Learning from the Best - An Interview with Zappos CEO, Tony Hsieh

Tony Hsieh: CEO of Zappos - Author of "Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose" - General Manager of Venture Frogs, LLC.  LinkedIn Profile

We had the opportunity to connect with Tony to get his insights on entrepreneurship, company culture, and success.  Here is an abbreviated version of that conversation.

GYL: Many Millennials would love to learn how to become a leader in the ways you have, can you give us an inside look into your success path?  In other words, what ignited the dream and what were the pivotal points in your success path?

Tony: I think the key is to just keep doing a lot of things and over time you'll gain your 10,000 hours of experience - but you need the 10,000 hours to be doing different things in different situations so you're constantly learning.


5 Steps to Finding a Mentor Online

These 5 Steps were inspired by this conversation with Amos Winbush III, CEO of Cyber Synchs (see his interview here - #14)

     Create a Plan of Action

1.  Make a List - check it twice
Write down 10 people you admire and would love to talk to.  Go on...dream big and write down the names of people you are thinking of right now - the CEO, top exec, the person who holds the position you are dying to have.  Want to be the VP of Programming at Comedy Central?  Why not add that individual to your list?  Who would know how to get there better than the individual who is there now?  Once you have the "big guy" list, think through the realistic possibilities and refine it a bit.  It may be a challenge to reach certain people in top positions, so you may have to connect with people around them instead.  Maybe you can't connect with the VP of Programming at Comedy Central, but perhaps a director or a manager on his or her team can offer you key advice and valuable guidance.

If you have 30 names, narrow them down to 10 and prioritize them.


Interview #19: Christian Brucculeri - Social & Interactive Media Expert breaks down Social Media into simple terms

Watch a quick preview of Christian’s interview
Check out Christian’s responses to our Word Association Challenge under "Start Here"
Click “read more” for Christian’s full interview
Social & Interactive Media Strategist
Managing Partner at ThinkLabs Interactive
MBA at NYU’s Stern School of Business

Connect with Christian:
Twitter @nycsteady

Starting with nothing, Christian has navigated through the ranks of the music business into the world of social & interactive media. In this interview he describes how he was able to make a name for himself managing bands under Sony & Universal and use new media to build massive communities for each of his acts. Christian was on the ground level of major developments in social media and community engagement - SnapFind, Meez, Meebo, MyYearbook, KiteTV, and others. He shares his path of success and breaks social media down into simple terms.


Sit in the Chair #3: 4 Ways to Be More Productive and Love Your Work

Expert advice from a Sr. Director of a Fortune 500 Company (name withheld for privacy reasons)

1. Shorten the List - Do less, but More:
Many of his team members used to put 10-15 tasks on their daily To-Do list with the intention of getting more done.  They attempted throughout the day to look busy and would say "look at all this stuff on my To-Do list, I'm 'doing' so much."  They were right; they were "doing" a lot, but yet they weren't producing results.  So he instructed them to simply "Shorten their list" and focus on doing 2 or 3 tasks thoroughly, instead of 10 half - heartedly.  Within a month, the productivity of the entire team shot up.


7 Tips to Effectively Branding Yourself with Social Media

 The Open Letter: Branding For Success!
a Guest Post by Young Leader Jonathan Collazo (# 7)
Dear Future leaders,
Welcome to the 21st century, where everything is digital and social media is a must!
In the past creating a buzz would have taken a lot of time and effort. However, in our present time of social marketing, something as simple as a funny YouTube video can get 1 million hits in a matter of minutes! With these new possibilities, every up-and-coming leader should capitalize and walk through the open door of opportunity that social media has afforded them.A leader is someone who is not only respected for his or her accomplishments, but someone who serves as an inspiration for future generations. “A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus."


6 Secrets to Mentorship Success

    As we start this journey toward developing more effective leadership and mentorship programs for up and coming leaders it may help to keep in mind that the majority of Gen Y thrive off a strong personal support system.  We desire growth and development and we seek out organizations that provide those opportunities.  Most experts (, Carlie Kollath, Don Tapscott, Tamara Erickson) agree that we prosper with mentors, and I think this so-called "coddling" phenomenon has a lot to do with that.
Bottom line is...every Leadership/Development Program should have a mentorship component.


Interview #18: Jess Rainer - Sheds Light on America's Largest Generation in His New Book, "The Millennials."

Watch a quick preview of Jess’s interview
Check out Jess’s responses to our Word Association Challenge under “Boxers or Briefs”
Click “read more” for Jess’s full interview 
Co-Author - “The Millennials: Connecting to America’s Largest Generation.” Buy a copy here.
Administrative Pastor - Grace Church
Connect with Jess:
Twitter @JessRainer
From banking professional to author and entrepreneur, Jess has aligned himself with his passions and is on a roll.  He had an idea for a book about his generation “The Millennials” and was bold enough to approach his dad, visionary author, Thom Rainer (Simple Church), and push for it.  After interviewing 1200 millennials, asking about priorities, conflicts, obstacles, likes, dislikes, reactions, technology, social media, religion, family, career and more,  Jess and his dad present their findings in this timely, relevant new book.  He takes a minute with us to shed light on the data that surprised him most and helps us understand who we are as a generation.