Episode 54 | How to Supercharge Your Business with Happiness

with Delivering Happiness CEO, Jenn Lim

David Hassell interview David Hassell interview


AWE Episode graphic Robert CooperAWE Episode graphic Jenn Lim

Happiness. Does it really matter?

Ask most business leaders fifteen years ago, and you’d be hard pressed to find one who thought that happiness was a primary concern, especially within the organization.

Work is about results, and happiness is incidental. Or so the thinking went.

Then came along a little company called Zappos, with a visionary CEO named Tony Hsieh who realized that delivering happiness was a unifying theme throughout the business. Not only did delivering happiness sum up the ideal experience for his customer, but making happiness a primary concern internally actually drove results.

There’s no one in the world who understands the power of Happiness better than this week’s guest, Jenn Lim.

Delivering Happiness CEO CHO Jenn Lim

Delivering Happiness CHO Jenn Lim.

Jenn is the CEO and Chief Happiness Officer of Delivering Happiness, a consulting firm she founded with Tony Hsieh to inspire science-based happiness, passion and purpose at work, home and everyday life.

Jenn was a foundational team member at Zappos, and in 2010 she led the launch of Tony’s book Delivering Happiness, which has sold over 600,000 copies worldwide.

Jenn refers to Delivering Happiness as a book that became a company that became a global movement.

We caught up with Jenn on a Hawaiian “workcation,” and she digs deep in this interview, telling us about her upbringing, her days as an angst-ridden, Camus-reading teenager, and her own happiness journey, which includes stops at UC Berkeley, San Francisco tech, and Zappos. Eventually, this path led her to the principles of positive psychology that form the basis of Delivering Happiness.

Key Takeaways
  • Jenn takes us through DH’s happiness framework, and explains the difference between pleasure, passion, and purpose – as well as why a sense of purpose has the highest likelihood of creating sustainable happiness. 5:33
  • Jenn walks us through her childhood, and explains how her experience as a first generation American shaped her perspective on what “success” and “happiness” mean, as well as how those constructs changed over time. 8:53
  • Jenn describes one of the lowest moments of her life, and explains how this experience inspired her to focus more on discovering her own life’s purpose. 13:37
  • Jenn describes the life-changing events that led her to focus on positive psychology and the science of happiness. 21:22
  • Jenn tells us about her introduction to Zappos, and the not-so-great first impression that CEO Tony Hsieh left on her. 22:25
  • Jenn describes how her working relationship with Tony flourished, and tells us about the bonds that forged between them while scaling Mt. Kilimanjaro. 24:13
  • Jenn walks us through the number one business case for workplace happiness, and lays out a strategy for creating values that actually mean something. 26:55
  • Jenn tells us the story behind Zappos’ famous culture book, and how she brought the project from idea to launch.
  • Jenn shares a formerly-held belief about happiness that has since changed.  40:00
  • Jenn describes how the world of work will be different ten years from now. 46:12
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