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How Zappos Have Cultivated Accountability

In our most recent post we outlined the Authenticity Chakra and why harnessing it is essential to the success of your business. One of the core pillars of the Authenticity Chakra is Accountability. Accountability teaches employees to be confident in their abilities and self-reliant. Fostering a culture that employees feel proud to be a part of and do not feel like a “cog in a machine” will help establish accountability.

One company that has done an excellent job of cultivating accountability is Zappos. Zappos is an online clothing and shoe brand that is based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. The company was founded in 1999 by Nick Swinmurn. However the brand is so much more than that as over the years it has been known as a company with an incredibly strong company culture – primarily due to work pioneered by one of the companies core leaders, Tony Hseich. Zappos values are guided by its four C’s which include Commerce, Customer Service, Company Culture, and Community. The company has drafted a list of its core values which focus on things like creativity, unparalleled service, growth/learning, humility, etc. This work has extended to Zappos cultivation of accountability within its business.


It is clear that Zappos put a great deal of thought and effort when it comes to cultivating accountability internally. The company has created a system which it calls “The Zappos Triangle of Accountability” which they admit “has a rather austere, intimidating name, but is actually kind of fun when you get to know it better”. The Zappos Triangle of Accountability consists of Culture/Values, a Customer-Focused Mindset, and Customer-Generated Budgeting. Zappos already has a very well defined internal culture and the Triangle of Accountability is the latest addition – with each of the various elements of the culture working in tandem with each other. Zappos overall culture philosophy is one that in its very essence is meant to cultivate and prioritize accountability. Zappos practices something known as Holacracy which is rooted in self-organization and is not overly rigid. This philosophy has extended to the workflow that exists within the company. Zappos does not have a traditional hierarchy, instead everyone within the company works in what they call “Circles”, with each Circle having a “Lead-Link”. In the context of the Triangle of Accountability, different circles within the company would be placed in relation to one of the three sides of the triangle.

Source: Zappos

Zappos is an excellent example for any company, big or small, who may be wishing to cultivate accountability within your organization


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