Lessons from an Uber Driver

I climbed into the Uber ready for my Chicago adventure to the blues bar Buddy Guys. My boss and my friend Stacy climbed into the back waiting for the driver to check our destination on his phone.

As we ventured towards our event I noticed that our driver had a beautiful accent. I asked him where he was from and he said Nigeria. Fascinating. He looked young, maybe college age. Then I asked my typical curious question, “I notice that most Uber drivers have multiple jobs. Do you have another job?”

He then said, Yes, I’m a leadership speaker.

Really?

Yes.

I admit that I was surprised. I don’t know why, but that was not what I expected. Also, I deal with speakers every day and was beyond intrigued.

What do you discuss when you are speaking of leadership?

I talk about leading with purpose. Most people don’t lead their company with purpose they are reactionary leaders. They are trying to catch the mistakes of their staff, responding to emails that they should let their team manage, and they are not working on the vision and the purpose of the company.

We engaged in a discussion about what is missing in the leadership conversation. How do employees manage a leader that is reactionary?

How do they confront a boss that isn’t ideal. (We all have had them or have them now) it was a light conversation knowing our time was short.

He then mentioned he just wrote his third book and had today received the first prints. He actually had them in his trunk. He said he wanted to give me a copy.

When we stopped he hopped out with me and my crew and opened his trunk and placed his new book in my hand with pride and hope. As my cohorts looked on with suspicion thinking what the heck is Misty buying out of the Uber drivers trunk?

The best part is, I was walking into an event with a group of people that hire speakers or are professional speakers. My company hires speakers as well.

I shared his story with anyone that would listen.

You never know who you are going to meet in life and what an innocent chat could bring about. Take time away from your phone and connect with those around you. You may have 10 minutes of inspiration that leads you in the next best direction.

(I’ll read the book and let you know how it is:)

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