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Kip Tindell, the founder and CEO of The Container Store, reveals the seven secrets to keeping both customers AND employees happy and all fully engaged.
"You're going to sell what? Empty Boxes?"
Back in 1978, Kip Tindell (Chairman & CEO of The Container Store) and his partners had the vision that people were eager to find solutions to save both space and time - and they were definitely onto something. A new category of the retailing industry was born - storage and organization. Today, with stores nationwide and with more than 5,000 loyal employees, the company couldn't be stronger. Over the years, The Container Store has been lauded for its commitment to its employees and focus on its original concept and inventory mix as the formula for its success. But for Tindell, the goal never has been growth for growth's sake. Rather, it is to adhere to the company's values-based business philosophies, which center on an employee-first culture, superior customer service and strict merchandising. The Container Store has been named on Fortune magazine's "100 Best Companies To Work For" list for 15 consecutive years. Even better, The Container Store has millions of loyal customers.
In Uncontainable, Tindell reveals his approach for building a business where everyone associated with it thrives through embodying the tenets of Conscious Capitalism. Tindell's seven Foundation Principles are the roadmap that drives everyone at The Container Store to achieve the goals of the company. Uncontainable shows how other businesses can adapt this approach toward what Tindell calls the most profitable, sustainable and fun way of doing business. Tindell is that rare CEO who fully embraces the "Golden Rule" of business - where all stakeholders - employees, customers, vendors, shareholder, the community - are successful through a harmonic balance of win-wins.
In this mash-up of memoir and business how-to, Container Store CEO Tindell tells the story of his company since its launch 30 years ago, presenting it as the kind of company customers love and employees love just as much. (The turnover rate is extremely low, and only 3% of applicants are hired.) While the company faced the same difficulties as every business after the 2008 financial meltdown, Tindell was determined, he says, not to lay off people and using his mantra of "Conscious Capitalism" ("not making profit your number one priority actually makes you a lot more profitable"), he met this goal. Tindell briefly covers his personal story: "a real Leave it to Beaver childhood"; his first job at a local Sherwin-Williams paint store; and founding the business and eventually achieving great success and growth. The meat of the book explores Tindell's seven "Foundation Principles," which prove to be widely applicable to most businesses (they include "hire the best"; "maintain great vendor relationships"; "perpetuate an air of excitement"). The book stands out in its infectious good cheer; the ideas are genre standards, but Tindell's unflaggingly enthusiastic tone could sell even Ebenezer Scrooge on an "air of excitement" as a foundation business principle.