura».

Cuando Amazon compró Zappos en 2010, Hsieh escribió al personal de Assururanace que Amazon «quería seguir construyendo la cultura Zappos de nuestra manera única», y agregó: «Creo que» única «era su manera,» divertida y un poco «. raro «decir. ‘:)»

(Por cierto, cuando Amazon compró Zappos, Hsieh escribió un informe de primera mano muy interesante sobre su experiencia en este proceso para C ª..)

Pero «extraño» sigue siendo la palabra. Así le rindió este sábado su amigo, el inversor Chris Sacca: «maravillosamente divertido. «

Y tiene que ver con cómo lo recordaban otros amigos y admiradores: «el excéntrico» y «un hombre de contradicciones», un multimillonario que vivía y construía en un parque de casas rodantes en Las Vegas, sostenía una alpaca como mascota y lucía un «mohawk altísimo». » algunas veces.

«Le encantaba hacer felices a otras personas, pero creo que siempre trató de resolver este misterio por sí mismo también», dijo su novia, la emprendedora convertida en empresaria Sarah Lacy, a un periódico. «No estoy seguro del éxito que tuvo en esto, para ser honesto».

Esta observación es conmovedora ironía, ya que Hsieh estaba profundamente interesado en lo que llamó «la ciencia de la felicidad» y literalmente lo llamó su libro más vendido de 2010. Traer buena suerte.

Para ser justos, es un problema para muchos dueños de negocios, especialmente para los más exitosos.

La locura que te hace ver el mundo de manera diferente y ver oportunidades puede hacer que sea difícil encontrar satisfacción.

Muchos emprendedores no actuarían, pero hay un costo. Entonces abrazas cualquier cosa que te haga un poco raro y lo buscas en otras personas. Ojalá lo uses para construir algo y dejar un legado.

Alguien dijo una vez que la gente muere tres veces: cuando su cuerpo deja de funcionar, cuando son enterrados y después de la última vez que alguien dice su nombre.

Reflexioné sobre esto en el aniversario de la muerte de un buen amigo. Y lo pensé cuando me di cuenta de que dos hombres de mediana edad que nunca habían conocido a Hsieh estaban sentados en un parque de Nueva Jersey el sábado hablando de parte de su legado.

Así que aquí está Tony Hsieh, el director ejecutivo «maravillosamente extraño», que imita las mejores partes de lo que dejó atrás.

Y para recordarles: Tony Hsieh, Tony Hsieh, Tony Hsieh.

Las opiniones expresadas por los columnistas de Inc.com aquí son las suyas, no las de Inc.com.

It comes in part from a question Hsieh used to ask during job interviews at Zappos: "On a scale of 1 to 10, how weird are you?"

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He explained his reasoning a decade ago. "If you're a 1, you're probably a little bit too strait-laced for us," Hsieh told Adam Grant. "If you're a 10, you might be too psychotic for us. It's not so much the number; it's more seeing how candidates react to a question."

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Hsieh had a lot of influence on aspiring entrepreneurs and leaders, especially for someone taken at a fairly early age. And as I went about my day Saturday, he kept coming up.

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I took my daughter to the playground, and I chatted with another 40-something dad. Our conversation turned to Hsieh, and this other dad reminded me that Zappos had a policy that offered $1,000 to new employees to quit.

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It was all about finding fit and culture and happiness: I mean, if you're willing to take $1,000 to leave a new job, it's probably better for all involved that you do so.

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As someone who once quit a job after 1 day and went quasi-viral for it, that resonated with me. So, I wrote about the 2-word policy, as part of Hsieh's legacy.

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Nearly 1 million people read it and many of them wrote to me about it. It's gratifying to have contributed some small thing to his memory, and to have highlighted that legacy.

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But still, I want to hold up "weirdness."

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Hsieh was roughly my contemporary -- again, probably part of why his death at age 46 hit me so hard. And when we were growing up, "weird" wasn't really a compliment. It was the G-rated version of insults that grade school bullies used on the kids they tormented.

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Hsieh wasn't alone in redeeming "weirdness," but it really was part of the culture he sought to create at Zappos.

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It was right up there in the company's core values: "Core Value #3: Create Fun & A Little Weirdness."

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When Amazon bought Zappos in 2010, Hsieh wrote to reassuranace employees that Amazon wanted to "continue to build the Zappos culture in our own unique way," and added: "I think 'unique' was their way of saying 'fun and a little weird.' :)" 

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(By the way, when Amazon bought Zappos, Hsieh wrote a very interesting first-person account of his experience in the process for Inc.)

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But "weird" is still the word. It's how his friend, the investor Chris Sacca paid tribute to him Saturday: "beautifully weird."

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And it's wrapped up in how other friends and admirers remembered him: "eccentric" and "a man of contradictions" -- a near-billionaire who built and lived in a trailer park in Las Vegas, and who kept a pet alpaca and wore a "sky-high mohawk" at times. 

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"He loved making other people happy, but I think he was also always trying to solve that puzzle for himself," his friend, the journalist turned entrepreneur Sarah Lacy, told a newspaper. "I'm not sure how successful he was at it, to be honest."

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There's some poignant irony to that observation, since Hsieh was very interested in what he called "the science of happiness," and literally called his best-selling 2010 book, Delivering Happiness.

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Frankly, it's a problem for many entrepreneurs, especially the most successful ones.

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The weirdness that leads you to look at the world a different way, and to see possibilities, can make it difficult to find contentment.

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Many entrepreneurs wouldn't trade it, but there's a cost. So, you embrace whatever it is that makes you a bit weird, and you look for it in other people. Hopefully, you use it to build something, and to leave a legacy.

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Someone once said that people die three times: when their body stops working, when they're buried, and after the last time anyone says their name.

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I thought about that on the anniversary of a good friend's death. And I thought about it when I realized that two middle-aged guys who never met Hsieh were sitting in a park in New Jersey Saturday, talking about part of his legacy.

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So here's to Tony Hsieh, the "beautifully weird" CEO, and to imitating the best parts of what he left behind.

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And to remembering: Tony Hsieh, Tony Hsieh, Tony Hsieh.

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