Scene 1: My wife, Barbara, and I are often asked if we are “coaches.” For some reason it was bothering me to call us coaches, and I wasn’t sure why. Many of you know my original career goal was to be a high school football coach, but my failure to make the Western Michigan University football team changed that plan. So, while it would be natural for me to consider myself a coach, something was troubling me about that label. We are “partners/peers” with our clients.
Scene 2: Barbara and I recently rented the movie The Intern, starring Robert De Niro as Ben Whittaker, a 70-year-old intern, and Anne Hathaway as Jules Ostin, CEO and founder of a ragingly successful e-commerce startup. One of Jules’ executives suggested piloting a “senior intern” program (i.e., hiring seasoned executives to work alongside the 20s-30s workforce, an idea that connects with Barbara’s June 8, 2015 post). Jules reluctantly takes Ben on as her intern.
I’m not a film critic, but found it to be a wonderful story. For a week or so, my thoughts kept going back to the movie. I couldn’t get it out of my mind. It took awhile to figure out why I was so enamored with the movie, but the bottom line is that I could really relate to Ben. Ben was me. I was Ben. No, I’m not saying I am Robert De Niro, although he did look great. I’m saying his character, Ben, is what Doescher Advisors strives to achieve.
Before I lose you, hang in there. First of all, Ben behaved as an advisor, not a coach. To me, a coach calls the plays and is generally in a superior position to the players. That definitely is not what Doescher Advisors is!
Next week, I’ll expand upon that concept.