My wife and I recently returned from an overseas trip. Although I wasn’t excited about being away from Festival for a week, it gave me time to catch up on some reading I’ve been neglecting.
The first book I pulled out of my briefcase was Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose by Tony Hsieh, CEO of the online shoe destination, Zappos. How could I not want to read this book? With words like “passion” and “purpose” right there on the cover, I knew it would be good—and I wasn’t disappointed. I recognized a lot of similarities between the cultures of Festival Foods and Zappos, which made me realize that with enough passion and desire to succeed we can do anything!
With a few days left in the trip, I started on my second book, Stew Leonard, My Story. The Stew Leonard Company began as a small family dairy business that later expanded to retail grocery stores. In his book, Stew talks a lot about family. He shares his feelings of embarrassment when a bad decision he made landed him in jail. He makes the point that it’s important to stay grounded, regardless of success, and that it doesn’t hurt to ask yourself, “How would this decision look on the front page of the newspaper?” A good reminder for all of us I think!
Having just opened our fourteenth Festival Foods store, these books were a timely reminder for me to keep the passion for business alive and always stay grounded.