I was headed to Indianapolis to visit the family.  I invited my mother and father in law to ride along thinking they too would enjoy seeing their daughter and her family.  They loved the idea, and we agreed to go together.  I remember thinking about how excited I was to go. One of the first things I wanted to do before getting on the highway was to stop at Starbucks to buy a medium skinny latte.

I said to myself, “this is a perfect size.  It will last the 2.5-hour drive.  If it is quiet in the car, I can take a sip.  It will give me an energy boost since I would be sipping on it slowly”.   The trip went just as planned.  Nice and smooth, and the latte served its purpose.

After returning from the trip, I listened to the book “How Will You Measure Your Life?” by Clayton M. Christensen, James Allworth and Karen Dillon.  I learned in the book that McDonald’s wanted to understand why customers were purchasing their milkshakes.  What was the job of the milkshake?  That question made me think about the reason I bought the medium skinny latte.  I knew I purchased it for specific purposes, but I had not thought about it as in “what am I hiring this latte to do for me?”

I then started to ponder why we purchase goods and services. For example, when we buy a pair of shoes, we hire those shoes to do something specific for us.  Maybe we are buying the shoes to protect our feet on the job; steel covered shoes, perhaps we are hiring them to relieve pain from planter’s fascia.  Maybe we are hiring them to make us taller.  Or they are the perfect shoes for trail running.  Sometimes, we are hiring them to make us feel good emotionally – we like the way they look. They had a job.

As a Business Leadership Coach, I ask my clients “at the end of our time together, what do you want to walk away with?  That helps me know what they want and what my job is.  The question “what did you hire that ______ (fill in the blank) to do triggered me to think about the various hats I wear.  I wonder what I would learn if I took the time to ask my family and friends “at the end of our time together; what do you want to walk away with?”   I also wonder what company meetings would be like if we started the meeting asking the question “at the end of our time together, what do you want to walk away with?”   When was the last time you asked your client what they wanted?

What jobs are you being hired to do – be a good friend, spouse, grandparent, sister, son, brother, neighbor, etc. ?  When was the last time you asked what they wanted from you?  If you need help finding answers to your questions, contact us.

Stay curious, and have a great week.