The Best of the Greenhouse Effect: Ari Weinzweig, Zingerman's Co-Founder

January 8, 2020
Ari Weinzweig
Co-Founder of Zingerman's
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We're back this week with another Greenhouse Effect favorite: Steve's interview last spring with Ari Weinzweig, Zingerman's Co-Founder!

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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

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Book recommendation:  Leadership Is an Art by Max De Pree

Links from the show:

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