Yesterday I had the delight to tour behind the scenes at Zingerman’s Bakehouse, Creamery and Coffee Co. with my daughter and two of her friends as they prepare for their 5th grade exhibition, on food around the world. I’m no stranger to the Zingerman’s way of doing things – I’ve read Ari Weinzweig’s books and I’ve been lucky to learn from Paul Saginaw for the past seven or eight years.
Yet I was reminded of what I deem the most important quality of this very successful business: everyone who works there, in every position from the very top to the very bottom, is HAPPY.
They love what they do.
They feel part of something meaningful.
They love to come to work every day.
And they love the people around them.
One gentleman, Matthew Bodary, Account Management Specialist with Zingerman’s Coffee Co., was on the University of Michigan pre-med track when he took a job as a barista at the Coffee Co. He was studying for his MCATs and preparing to apply to medical schools when it hit him that he was loving what he did at his job every day.
And he decided to go deeper, see where it might take him.
The passion that emanated from him so naturally when he talked about the process of finding coffee in various regions of the world, studying the beans and roasting them, was enviable. Admirable. Lovely.
The goal of every business shouldn’t be to make more and more money. It shouldn’t be to land the bigger and bigger clients.
It should be to build a culture that promotes happiness.
It’s that simple. If what you do every day doesn’t make you happy, or the people around you, or the people you serve, get out. It’s not worth it. Life is too short.
I want to love coming to work, love the people I brainstorm with, love the people I deliver to and for. That’s enough. And as the sun peeks through my gold-laced curtains, I know that this simple philosophy is more than right.