Secret Chapter E-Books

Secret 1: Twelve Natural Laws of Building a Great Business

Excerpted from Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 1:
A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Building a Great Business
.

The laws of nature that underlie the success of any organization—large or small, for profit or not-for-profit, and most definitely Zingerman's!

PDF available for download.

Secret 2: Contrast, Composition, Content

Excerpted from Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 1:
A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Building a Great Business
.

This chapter walks you through designing a great business from the inside out rather than from the outside in, working from your own passions, beliefs and enthusiasms.

PDF available for download.

Secret 3: Creating Recipes for Organizational Success

Excerpted from Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 1:
A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Building a Great Business
.

A look at writing organizational recipes that are clear and applicable enough so everyone in your organization can use them, yet flexible enough so they can be adapted to any situation. Guaranteed to help everyone in your organization improve their effectiveness.

PDF available for download.

Secret 4: The Zingerman's Business Perspective Chart

Excerpted from Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 1:
A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Building a Great Business
.

A visual representation of the way we approach doing business. We teach this chart internally in all of our classes because it helps staff understand the way we work. It frames why we make the choices that we do.

PDF available for download.

Secret 5: Building a Better Mission Statement

Excerpted from Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 1:
A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Building a Great Business
.

A mission statement can be a valuable investment of time—if you actually use it. This essay details the whys and hows of writing one for your own organization.

PDF available for download.

Secret 6: Revisiting the Power of Visioning

Excerpted from Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 1:
A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Building a Great Business
.

Visioning is one of the keys to the way we work at Zingerman's. It's a Natural Law of Business that organizations with clear and compelling visions of the future are more likely to be more successful. The idea is to begin our work by first figuring out what we want success to look like at a particular point in the future, then work backward to the present.

Not sure if or why you should be creating a vision? In this essay Ari discusses our passion, here at Zingerman’s, for the effectiveness of visioning work.

PDF available for download.

Secret 7: Writing a Vision of Greatness

Excerpted from Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 1:
A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Building a Great Business
.

This chapter outlines the basics of writing a vision. It gives some background on the visioning process, why and how it works, and how it's helped to change our organization for the better. It includes a detailed look at our four elements of an effective vision.

PDF available for download.

Secret 8: Vision Back

Excerpted from Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 1:
A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Building a Great Business
.

Taking time to share your personal and organizational history can make an enormous difference to the people who work with you. Knowing where you've come from, the successes, the struggles—the personal stories from the past give staff members a much more solid connection with the present and better buy in going forward.

PDF available for download.

Secret 9: An 8-Step Recipe for Writing a Vision

Excerpted from Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 1:
A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Building a Great Business
.

This is the recipe for drafting a vision of greatness for your business, department, project or personal life. It's guaranteed to get you a really good first draft in under thirty minutes!

PDF available for download.

Secret 10: A Question of Systems

Excerpted from Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 1:
A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Building a Great Business
.

Systems play an important role in building any great business. Without strong systems very little gets done well. When it comes to systems, what's your vision of success? In this chapter, we share the way we work to recognize what sorts of systems are needed, and how we implement them.

PDF available for download.

Secret 11: Writing and Using Guiding Principles

Excerpted from Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 1:
A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Building a Great Business
.

If I had to choose between spending my time on a typical team-building exercise and reaching agreement on a set of values or principles, I’d take the latter 10 times out of 10. You actually get great team-building just by defining the ethics and values of your organization, and the document you end up with will help you make more effective decisions.

PDF available for download.

Secret 12: Five Steps to Building and Organizational Culture

Excerpted from Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 1:
A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Building a Great Business
.

“Organizational culture” has certainly become one of the hot topics in the business world. But more often than not the subject is framed either in terms of the culture that already is, or of not losing what we’ve created. But there's no need to be passive—you can take an active role in making your organizational culture what you want it to be. It’s very doable, if at times difficult. The “secret” is knowing what you want. Here’s the recipe.

PDF available to download.

Secret 13: Creating a Culture of Positive Appreciation

Excerpted from Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 1:
A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Building a Great Business
.

Among the small and very easy-to-implement things you can do to make a big difference in an organization very quickly, appreciation is high on our list: the cost is next to nil, and the benefits are very big. It’s incredible how far a bit of recognition and caring, heartfelt positive feedback will go.

PDF available for download.

Secret 14: Why I Want to Finish Third

Excerpted from Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 1:
A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Building a Great Business
.

We use the tools and techniques inspired by Ray Oldenburg’s book The Great Good Place all the time, and with great benefit to all involved. A "third place" is a spot where people in the community casually come together on a consistent basis—a café, a tavern, an ice cream shop. Turning your business into a third place makes it a regular stop for customers, and a fixture in the community. Like most everything else in this book, you’ll see in this essay that the actual work of creating a third place costs next to nothing. When it’s done well, everyone involved wins: the company, the community, the staff, and your co-workers all come out better when they get to be a part of a creative, special third place.

PDF available for download.

Secret 15: Building a Sustainable Business

Excerpted from Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 1:
A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Building a Great Business
.

The act of creatively and constructively staying in business and, in the process, building positive benefits for all involved (the community, the people who work in the business, purveyors, investors, and, of course, customers) is probably more to the point of most “purpose-driven businesses” like ours than the more standard supposition of setting out just to make money. In the old model of business, success looks like a hot poker player who hits it big, sweeps up all his chips, cashes out, and goes home while he’s on top. In our case, by contrast, the point is to keep playing, and, in the process, to create wins for all the players at once while the pool gets ever-bigger and ever-more rewarding for all involved.

PDF available for download.

Secret 16: 28 Years of Buying Local... All Over the World

Excerpted from Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 1:
A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Building a Great Business
.

In the years since I wrote this piece, the subject of “local” has become even bigger than ever. Clearly it’s a critical issue for any caring organization to work on. Even in the last few years there has been tremendous headway made in getting more flavorful, locally made foods onto Americans’ tables in place of the mass-produced, not very tasty stuff that was previously shipped in from some faraway spot. That said, to me the issue is far less clear-cut than most people make it out to be. Here’s our take on it,offered up in the spirit of trying to make sustainable business a reality by serving and selling the full-flavored and traditional foods to which we’ve been committed since we opened in 1982.

PDF available for download.

Secret 17: A Recipe for Making Something Special

Excerpted from Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 1:
A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Building a Great Business
.

While it’s probably easier in the short run to go with the mainstream flow, to me (and I think most everyone at Zingerman’s) it’s a lot less rewarding in the long term. If you’re going to do something, make it memorable. Here are 10 things anyone can do to help make their business a place that people remember, actively seek out, and bring friends and family to visit.

PDF available for download.

Secret 18: Taking Food "Quality" Beyond Cliché

Excerpted from Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 1:
A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Building a Great Business
.

The food is—spiritually, intellectually, physically, and financially—our sustenance. Whether it’s corned beef, candy bars, or croissants, the cooking is what keeps folks coming back, which in turn makes it possible to pay people and bills, contribute to the community, and come back to do it again the next day. I’ve used the term “food” because that’s what we do, but you can, of course, plug in your own product as you like—I think the ideas in this chapter are valid whether your business is corned beef, cars, or day care. Here are seven things that frame the way we work with our food and how you can adapt them to your business.

PDF available for download.

Secret 19: Fixing the Energy Crisis in the American Workplace

Excerpted from Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 2:
A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Being a Better Leader
.

You can read all about the Natural Laws of Business in Secret 1. They underlie the success of any organization—large or small, for profit or not-for-profit, and most definitely Zingerman's! Secret 19 is about how, by operating in violation of the Natural Laws of Business, we as a country have slowly but surely created an energy crisis in the workplace that’s clearly apparent in the passive, unhelpful, low-energy effort we see in the vast majority of American workplaces today. The good news is that the solution to the energy crisis is something any caring organization can tackle. And it's free! Find out more here.

PDF available for download.

Secret 20: Raising the Energy Bar

Excerpted from Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 2:
A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Being a Better Leader
.

This secret is all about energy—not the kind that's connected to light bulbs or gas pumps, but energy of the sort that flows through each of us as individuals, and in turn, throughout all of our organizations. The work that we’ve done to teach, define, live, measure, and recognize positive energy has clearly helped to meaningfully enhance a culture here that was already very energized when we started that work back in 2010. Here is our overview on the subject—a dozen ways to better manage our energy every day!

PDF available for download.

Secret 21: Defining Positive Energy

Excerpted from Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 2:
A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Being a Better Leader
.

Like our 3 Steps to Great Service or 3 Steps to Great Finance, the 4 Steps to Effective Energy Management in this chapter make up a recipe that liter­ally everyone in our organization learns and uses almost every day. The recipe has, I’m confident, helped everyone here be more mindful of, and effective at, managing our own and the group’s energy. Which in turn translates directly into better customer experiences, a more enjoyable workplace, and better . . . everything! Feel free to adapt these ideas at will.

PDF available for download.

Secret 22: We're All Leaders

Excerpted from Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 2:
A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Being a Better Leader
.

One of the most radical of all our approaches here at Zingerman's, we assign responsibility for leadership effectiveness to every single member of our organization. Sure, like every other good-sized business, we have an org chart and a whole lineup of supervisors, managers, partners, and the like. But the bottom line is that leadership isn’t limited to just those who happen to have a title. This essay is about how and why here, at Zingerman's, leadership rests—radically and regularly—on everyone.

PDF available for download.

Secret 23: A Recipe for Servant Leadership

Excerpted from Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 2:
A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Being a Better Leader
.

If traditional business models have everybody serving their boss, Servant Leadership flips that model on its head. It says, when in doubt, do what’s right for the organization. It's a natural law of business that if we want our staff to give great service to our guests, we as leaders need to give great service to the staff. This secret explores the why and how-to behind this transformational approach.

PDF available for download.

Secret 24: The Secret of Stewardship

Excerpted from Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 2:
A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Being a Better Leader
.

Our approach to Stewardship is based on our belief that the effectiveness of our authority is inversely related to the frequency with which we use it. Instead, we work to interact with everyone—regardless of where they are on our org chart—as if they are our peers, negotiating as equals to arrive at freely chosen commitments. It's all about how to take authority out of the equation and increase the effectiveness of our leadership in the process.

PDF available for download.

Secret 25: Managing by Pouring Water

Excerpted from Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 2:
A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Being a Better Leader
.

Management by pouring water started out of need—a busy night, a short-staffed dining room and a desire to be of service. It ended up a being regular routine and a whole new approach to leadership. I’ve probably learned as much carrying my water pitcher around the dining room at the Roadhouse as I have sitting down to read. Word has it that Emma Goldman once uttered, “When things are bad, scrub floors.” I’m down with the spirit of that—when I’m feeling down and out, I start pouring water. It almost never fails to reignite my energy and increase my appreciation for all the great food and very fine people I get to work with everyday. It’s one of the best moves I’ve made over the years. I’m not sure what the parallel to water pouring is in your work, but it’s worth giving it some thought.

PDF available for download.

Secret 26: Beekeeping and Leadership

Excerpted from Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 2:
A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Being a Better Leader
.

As author Michael Gerber writes in E-Myth Mastery, “The technician goes to work in his business. The entrepreneur goes to work on his business.” He has the right idea. While Managing by Pouring Water (Secret 25) is, essentially, a way to make working in your business for a couple of hours particularly productive, Secret 26 is all about the work we can and need to do on it. This essay explores over a dozen reasons why beekeeping is a great metaphor for management. The idea of "being the beekeeper" might be the small bit of mental boost that could help keep a couple of well-meaning managers and business owners from working solely in the business. So, go on, be the beekeeper!

PDF available for download.

Secret 27: The Entrepreneurial Approach to Management

Excerpted from Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 2:
A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Being a Better Leader.

The Entrepreneurial Approach is about applying the same sort of creative, compelling, fun, energy-building approaches in our leadership that we long ago started to apply in our merchandising and sales work Instead of getting all serious and bureaucratic, it brings fun and positive energy into employee management. If, as per Servant Leadership, the staff are our customers, this approach is all about selling them on what we believe is best. If our work with Stewardship says that we want to encourage people to make conscious choices to commit to what we’re doing, the Entrepreneurial Approach is guaranteed to raise the odds of that happening. And if everyone’s a leader, then anyone here can kick the approach into action. It works far better than old-school stuff that orders staff to behave.

PDF available for download.

Secret 28: Moving Your Organization from V to A

Excerpted from Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 2:
A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Being a Better Leader
.

Here is a list of basic, but important, small things that leaders can (and by all rights ought to) do to be effective in their work. Unlike most of this book, what follows aren’t even remotely “secrets”—it’s all been said many times before. The radical thing would be to actually do them every day! If you believe, as I do, that the little things make all the difference, then this “secret” is a great place to start your leadership work. Following through, being consistent, and acting in caring and considerate ways are simple and old-fashioned, but, ultimately, they’re incredibly effective ways to raise energy and build a better business.

PDF available for download.

Secret 29: Twelve Tenets of Anarcho-Capitalism

Excerpted from Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 2:
A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Being a Better Leader
.

Can Anarchism and Capitalism really come together in a productive way? We sure think so. This is about how our approach to both has helped us to build a thriving and successful business that's also caring and community oriented. It blends a belief in both respect for the individual and free choice with respect for customers, staff, product and the free market. If you want to find out how Emma Goldman's approaches to Anarchism can be applied to build a $40,000,000 business, this secret is for you!

PDF available for download.

Secret 30: Why Managing Ourselves Well Matters

Excerpted from Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 3:
A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Managing Ourselves.

Author Simon Sinek says, “It doesn’t matter what you do, it matters why you do it.” We agree. Knowing why we're doing something makes all the difference. In this secret, Ari talks about how he's long believed that managing ourselves more effectively would have a positive impact on our lives. Per Simon’s suggestion, it’s worth reflecting on why it’s so important. Self-management, it turns out, is at the core of everything we're trying to do. In this essay, you'll read about the four benefits to effective self-management that have Ari fired up.

This is an electronic PDF.

Secret 31: Managing Ourselves

Excerpted from Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 3:
A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Being a Better Leader.

When all the big business stuff is said and done—missions and visions written, strategies and systems set, values and cultures established—our long-term success still really comes down to this: the effectiveness with which we manage ourselves will almost always make or break the rest of the work we do. While it’s true that a once in-a-lifetime innovation or a quickly implemented stroke of genius might bring us success in spite of ourselves, 98 times out of 100 the effectiveness with which our organizations operate will depend on the way we work within ourselves. The better we manage ourselves, the better we, and everyone around us, will do.

This is an electronic PDF.

Secret 32: It's All About Free Choice

Excerpted from Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 3:
A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Managing Ourselves.

This essay could just as easily have been called: How I Spent Three Years Learning That I Didn’t Actually Have To Do a Darned Thing. Free choice is clearly a central political principle of American life. But what's included here is, as per the rest of this book, about what goes on inside us, not what happens in the halls of Congress or on the bench of the Supreme Court. Secret 32 focuses on the importance for each of us to embrace free choice from the inside out.

This is an electronic PDF.

Secret 33: Mindfullness Matters

Excerpted from Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 3:
A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach Managing Ourselves.

Mindfulness, like everything else in Part 3, can help enormously to make both our lives and our management richer and more rewarding. Practicing it is, of course, a piece of effective self-management. Here, Ari devotes an entire secret to sharing his sense of it.

This is an electronic PDF.

Secret 34: Schein On, You Crazy Diamond

Excerpted from Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 3:
A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Being a Better Leader.

A Tribute to Edgar Schein’s Essay on Leadership and Organizational Culture, this essay isn’t, per se, about self-management. It’s an in-depth look at the style of leadership that’s needed and appropriate for various levels of organizational development. Which, in turn, is fully in synch with the idea of effective self management—it’s hard to manage ourselves well without a good sense of how what we want to do fits with what’s likely best for our business. Our hope is that it gets you thinking about how your personal style, drive, and dreams mesh with what it will likely take to bring your organization to the success you’ve so mindfully chosen. The more you understand where you are and where you need to be, the higher the odds of getting to greatness and having fun en route.

This is an electronic PDF.

Secret 35: The Power of Personal Visioning

Excerpted from Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 3:
A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Being a Better Leader.

The Twelve Natural Laws of Business is Secret #1 in Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 1. The idea is that these laws apply to all organizations, everywhere. And that like the law of gravity, they hold true regardless of how we feel about them. In the years since they appeared, the Natural Laws have proven themselves ever more solid. They now serve as the basis for ZingTrain’s Zingerman’s Experience Seminar and we’ve taught them to hundreds of organizations around the country.

Because personal visioning is such a big part of sustainable self-management, Ari's devoted this entire essay to Natural Law #1: An inspiring, strategically sound vision leads the way to greatness (especially if you write it down!). Secret #36, which comes next, addresses the other eleven Natural Laws. They all come together to make some very positive things happen. In the right settings, most of us have a pretty good shot at living them, and in the process creating meaningful and positive lives and successful organizations.

This is an electronic PDF.

Secret 36: Making the Most of Our Lives

Excerpted from Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 3:
A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Being a Better Leader.

Of the Natural Laws of Life, the first—about the importance of vision—is one of the least recognized in the wider business world, but it’s probably the most powerful of the twelve. It’s also the most expansive and inclusive—writing a personal vision gives you a chance to weave any or all of the other eleven into your desired future. With that in mind, here’s Ari's take on why each of the Natural Laws contributes meaningfully to being successful and leading a rewarding, creative, and connected life.

As Russian anarchist Mikhail Bakunin wrote well over a century ago, “The liberty of man consists solely in this: that he obeys natural laws because he has himself recognized them as such, and not because they have been externally imposed upon him by any extrinsic will whatever, divine or human, collective or individual.” Starting to live the Natural Laws won’t guarantee that you’ll attain world-class success in a week, but we're confident that over time they’ll contribute positively and progressively to the quality of your life.

This is an electronic PDF.

Secret 37: Time Management for Lapsed Anarchists

Excerpted from Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 3:
A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Being a Better Leader.

We teach many different classes for our staff here at Zingerman’s—courses on leadership, service, open book finance, food, etc. While it hardly seems the most glamorous of the group, one of the most oft requested is the course we do on time management.

Time is one of the key resources we can tap when we set to work to manage ourselves—and our surroundings—more successfully. Whether we realize it or not, our relationship with time is one of the most intimate we engage in—time is with us everywhere we go and it impacts every other relationship we have. Clearly, we can’t live without it. While it’s hard to lose any long-term relationship, if time runs out on us, it feels like—and in fact is—the end.

To be clear, nothing that's included here is a lecture on why you should use your time better. If you’re good with how things are for you now, then, quite simply, keep going! On the other hand, if you’re up for making some modest but meaningful improvements, maybe the practices in this essay will prove helpful. Ari says, "There is no more time in the day than there was when I started, but I feel better about it now than I ever have."

This is an electronic PDF.

Secret 38: Thinking About Thinking

Excerpted from Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 3:
A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Being a Better Leader.

Why does the way we think alter our organizations? In this essay, Ari discusses a series of thoughts about thinking: the way we do it, why it matters, and how we might work to change it in the interest of running more effective organizations.

This is an electronic PDF.

Secret 39: Creating Creativity

Excerpted from Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 3:
A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Being a Better Leader.

Creativity is a nearly universally sought-after attribute. The funny thing is that unlike baking a cake or building a cathedral, you can’t really design and create creativity—it kind of just happens. What you can do, though, is actively build an environment in which creativity, encouraged rather than encumbered, is much more likely to occur. We’ve done a great deal of that sort of work here over the years, and with really good results to show for it.

This is an electronic PDF.

Secret 40: The Power of Beliefs in Business

Excerpted from Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 4:
A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to the Power of Beliefs in Business
.

In 1908, six years after Disderide opened his shop on Detroit Street, anarchist Emma Goldman published a pamphlet called “What I Believe.” As is often the case, Ari agrees wholeheartedly with Goldman’s words: “‘What I believe’ is a process rather than a finality.” Understanding the thought and the action behind her statement is what this essay is all about. Beliefs are one of the most powerful forces in our lives. They impact how well we work together, the quality of our products, our organizational culture, our community, our relationships. Everything in our lives is likely to have its roots in beliefs. As we become more mindful of our beliefs and the impact they have on us, we can steadily shape our lives to be as we would like them to be.

This is an electronic PDF.

Secret 41: Leading with Positive Beliefs

Excerpted from Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 4:
A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to the Power of Beliefs in Business
.

Given that positive beliefs lead to positive outcomes and that negative beliefs do not, it became increasingly clear to Ari that leading from a positive perspective was the only way we were going to build the kind of long-lasting, much-loved organization we want to be a part of. What's included here is an attempt to apply this principle in all walks of our leadership life. Just the act of working on it has helped us stay on the positive path and to get more rewarding results. We hope it does the same for you.

This is an electronic PDF.

Secret 42: It's All About Alignment

Excerpted from Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 4:
A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to the Power of Beliefs in Business
.

One of the things that appeals to us so much about anarchist thinking is the strongly held belief that the means we use to achieve something must be congruent with the ends that we want to achieve. Gustav Landauer writes, “a goal can only be reached if it is already reflected in its means.” Although it’s hardly the first thing most of the world thinks of when you mention the word anarchist, it’s at the core of almost all anarchist approaches. In Alexander Berkman’s view, “Means and aims are in reality the same: you cannot separate them. It is the means that shape your ends. The means are the seeds which bud into a flower and come to fruition. The fruit will always be of the nature of the seed you planted.”
Quite simply, the more things are in alignment, the more effectively they’re going to work. It’s true in nature, it’s true in our bodies, and it’s true in our organizations. We won’t produce high-quality products if we don’t buy high-quality ingredients. We won’t grow grounded collaborative staff by grinding them into the ground. We won’t get caring customer service by treating staff with severity. As Voltairine de Cleyre asks, “Did the seed of tyranny ever bear good fruit?”

This is an electronic PDF.

Secret 43: A Recipe for Changing a Belief

Excerpted from Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 4:
A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to the Power of Beliefs in Business
.

If you, like us, have found some beliefs you’d prefer to do without, the recipe here is for you.

This is an electronic PDF.

Secret 43.5: What I Believe About Anarchism and Business

Excerpted from Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 4:
A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to the Power of Beliefs in Business
.

Ari's original interest in anarchist thinking goes back to my days in school at the University of Michigan. The ideas that came out of it lay dormant for most of the
following three decades. But in the last six or seven years, he's become increasingly intrigued. He believes that there’s a lot for those of us who are trying to run caring,
progressive businesses to learn from anarchist ideas about free choice, respect for every individual, community-oriented collaboration, and the ability of everyone in an
organization to contribute as much to leadership thinking and business management as they might to lifting boxes or laying stone.

This is an electronic PDF.

Secret 44: Building a Hopeful Business

Excerpted from Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 4:
A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to the Power of Beliefs in Business
.

Hopefulness is a consistent characteristic of successful people and organizations. As anarchist Peter Kropotkin once said, “it is always hope . . . which makes revolutions.”

This is an electronic PDF.

Secret 45: A Six-Pointed Hope Star

Excerpted from Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 4:
A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to the Power of Beliefs in Business
.

Many of our long-standing organizational recipes at Zingerman's already help to build the idea of Hope in indirectly. The Six-Pointed Hope Star that’s illuminated in this chapter is a more direct way to do it. The Star provides anyone who’s interested with a practical, repeatable, and extremely effective tool to help make hope happen.

This is an electronic PDF.

Secret 46: The Spirit of Generosity

Excerpted from Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 4:
A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to the Power of Beliefs in Business
.

Like its philosophical fellows, belief and hope, the spirit of generosity is an essential element in developing a sustainable organization.

This is an electronic PDF.

Secret 47: Visionary Roots

Excerpted from Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 4:
A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to the Power of Beliefs in Business
.

Included here are new learnings, realizations that we’ve had since Ari first started writing on the power of visioning in business in Secrets #6 to 9, and then again in Secret #35 on personal visioning. To get a fuller understanding of the ways we use visioning at Zingerman’s, you might want to head back to those essays before you read this one. If you’re even a little bit familiar with our approach, these pages will hopefully build on your understanding of the process and how and why it works.

This is an electronic PDF.

Secret 48: One + One = A Lot!

Excerpted from Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 4:
A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to the Power of Beliefs in Business
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Ari says One + One is the most rewarding organizational algebra he's done since his 8th-grade math class. It is, in its simplest sense, about engaging the people in your business in some additional part of the organization. We do it here in the interest of getting them—and nearly everyone around them—feeling better about themselves, their peers, our organization, their work, and the world at large. We can’t say exactly how much One + One will equal in your organization, but I can guarantee you that it will be far greater than “two.”

This is an electronic PDF.

Secret 49: Why (Paul or) I Still Teach Orientation for New Staff Members

Excerpted from Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 4:
A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to the Power of Beliefs in Business
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If you want to make a big difference in your organization—large or small, for- or not-for-profit—a class of this sort is one of the most practical and effective tools I know of.

This is an electronic PDF.