Analyzing A Whole Brain Thinker in Action

What does selling shoes have to do with using your whole brain effectively? Nothing if you are merely trying to sell shoes.

But if you are someone like Tony Hsieh of Zappos, selling shoes is merely the starting point of something with much greater significance and implications.All your important decision making ultimately has more significance that you normally take for granted.

Important decisions carry long term consequences that are often overlooked and not discovered except in hindsight.

Mr Hsieh is a useful example of whole brain thinking in action.

After selling LinkExchange to Microsoft for $266 Million, Tony Hsieh did not need more money. Currently his salary is merely $36,000 per year.

He seeks something much more. Mr Hsieh offers the example of someone with high analytic and technical prowess as well as creativity and strategic vision in his pursuits at Zappos.

Instead of building merely another business, he wanted to impact the business community as a whole as well as employees and customer's lives in a more significant way. In fact, he wanted to change the culture of doing business. The change he sought was not only to build an extremely successful business model, but he also wanted customers to lead the way.

When he bought Zappos in 2000 it was just before the internet bubble crash. Despite the evaporation of venture capital due to the crash and Zappos bleeding money, he invested his own money (lots of it) and rebuilt the company to $184 million in 2004. He had a vision that he was dedicated to making a reality.

The vision has since turned into a reality over the years since Amazon recently bought the company leaving Tony Hsieh in complete control.

Strategically this offers deep pocketed resources that Zappos couldn't afford on its own. In fact, between 2004 and October 2009, Zappos had several offers to buy the company (including two previously rejected offers from Amazon).

Mr Hsieh wouldn't sell for fear of losing the corporate culture and changing the way it did business with its customers.

From a systems perspective (another type of intelligence), Zappos has been an exciting model for both consumers as well as employees. The end result - customers experience being treated as valued partners. They have been shaped to give feedback to the company unhesitatingly in a way most other companies either don't care about, or don't know how to achieve.

Zappos has achieved a place in the marketplace that few companies have been able to achieve, and that most companies would want to gain.

In reviewing the various parts to this successful example of whole brain thinking, Tony Hsieh demonstrates the technical and financial smarts in navigating through turbulent times. His zest for creativity and vision serves as a unifying force between customers and employees. Customers and employees are happy and loyal. Finally, the process of doing business with Zappos is an unusually easy one as they have the best systems and processes in place and are quick to fix things when they go wrong.

You may not desire to do something as significant as in this example, but the story holds value for anyone who seeks to become a better thinker, problem solver, and decision maker. When you reflect on your job and your life and desire results that work well, you can learn to model your thinking behavior according to these types of thinking.

In short, what is the "secret recipe?"

Learning to think analytically, creatively, interpersonally, and organizationally will provide better success. When you spin your thinking through these four types of thinking, you'll be far more successful in your endeavors. To learn more about these four types of intelligence and learn how to unlock them for yourself by visiting

Author's Bio: 

Ed Caldwell has been researching and developing training programs for people to increase their learning abilities for over 25 years. Mr Caldwell's understanding of whole brain learning and multiple intelligences have enabled him to not just teach effectively, but to also become known as a "trainer's trainer." Having developed a thirst to stay abreast of news and innovations in brain science as it applies to development and learning have nurtured him with an intellectual curiosity that continues to this day. As an instructional designer, he incorporates fresh approaches to learning and behavioral change. Learn how to take a walk around your whole brain and how you can increase your intelligence in your under-developed modes by visiting