My name is Saul! I'm an award winning Word of Mouth Marketer, Professional Speaker on the subjects of Social Media, Customer Service and best of all... Word of Mouth. I collect Air Force One sneakers and think you should hire me... (as a consultant) to teach you how to get your company doing interesting things!
the smartest man in the world.

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Photos from the Drupal Conference in San Francisco, CA 2010

Saturday, Sep 09, 2009

Zappos gave me an idea….

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About a year ago I was honored with an invite to take the world famous “Zappos Headquarters” tour in Las Vegas. An avalanche of blog posts have been written about the tour from many different perspectives and I can confirm that the tour is a great experience and one that probably inspires people to try to copy something about the way Zappos and Tony Hsieh operate their company. I make this assumption because I know it did for me.

Many things stuck with me from the tour but the thing that stood out the most happens to be the first thing I noticed when I got there….you see right at the front door (yes, in the lobby) there was two pretty big book cases containing what you would expect to be on a bookcase…books. But unlike a usual bookcase, these ones had probably less then 15 titles in total with each title almost getting an entire shelve to its self and being the kind of person who loves to read I asked someone what the deal was with the books and was told that the books are hand picked by the Sr. Management as things worth reading and the books are provided free for the staff.

These are new books and this is not a lending library…these books are there to be taken and read but there is no mandate to do so…only a suggestion and an opportunity.

I love this so much that I decided today to try to work this into where I work and on this here blog I am going to share with you the first handful of books I would stuff my shelves with….so here goes (in no particular order):

A Sense of Urgency by John Kotter – Quite Possibly the most thoughtfully inspiring book I have read in the last little while and has changed the way I look towards business building an motivation.

Manging By Henry Mintzberg – I haven’t read this book yet but Henry Mintzberg is one of my favorite disruptive authors and happen to love his book Managers not MBA’s a great deal.

Managers not MBA’s by Henry Mintzberg
– This book formed by opinion on the difference between Entrepreneurs and MBA’s and is something I read once a year.

Trust Agents By Chris Brogan and Julien Smith – Both Chris and Julien are people I consider friends and are super smart in the ways of connecting with people online and profiting from those connections. This book doesn’t just talk about the ways but walks you through strategies to do on your own and is a valuable read.

Six Pixels of Separation by Mitch Joel – Mitch, another friend is one of the true thought leaders in the digital space and while I admit I haven’t read the book yet (it is on my nightstand) I know from reading everything else Mitch has released through his blog or podcasts that this is something that people in an organization can learn from.

and finally….Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuk – Because Gary is Gary and everyone can use a little of Gary’s hustle in them.

Keeping staff inspired can only benefit your work environment and while this isn’t the only thing you should/could do it certainly wouldnt hurt to share a book every know and then..cause as I learned as kid, Reading is Fundamental!


  1. Saul, delighted to see Zappo's encouragement of reading AND your metnion of Reading Is Fundamental! Hope you will come by to visit us sometime, we'd love to show you around our place.

    Carol Rasco
    Reading Is Fundamental
    Washington, DC

  2. Hi Carol,

    I am going to take you up on your offer next time I am in DC!


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