At Zappos, we place a lot of emphasis on our culture because we are both a team and a family.
We want to create an environment that is friendly, warm, and exciting. We encourage diversity in ideas, opinions, and points of view.
The best leaders are those who lead by example and are both team followers as well as team leaders. We believe that, in general, the best ideas and decisions are made from the bottom up, meaning by those who are on the front lines and closest to the issues and/or the customers. The role of a manager is to remove obstacles and enable his/her direct reports to succeed. This means the best leaders are servant-leaders. They serve those they lead.
The best team members take initiative when they notice issues so that the team and the company can succeed. The best team members take ownership of issues and collaborate with other team members whenever challenges arise.
The best team members have a positive influence on one another and everyone they encounter. They strive to eliminate any kind of cynicism and negative interactions. They strive to create harmony with each other and with everyone else they come in contact with.
We believe that the best teams are those that not only work with each other but also interact with each other outside the office environment. Many of the company's best ideas have been the direct result of informal interactions outside of the office. For example, the idea for our culture book came about from a casual discussion outside the office.
We are more than just a team though -- we are a family. We watch out for each other, care for each other, and go above and beyond for each other because we believe in each other and we trust each other. We work together, but we also play together. Our bonds go far beyond the typical "co-worker" relationships found at most other companies.