Last week I experienced a great example of a company that built a culture of servant leadership, resulting in them becoming a market leader.
Scottsdale Segway Tours has been in business for 7 years. Owners Todd and Becca have built a culture of servant leadership without ever mentioning the term. It was clear to me from the time Todd took my call for a reservation at 10:00 p.m. for our group of 10 people. This is an organization that thinks first and foremost about the greater good of the people they serve.
Attributes of a Market Leader
Build the Foundation
- Purpose / Vision / Values – Within the first 15 minutes of meeting Todd and Becca, they laid out their company’s purpose, vision, and values. We knew exactly what we were about to experience over the following 2 hours. Nothing was left to chance. It was crystal clear that safety was their #1 priority. The training they provide is outstanding. They insure everyone can safely and comfortably captain their Segway before leaving on a tour. Their initial orientation also allows people to discern their other values of fun, excellence, learning and relationships.
- Keep the purpose and the values at the forefront – Todd and Becca continually reemphasize all aspects of safety and fun as they build relationships throughout their tours.
- Connect people to the purpose and values – They make it clear to clients that the safer you operate your Segway, the more fun you have on the tour.
- Set boundaries and allow people to use their creativity – They show you where you can ride and what to avoid. Then they put you in control of your own destiny, allowing you to pick your track and speed along the route to have fun.
- Encourage and provide positive recognition – They are extremely encouraging. We had a variety of ability within our group, but they insure everyone is well trained and has a fabulous time through their encouraging words and actions. You are also encouraged by their smiles and positive attitudes.
- Invest in people – They invest time in training people up front to insure you have the maximum amount of fun. Their investment and sharing of their vast knowledge of the area insures a great appreciation of the history of Scottsdale.
All of these things provided our group with a huge amount of positive energy throughout the entire tour.
- Build a “Dream Team” – Todd and Becca are a perfect team that excels at their work. They totally complement each other. One is an expert on the information of the community and the technical aspects of how to ride a Segway. The other is responsible for managing traffic and insuring everyone is safe and has a good time. Their company would not be successful if they did not fully utilize both of their skill sets.
- Raise the Bar – They raise the expectations on what you can do throughout the ride. You are expected to improve as the tour progresses. They are very competent on their knowledge of the area as the tour is extremely informative.
Todd and Becca’s competence as leaders leads to an extremely successful, fun and informative day for tour groups. This only happens with a lot of hard work building their performance.
- Respect others – Todd and Becca respect people for who they are and work at understanding varying abilities and interests. They customize the training and trip to those unique individual abilities.
- Listen – They listen to questions and concerns and address them completely, insuring that all have a grand time.
- Love others – Todd and Becca illustrate behaviors of love throughout the experience. They are patient as you learn how to ride the Segway; kind by recognizing improvement and accomplishments; respectful, and selfless, taking care of each client as unique; as well as humble and caring every step of the way. Finally, they are clearly committed to insure you have a safe and fun time.
By the end of the ride our group felt like best friends with Todd and Becca. We prayed together for the future of their business, and we look forward to re-connecting with them sometime in the future. This type of relationship after just 2 hours together only happens when leaders are intentional about building relationships.
- Align actions with words – Todd and Becca came through on every commitment made from the reservation to the finish of the ride.
- Ask for feedback – They ask for feedback through Trip Advisor so they can continue to improve.
When you are serious about wanting feedback and you use it to improve, you will be seen as a leader of high character. People and clients will then want to be on your team. Scottsdale Segway Tours is rated the #1 Best Activity in the Phoenix Valley by Trip Advisor.
A Segway & Servant Leadership
Riding a Segway itself is somewhat like servant leadership. The more you practice, the more you trust in the process, and you really become one with the machine. As a servant leader, the more you practice and work on serving the greater good of others, the more it will become natural everyday. Riding a Segway you rely on the machine. As a servant leader you rely on God to guide your actions. In both cases when you get in sync with the power, great things will happen.
If you ever get the chance, I encourage you to take a Segway ride and see for yourself how it relates to servant leadership. I also encourage you to be constantly working on your servant leadership skills. The people within your sphere of influence will thank you, and you will make a significant positive impact on this world! And you just may become the #1 Rated Business or Activity in your Market.
God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. Hebrews 6:10