Many leaders who build something as successful as Zingerman’s end up trapped in a life that serves their work. Ari has built a famous business while still maintaining the customer experience and the life he really wants. And it was possible because he wrote a vision on paper.
Along with his partner Paul Saginaw, Ari started Zingerman’s Delicatessen in 1982 with a $20,000 bank loan, a staff of two, a small selection of great-tasting specialty foods and a relatively short sandwich menu. Today, Zingerman’s experiences over 500,000 visitors every year, has 700+ employees, and over $65M in sales.
Ari discusses how writing a personal vision is the key. And how it has always related to the stuff that every progressive business writer touches on now:
- Employee engagement
- Treating people like they’re intelligent
- People don’t do good work if they don’t believe in what they’re doing
- Self-organizing work teams
- Not getting into hierarchical models
- Not overusing authority
- Involve people in designing the systems they’re going to be a part of
Book recommendation: Leadership Is an Art by Max De Pree
- Zingtrain Leadership & Business Training Experience
- Zingerman’s Press
- The Secret Pamphlets
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