BY ROB SMENTEKA group of ground transportation company owners and general managers recently saved the world from a devastating plague, with only seconds to spare—in a matter of speaking.
The end-of-the-world scenario in question was a team-building exercise in which members of the Wheels in Motion peer group took part in at its inaugural meeting held May 12-13 at the Comfort Suites O’Hare Airport in the Chicago suburbs. This newest addition to Driving Results’ roster of educational and leadership offerings is geared specifically for owners and general managers whose companies generate less than $2M in revenue.
Arthur Messina, managing director of Driving Results, formed this new peer group based on demand from the industry. With his other groups—Spinning Wheels, Global Partners, and Going Global—at full capacity, he saw the need for a new addition.
“Wheels in Motion is our first group based solely on revenue,” said Messina. “It gives smaller operators the unique opportunity to share with peers who are going through the same aches and growing pains.”
The first day of the meeting began with a networking breakfast and member introductions. CD’s Publisher Chris Weiss then spoke to the group about industry trends and news, and provided a snapshot of October’s Chauffeur Driven Show in Washington, D.C. Weiss raffled a pass to the show, which was won by Azdean Elmoustaquim of All Season Limousines in Houston, Texas.
It gives smaller operators the rare opportunity to share with peers who are going through the same aches and growing pains."
– Arthur Messina, managing director of Driving Results
Next, Jim Luff, Wheels in Motion’s co-facilitator, gave a presentation entitled “Community Marketing through Charity Events.” Industry veteran Luff is a recent addition to the Driving Results team, and his 23 years of experience were of value when he provided ways for the operators to build strategic relationships and get positive company exposure in their communities without giving up the shop to local charities.
Two discussions followed that offered great insight and feedback for small business owners. First was a roundtable discussion, with the members sharing the biggest challenges each faces in their company. This session was followed by a “Board of Directors” exercise, in which a few members shared business-related problems and then received unfettered, constructive feedback from the group. This was exceptionally well-received, and Messina said that members have seen virtually immediate results when implementing the suggestions made.
For the team-building event, the Wheels in Motion participants went to an “Escape Room,” where they worked together to tackle problem-solving challenges that would give them entry into another room. Thankfully, the team beat the Armageddon plague scenario and made it out with just six seconds on the clock.
The second day continued with more planned discussions and networking among the group. Goal planning was the chief item discussed, and each member shared their plans for the remaining quarters of 2016. The team will determine whether they succeeded or where improvements can be made when they meet again later in the year.
As per usual with all of Driving Results’ meetings, there was a site visit to a member’s operation—this time to Chicago North Shore Limousine Service in Palatine, Ill. There, President Terrin Lange offered Wheels in Motion members a complete tour of the facility and joined them for a traditional Chicago deep-dish pizza lunch.
Tracy Raimer, managing director of Chicago’s Transportation Group in Buffalo Grove, Ill., and Messina then co-managed the meeting’s final event, the Leadership Communication Challenge, which involved breaking into teams and competing to build the largest free-standing tower in 18 minutes, using only masking tape, marshmallows, and 12 pieces of uncooked spaghetti. The game was tense and hilarious, with only one team completing the task. Messina feels this event, in particular, offers important insight to the members.
“This game gives you a rare chance to see how people work together when you put together a group of mixed individuals,” he said. “Often the person who takes the alpha role isn’t who you’d expect. This is a great challenge for those in management roles.”
Wheels in Motion will hold its next meeting in August on the West Coast, although specifics have not been finalized. The group is still open to new members, and owners interested in taking part can visit drivingresults.org for information. [CD0616]