You probably believe Amazon is an online retailer.
Well, you’re wrong.
You probably also believe that McDonald’s is a fast food restaurant.
Wrong again, bruh.
Because you got those two wrong, I’m gonna bet you don’t even know what your own true job is.
But wait. I’m getting ahead of myself. More on that in a minute.
Amazon’s True Job
Here’s an interesting fact: More than 40% of all e-commerce transactions in the US are made on Amazon. The next closest competitor (which, by the by, is Walmart) only accounts for 6.3% of the transactions.
Basically, there is no 2nd place.
Here’s another interesting fact: There are 148 million people who have Amazon Prime subscriptions. Keep in mind, there are only 123 million households in the US. That’s 1.2 Prime memberships per every single household in the United States.
Clearly, the benefits of free and fast shipping far outweigh the nominal fee.
This is partly why over 2 million businesses sell their products through Amazon. It’s also why Amazon will ship nearly 6 billion packages in 2023.
Let that number sink in for a second. 6 BILLION. With a “B.”
That’s meaningfully more than UPS (5.3 billion) and nearly double the volume of FedEx (3.3 billion). Plus, Amazon does it all without the benefits those other companies have of drop-off locations.
To accomplish this insane feat, Amazon had to revolutionize shipping operations.
So yeah, it looks like an eCommerce company, but that’s just the facade.
Amazon’s true business is being one of the most impressive shipping logistics operations in human history.
Which brings us to McDonald’s.
McDonald’s True Job
McDonald’s sells 900 million Big Macs every year.
They also sell over 3 billion pounds of french fries per year.
Every 60 seconds, 80 McDonald’s burgers are sold.
That’s a lot of fast food. It’s also a lot of McDonald’s restaurants (40,275 to be exact).
I’m not sure if you know this, but the McDonald’s Corporation owns only 10% of the McDonald’s restaurants. Instead, they have the world’s largest franchise business, and it has held that spot for decades.
On average, a new McDonalds location opens every 14 hours.
Their franchise model is pretty brilliant. It goes like this:
- The McDonald’s Corporation buys the land (or gets a long-term lease)
- They sign a 20-year lease with the franchisee to rent the land
- The franchisee pays $1-2M to set up the store
- The franchisee pays a royalty of all gross sales to McDonald’s
It’s a burger-selling, broken shake-maker, money machine.
That said, when you read the franchise deal, your reaction may be similar to mine: “Why would somebody in their right mind pay that much for a franchise?”
McDonald’s has operationalized success.
McDonald’s has created one of the most rigorous and impressive entrepreneurial operating systems in the world. It’s called Hamburger University, and it’s a required curriculum for every franchise owner.
Through the McDonald’s Corporation’s training, franchise owners learn about process and culture and operations and all the other things that are critical to making the most money.
They let you do your job the way you feel best, but they teach you the best way to do your job.
McDonald’s is the 14th largest landowner in the world. Their operations systems are one of the most successfully scalable processes ever created.
So, no, McDonald’s isn’t a fast-food restaurant.
McDonald’s is the world’s most impressive real-estate owning and entrepreneurial training system.
And this, my dear friend, brings us right smack back to you.
Your True Job
In my executive coaching business, one of the biggest mistakes I see is a leader’s lack of recognition and acceptance of their true job.
Oh, you silly, silly people.
When I ask people what their job is, 99 times out of 100, they tell me their job title and recite their job description.
“I’m a Vice President of Marketing. I create websites and marketing materials for a wonderful widget company.”
Let’s get this straight: your job description and your job title are usually not your true job.
They are like a to-do list – tedious tasks to check off before the day ends.
The most successful leaders are the ones who understand their true job.
For the past 23 years, my friend Dave McGillivray has been the race director for the Boston Marathon, arguably the most prestigious 26.2 mile event in the world.
If you ask him what he does for a living, I guarantee that he will NOT say “I am the race director for a marathon.”
Instead, what Dave will tell you is this: “I help raise the self-confidence and self-esteem for thousands of people every year.”
I guarantee you that those words do not appear anywhere in his job description. All the tasks that make up his to-do list are just the legwork that supports his true job.
So think about you.
Maybe you’re in sales. You probably have a quota to hit. You have pressure to sell whatever you’re selling. Still, your job isn’t to be a salesperson.
A salesperson’s true job is to help companies solve their problems. The better you are at solving problems, the more you will experience success in sales.
Maybe you’re a teacher. Or perhaps a coach of a kid’s sports team.
Your job is not to get kids to memorize dates in history or win more games.
Your true job is to be a beacon of inspiration.
The most successful teachers and most successful coaches are the ones who inspire people to live their best lives.
An inspired student loves to learn.
An inspired team lifts each other up.
The True Job of Successful Leadership
Let me bring you back to Amazon and McDonald’s for a hot minute because they both provide a powerful lesson about successful leadership.
Why are Amazon and McDonald’s so successful? Because they both have a model and a scalable process that elevates the every-person to do extraordinary things.
Amazon turns simple employees into a complex logistics machine.
McDonald’s turns people into powerful entrepreneurs so they can outperform their competition. They have operationalized entrepreneurial success.
As for you… as for your role as a leader at your company, you have one true job. It is this:
Your most important job as a successful leader is to create other successful leaders.
Think of yourself as a franchise for leadership. You are your own Leadership University; your goal is to inspire your subordinates to succeed.
When you do that, you’re not just doing your job but creating your legacy.
And guess what? You’re going to start today. It’s time to embrace your true job.
P.S. Yes, my title is executive coach and transformation consultant, but my true job is to inspire people to be better leaders. And I love my job.