I was devastated when Tony Hsieh died. I was a fan of his from the beginning. I secretly hoped to meet him one day. I have a signed copy of Delivering Happiness with the little smiley face above his signature. I incorporated the ideas in that book into my own leadership style. I used to tell my team that my primary goal was to see that they were happy. I was also transparent about my goal. As IT folks working with complex technical problems I admitted that I had an ulterior motive. If they approached their work with fun and had happiness in their work life, they would be better able to tackle complex technical problems. Stress and worry were the enemy of creative thought. For many, my approach worked. His approach.

Now his struggles pass on another gift that Kirsten Grind and Katherine Sayre draw out of his story. “Tony’s story will serve as a warning to many others not to ignore looming mental health issues and addiction issues.”

He gave a lot to people and helped a lot of people. He is helping people again now with this story.

Here’s an excerpt from my book about that kind of gift in death.

“In death, there is a gift. A last offering from the dead to the living. In the shock of sudden loss and mounting grief, there is a gift wholly separate from those denuding emotions. A lesson, an experience, a new wisdom, a boon.

Whether it is a function of the natural order, a final gift from the death-bound spirit, or a beneficence granted for those passing to the next world, who can say? But a raw nugget of wisdom and meaning is buried in the loss of each living thing.

But the dead don’t choose it. And the living don’t always see it. However, always, there is a final unexpected gift.”