Reading List: Uncontainable

In 1978 Kip Tindell and his partner were 20-something entrepreneurs who passionately believed that if they built a brick-and-mortar store selling inventive organizing solutions, the customers would come. When The Container Store first opened in Dallas, customers did come—by the dozen (most were friends and family). Soon the dozen became hundreds… then thousands and millions. Thirty-six years on, 67 stores across the country employ 6,000 employees earning salaries far above the average retail wage.

In Uncontainable, Tindell relates the company’s birth, growth, culture and commitment to Conscious Capitalism, the belief that a company thrives best when all its stakeholders (employees, customers, vendors, shareholders and the community) benefit. He also shares Foundation Principles underpinning company success, which include:

• 1 great person = 3 good people. Hire creative people, nurture that creativity, and pay them 50 to 100 percent over the average retail wage.
• Treat vendors as close partners and craft mutually beneficial relationships.
• Offer customers the best selection, service and price.
• Teach your employees well. His full-time workers receive almost 300 hours of training during their first year.
• Cultivate an “air of excitement.”

Tindell’s entrepreneurial and managerial style is effective: For the past 15 years, The Container Store has made Fortune’s list of “100 Best Companies to Work For.”

by Kip Tindell, with Paul Keegan and Casey Shilling
October
Grand Central Publishing; $28

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