To all our friends, readers and clients, Happy Thanksgiving. We hope you pause and enjoy time with your family and friends, eat well and rest. I hope you find this week’s post encouraging. Always keep your head up and your eyes open, you never know who you might meet and be encouraged by.
Before a recent trip to Atlanta, I was a fan of Lyft. After my trip? I am a raving fan. Why? Their drivers. Every Lyft driver I’ve had from Seattle to New York to Atlanta has been polished, engaging and highly professional. And then there was Mario in Atlanta.
Mario greeted me at the airport with a wide grin and immediately started a conversation about why I was visiting; which then led to questions about what he did (right now, full-time Lyft driving, saving money for college) and talking about entrepreneurship, how he loves business, people and understanding how to give people what they need. He clearly believed in great customer service and understood how to create an impression and an experience for his customers.
At one point, he shared how he loved to listen to podcasts and mentioned a couple of favorites (including MWF Motivation). I too, love a good podcast.
All of a sudden, he asked, “Would you want to listen to a podcast? I listened to one earlier that’s amazing. It’s eight minutes and we have twelve minutes to go before we reach your hotel.”
“Of course,” I said.
And so, together, we listened to an episode of Rob Dial’s podcast and Mario was right. It was encouraging and a great reminder about adding value rather than being solely focused on revenue.
Throughout the ride, Mario impressed me as hardworking and someone who seizes opportunities that present themselves to him. No doubt he also creates opportunities and asks just the right questions to get total strangers to engage with him. He has charisma; the intangible kind that, if it could be bottled, would fly off shelves or into your Amazon cart.
Mario and several of the other Lyft drivers who have transported me in various cities, including Katie who drove me back to the airport, also demonstrate other key attributes that most employers look for including an entrepreneurial spirit, quick response time, high levels of motivation and the ability to juggle multiple priorities (work, school or multiple part time jobs). I like that. Whether it’s their primary focus or it’s their side hustle, it’s admirable. These are all qualities that I look for when talking to people who are in a job or career transition. And then, to have a big personality that embodies a fully alive, passionate human being is just icing on the cake.
Now, five days later, I’ve shared my Mario story with a dozen or so folks and it makes me smile every time. And now, when I think of Atlanta, not only will I remember working with a group of highly engaged Vistage members and their awesome Chair, Shaun Bradley, I will be cheering Mario and Katie on, hoping they are reaching their potential and contributing wherever they choose to land.