Ducks Quack, Eagles Soar

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in Articles and Thoughts,Impact,Quick Notes

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My father contributed this article from an unknown author …

Harvey MacKay, tells a wonderful story about a cab driver that proved this point.

He was waiting in line for a ride at the airport. When a cab pulled up, the first thing Harvey noticed was that the taxi was polished to a bright shine. Smartly dressed in a white shirt, black tie, and freshly pressed black slacks, the cab driver jumped out and rounded the car to open the back passenger door for Harvey .

He handed my friend a laminated card and said: ‘I’m Wally, your driver. While I’m loading your bags in the trunk I’d like you to read my mission statement.’

Taken aback, Harvey read the card.

It said:

Wally’s Mission Statement:

To get my customers to their destination in the quickest, safest and cheapest way possible in a friendly environment.

This blew Harvey away. Especially when he noticed that the inside of the cab matched the outside. Spotlessly clean!

As he slid behind the wheel, Wally said, ‘Would you like a cup of coffee? I have a thermos of regular and one of decaf.’

My friend said jokingly, ‘No, I’d prefer a soft drink.’

Wally smiled and said, ‘No problem. I have a cooler up front with regular and Diet Coke, water and orange juice.’

Almost stuttering, Harvey said, ‘I’ll take a Diet Coke.’

Handing him his drink, Wally said, ‘If you’d like something to read, I have The Wall Street Journal, Time, Sports Illustrated and USA Today.’

As they were pulling away, Wally handed my friend another laminated card, ‘These are the stations I get and the music they play, if you’d  like to listen to the radio.’

And as if that weren’t enough, Wally told Harvey that he had the air conditioning on and asked if the temperature was comfortable for him.

Then he advised Harvey of the best route to his destination for that time of day. He also let him know that he’d be happy to chat and tell him about some of the sights or, if Harvey preferred, to leave him
with his own thoughts.

‘Tell me, Wally,’ my amazed friend asked the driver, ‘have you always served customers like this?’

Wally smiled into the rear view mirror. ‘No, not always. In fact, it’s only been in the last two years. My first five years driving, I spent most of my time complaining like all the rest of the cabbies do. Then I heard the personal growth guru, Wayne Dyer, on the radio one day.

He had just written a book called You’ll See It When You Believe It . Dyer said that if you get up in the morning expecting to have a bad day, you’ll rarely disappoint yourself. He said, ‘Stop complaining!
Differentiate yourself from your competition. Don’t be a duck. Be an eagle. Ducks quack and complain. Eagles soar above the crowd.”

‘That hit me right between the eyes,’ said Wally. ‘Dyer was really talking about me. I was always quacking and complaining, so I decided to change my attitude and become an eagle. I looked around at the other cabs and their drivers. The cabs were dirty, the drivers were unfriendly, and the customers were unhappy. So I decided to make some changes. I put in a few at a time. When my customers responded well, I did more.’

‘I take it that has paid off for you,’ Harvey said.

‘It sure has,’ Wally replied. ‘My first year as an eagle, I doubled my income from the previous year. This year I’ll probably quadruple it.

You were lucky to get me today. I don’t sit at cabstands anymore. My customers call me for appointments on my cell phone or leave a message on my answering machine. If I can’t pick them up myself, I get a reliable cabbie friend to do it and I take a piece of the action.’

Wally was phenomenal. He was running a limo service out of a Yellow Cab. I’ve probably told that story to more than fifty cab drivers over the years, and only two took the idea and ran with it. Whenever I go to their cities, I give them a call. The rest of the drivers quacked like ducks and told me all the reasons they couldn’t do any of what I was suggesting.

Wally the Cab Driver made a different choice. He decided to stop quacking like ducks and start soaring like eagles.

How about us?

Smile, and the whole world smiles with you… The ball is in our hands!

A man reaps what he sows. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up… let us do good to all people.

All the best,

Ken McArthur
KenMcArthur.com
jvAlertLive.com
TheImpactFactor.com

And many more …

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  • Alex Newell

    Very nice parable showing the power of choice we have in every instant and every situation!

    Very powerful when applied to your own life…

  • Hi,

    Started not to read the post, so glad I did. This post is wonderful and insightful. Gave me alot to think about and remember. It’s about time I soar like an eagle and stop quacking like a duck. Serve my customers and others.
    .-= Judy S. Jones´s last blog ..burnthefat =-.

  • Strange twist of fate brought me to this article.

    Six years ago we changed locations of our business and really paid attention to the “client experience” when building out our new office space. Our clients loved the new look. The impact on new prospective clients was astounding.

    Paying attention to the “client experience” paid off so well we decided to see how far we could take it. We began what we call “Micro-Managing The Client Experience”. We looked at every contact we have with our clients and prospective clients and we specifically designed Evey moment of every contact.

    In this way every contact is handled a specific way, the way we believe is “the best”.
    These “designed moments” became our standard protocol. Everyone was taught to handle specific situations in a specific manner. Easy to teach. Easy to motivate/enforce.

    Just like the cab driver we saw that our customers loved the special treatment, so we began having regular brain storming sessions to see what we could do to “improve the client experience”. We would talk about wild and crazy things to add to our client’s experience and have come up with some “knock your socks off” additions. Things that are easy to do, cost little or nothing and the clients react very favorably too.

    Our referrals from past and present clients went up over 300%.

  • Great story and a wonderful reminder that if we can love what we do for a living no matter what that is if we make our job all about the customer. After all, how can we not enjoy seeing others delightfully surprised or enjoying themselves while we do our jobs for them? Go out of your way to impress your clients, and they’ll go out of their way to see you succeed!
    Thanks for the reminder, Ken.
    Vinnie
    Birmingham Homes

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