Thursday, May 16, 2013

Ctrl Alt Delete

Reboot Your Business. Reboot Your Life.

Your Future Depends on It.

I sat there on my favorite couch at home peering into this funky colored orange book, delighted to finally have it in my hands.  Though it was a typical morning, me up early, great coffee and study time before the "real day" had begun.  It was an Advanced Readers Copy (ARC) of Ctrl Alt Delete, the new, soon-to-be-released book by one of my new favorite authors, bloggers and thinkers:  Mitch Joel.
Mitch Joel was a gent who I had grown to admire over the previous few years, I was introduced to him by the Internet... Shocked right?  I was on #Amazon looking for some new reading material by some up and comers, I read about Mitch Joel (@MitchJoel) and took him to be a little of Seth Godin (@ThisisSethsBlog) and a little of the business owners that I have known and appreciate, due to the common sense and logic displayed in the table of contents ... In a word, it was relevant to me.  So I bought it, yes, hardcover for me, yes like electronically-formatted books, et al , mainly for travel ... I still enjoy paper books though for my morning read.
OK, how did I come to get this ARC?  One day, while reading Mitch post of the morning, I saw an invite that he published, it basically said, hey, if you buy Ctrl Alt Delete today, in a pre-purchase from Amazon kind of way, you will receive the ARC for your efforts.  So Again, I did. 
Shortly before this posting by Mitch, I was fortunate enough to be able to meet him, talk a bit and watch him work.  Mitch and Jeffrey Gitomer (@Gitomer), Jeffrey who is a friend, had invited me over to watch and listen to this podcast he and this "Great Guy from Canada" were going to be recording.  I say to #Gitomer, Hmmm, great guy from Canada huh, would it happen to be Mitch Joel?  Gitomer says yes, I went on to explain me following and enjoying Mitch's work, so I was psyched to get to go to the Gitomer offices and see this go down.
The winter day arrived and I was able to meet Mitch and listened as he and Jeffrey talked and discussed several topics on the podcast, both were spot on.  Mitch showed his hand just a bit and discussed some of the core work within his up-coming book. #CtrlAltDelete.
OK, back to the couch, cracking it open and zooming in on the Table of Contents page, I had a flash back to Six Pixels Table of Contents.  Good, clear and succinct chapters.  Digging into the pose over the next couple of mornings, I really was drawn to The #OneScreenWorld and the #EmbracingtheNext chapters.  This book is filled with real-world examples sprinkled in with a usable "road-map" if you will about what lies ahead.  Not a pie-in-the-sky kind of way, but in the way of:  Look at this point, and that point, by analysing Mitch's words, the road-map parts really jump out.
I highly encourage any and all that want to be #relevant in the coming age to buy and study this book, one reading is not enough, simply use it as you would a #Fodors travel guide, it is that forth-telling.

Read, Learn & Share
Greg / @gregcrumpton



Wednesday, May 15, 2013

My Zappos Moment

I was fortunate not to many weeks ago to attend a tour and subsequent Q & A session at the Zappos world-wide headquarters facility.  Zappos huh?  Maybe you are wondering why anyone would go to a shoe distribution place for a tour, well, if you have ever dealt with Zappos and things didn't go perfectly, then you would know.
Many people do not know what a huge commitment Zappos has towards serving you, the customer.  The machine they have built is pretty well-oiled, so problems do not arise often, therefore, you may have never seen them leap into action.  Leaping and action are very appropriate words to use at this juncture.
I really do not remember how I first got exposed to Zappos ... I would wager a bet though that it was through the buying habits of my Imelda Marcos ( impersonating wife. Imelda is noted well for her love of nice shoes, Connie, that initially exposed me to the company.
Following pop-culture to a degree through Twitter, I became keenly aware of Tony Hsieh (, pronounced Shay, the founder and CEO of Zappos.  While digging around on the Zappos website, I found a section that offered a free book on their culture, the 2009 version.  Upon more snooping I found that Tony had just recently released a book he wrote called Delivering Happiness, obviously then I was on the search to get it bought and read as well.
The book was a great read, it really exposed how Tony, Fred and the team started, the concepts, their beliefs, etc...
So fast forward a few years to December 2012, I was reading an article on Zappos and how they were helping to redevelop North Las Vegas.  This area was old school Vegas, crime riddled and full of hookers and other types that the city really didn't want or need hanging around.  Zappos, as you may read in the Hsieh book, moved to the Vegas area years ago so as to have access to a city that pretty much was 24x7, as a call center has to have folks working when most folks are at home ordering shoes from the Internet.  Zappos bought the old City Hall from the City as I as write this, are in the process of moving 2,000 or so people from the campus in Henderson, NV, just 15 miles from Vegas, into this really cool, huge and refurbished facility.  ( The goal being ... getting all of the smart folks of Zappos under one roof, the Henderson-sized buildings have not allowed them to do so as they have grown.
Before a blink of an eye, I was back on their website & saw they had a "training with us" type tab.  Upon clicking on it, I saw several options.  You could register for a tour of the facility or tour and then capped off with a 30 minute one on one session with a team leader or do a full 3 day immersion session.  I opted for the tour plus one on one. 
April 17th, 2013 was a beautifully, all though cool day in Las Vegas.  I arrived a few minutes early, shocker for those who know me, not, Anyway, signed in and sat and watched.  The first thing that got me was the "Mayor", he was the greeter and having the time of his life in doing so.  Warm welcome to all would be an understatement, this gent made you feel like you were the only soul in the lobby, although there would be a total of about 30 of us in general for the tour.
We did the tour ... Complete with a parade that we got to watch, no one really knew what the group was celebrating, but they did it very well ... We saw the entire facility, including Monkey Row, that would be where Tony & all the exec's sit, as well as a well appointed (see image of wall art) bathroom. 
The experience was really great, I wasn't surprised, as having read about the culture, I kind of got it.  However, the group of 13 Red Hat Ladies that were in the group, well, they were not accustomed to young ladies with full sleeves and blue hair, I had as much fun watching that crew as I did on the tour.  I sat with Jim G & Tom, both Team Leaders in the Customer Service Group.  Great guys, really get it and represented Zappos so well, what a privilege it was to talk to people who embody the company spirit.
The bottom line is this ... from my reading and visitation ... Hire smart people, keep your core values up front and practiced consistently, then get out of the way and let good stuff happen! 
Happiness Delivered!