When I read the news this morning, I was shocked to see the obituary for Tony Hsieh, the brilliant entrepreneur, friend, mentor, community builder, and friend to many.
By noon on Sunday, there were almost 1,000 tributes to him on LinkedIn. Here’s how they remembered him:
“His kindness, generosity, inspiring and open nature, made magic happen, remarkable, influencer, he made a difference. “
He was quoted by one who always kept his words:
“Hope is stronger than fear.”
He loved the quirky and conveyed that throughout the way he grew his online shoe distribution by way of customer service that was filled with legendary stories, surprising exclamations that popped up when you hit the order button – they made you laugh out loud sometimes.
He loved parties and created opportunities for them even for his training events. His training was, of course, atypical challenging his trainees to use their imaginations and creativity throughout the process.
He answered emails from strangers, met people easily in crowds, conferences, was accessible, and loved making new friends. Everyone who wrote remembered his friendship and his ability and eagerness to connect them further.
He knew what he valued and lived those values, creating a legacy that will last even beyond his death that came way too early.
This got me thinking about what he did differently from others. Here are a few things that I came up with:
He was an encourager in his openness to meeting new people and including them in conversations, introductions, connections.
He inspired people through his own courage when he determined a new path that was so completely out of the mainstream thinking. He wrote about many of his ideas in his book Delivering Happiness. This book had the effect of transforming more than a few minds of young and old.
He understood that service had to be more than words on paper. The stories of Zappo’s service are legendary.
He brought his authenticity to every relationship whether in business or friendship along with a love of fun, and hard work.
Mainly he lived every single day with courage that went beyond what most people would risk … and he shared it.
Are you prepared to share your courage?