It’s Your Job: A Guest Post from Walt Hampton

It’s not often I feature a guest writer here on the blog, but you deserve to meet this man. The following is a fantastic post by my great friend and colleague, Walt Hampton, J.D. I met Walt and his amazing wife, Ann, a few years back, and to this day they both remain as treasures in my life. Walt gets the High-Altitude Philosophy in spades, and for those who have supported the blog and the message for a while will definitely see why I’m thrilled to feature his writing here. Enjoy…

WaltHamptonSweet to look at. But sullen and churlish.

“Theeese is not my jhob. Does theeese look like my jhob?” she snarled with her thick Russian accent.

I had been two days in the Hermitage, that grandest of all museums in St. Petersburg. Now nearly blind and disoriented, I had made the mistake of (politely) asking the woman behind the concession stand for directions.

She turned her attention back to ‘concession stand work;’ giving directions to tourists was clearly not her jhob.

I recalled that moment from Russia, with love, the other day when I called my ophthalmologist’s office to ask whether a particular test was going to be covered by my medical insurance.

Confronted with the question, the receptionist/nurse at first feigned confusion; then frustration; then disdain.

“You’ll have to call your insurance company,” she sniped. That is not my job!

As if she had never, ever been asked an insurance question before in her entire life.

When I probed just a little bit further, she abruptly stated that she would ‘remove me from the schedule.’ And hung up.

(Of course, it has crossed my mind to send my ophthalmologist a copy of this blog.)

If we are going to survive… and thrive in business (and in life), that approach is unsustainable.

Everything must be our job.

Southwest Airlines seeks to delight its customers.

As does Zappos.

Did you know that the #1 core value of Tony Hsieh, founder of that billion-dollar shoe and clothing empire, and best-selling author of Delivering Happiness, is to deliver WOW to his customers through service? Its 10 hour 29 minute customer service call is legend. The company’s history is replete with examples of its employees going far beyond the call of ‘duty.’

Standing on a rainy street in Talkeetna, Alaska, with 350 pounds of dirty climbing gear, we could find no taxi. My wife ran across the road to use the phone to call. The woman behind the register at the diner handed my wife the keys to her own car to use to shuttle our gear from the curb to the train station a mile down the road.

Not because it was her job. But because she cared.

Paradoxically, in this Internet age more than ever, connection matters. Relationship matters.

Service matters.

And every single one of us is called to serve; to show up in the world with a servant’s heart.

It is our job.


Walt Hampton is a career and success coach. He is the best-selling author of Journeys on the Edge: Living a Life That Matters, recently named one of the Top 10 Non-Fiction Books of 2013. He is also an internationally acclaimed motivational speaker. Visit his popular website at:

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