Two events happened this month that made me discover how much a bumble bee is like a great service provider. The first event was a visit from my granddaughters. They were watching the bumble bees in our flower-filled yard and wanted to learn more about them. Here are a few facts we learned about bumble bees:
Bumble bees are very useful pollinators, spreading the heart of the flower to other flowers which enables them to reproduce. There is a popular urban myth that aeronautical engineers have claimed it was impossible for bumblebees to fly. This fueled the notion that it is the sheer determination of the bumblebee that enables it to fly anyway.
The second event this month was getting to attend an authors’ retreat in the redwood forest near San Francisco. There, I got to meet a human bumble bee—Eileen McDargh. Eileen is an author-consultant-keynote speaker in Dana Point, CA. She was the consummate service-driven participant. Her buzzing, animated personality was infectious, pollinating everyone around her with heart. She poignantly described her passion for overcoming any obstacle with a sense of determination and joy. One of her books, Gifts from the Mountain, provides powerful advice through the lens of an avid mountain hiker. Eileen takes charge of her circumstances, never letting a spoil sport, bad attitude, or tragedy-seeking person interfere with her pursuit of excellence.
Great service providers are pollinators. Like Eileen, their quest is to enrich, not just respond. Like Eileen, they pursue the light, eager to transform gloom into hope and hope into results. One last point about bumble bees! They sting only as an absolute last resort. Great service providers believe even the most difficult customer has a real friendly person inside, sometimes needing help to get out. How can you serve like a bumble bee?