Let My People Go Surfing

I just finished one of the best un-business business books by Yvon Chouinard, founder and owner of Patagonia: Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman. The book is described as the “long-awaited memoir/manifesto from [the] legendary climber, businessman, and environmentalist…” and the book encompasses one man’s three interrelated world views.

Devin decided you need to read this book. Whether you’re looking for a case study on: a successful business with happy employees, how to create a business from your passion, or what businesses need to do to help the environment.

From management tips, to HR lessons learned, Yvon brings in all his Patagonia experience (good and bad):

“…If you just ask people for help–if you just admit that you don’t know something–they will fall all over themselves trying to help. So, from there I began building the company.” -Kristine McDivitt, general manager and CEO of Patagonia for 13 years

Many people like to reference the Pareto principle and Yvon is not an exception. When talking about Patagonia’s diverse product lines:

“I like to throw myself passionately into a sport or activity until I reach about an 80 percent proficiency level. To go beyond that requires an obsession and degree of specialization that doesn’t appeal to me. Once I reach that 80 percent level I like to go off and do something totally different…” -Yvon Chouinard, founder and owner of Patagonia

As one of the first environmentally-conscious companies in the world, Yvon has a lot to say about the world and what needs to happen:

“The Zen master would say if you want to change government, you have to aim at changing corporations, and if you want to change corporations, you first have to change the consumers.” -Yvon Chouinard

This is a book you can’t ignore. Especially since Yvon pioneered the ‘green business’ movement…. back in the 80′s.

What other environmental business books do you recommend?