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Look for milkshake moments

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers

Leadership thinker Steven Little performs a test during hotel stays.

He asks room service for a milkshake. If he’s told it’s not on the menu, he walks employees through the list of ingredients to see if they have everything.

“Do you have vanilla ice cream?” Yes. “And milk?” Of course. “Do you have a tall glass and a long spoon?” Sure. If so, he tells them how to make one. If they’re willing to do it, that’s a “milkshake moment.”

His definition: When people understand their true purpose, believe it’s their job to fulfill it and have the tools and freedom to make it happen, that’s a milkshake moment.

Little wrote a book about the exact moment that employees realize they can overcome stupid systems and rules and instead do the right thing for the customer and the business.

Ask: What is your organization’s highest purpose? Are you putting people in the best position to accomplish it? Do your current policies and systems enable you to deliver it?

— Adapted from The Milkshake Moment, Steven Little, Wiley.

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