Every successful healthcare leader needs a highly developed understanding of the industry, business competency and interpersonal skills in order to guide their businesses to success. A great leader knows how to build teams of talented employees with decision-making capabilities and how to further develop employee skills and confidence. One such leader is Laura Fleet the CEO and Co-founder of SendaRide. Laura leads by example, contributing to the success of the team of dedicated staff, providing a solution for many individuals that cannot find transportation to medical appointments, a solution for clients needing a safe alternative to transport their patients, financial freedom for the company’s contracted drivers and inspiring an altruistic mindset both for employees and drivers.
In an interview between Laura Fleet and Swiftnlift Business Magazine, we focus on her success, barriers, and experiences along her journey. Her sole focus is on ensuring SendaRide’s success as a transportation service that eliminates barriers to, and lack of access to, medical care for everyone.
Below are highlights of the interview conducted between Laura Fleet and Swiftnlift Business Magazine:
Kindly take us through your journey to becoming a proficient leader.
Early in my career, I started a government relations consulting firm. It was through this experience that I learned to be very resourceful, focused, and to trust my intuition. When reflecting on the last twenty years of my career as legal counsel, lobbyist and Executive Director for several nonprofit trade associations I find that I have continually been refining what it takes to be successful, self-reliant and to problem-solve quickly Equally as important, I’ve also learned what makes people both effective and ineffective as leaders. It is often said that employees don’t leave their job, they leave their manager. I believe this statement to be true, so I do my best to lead by example, empowering individuals, recognizing and rewarding their personal growth and talents.
These experiences and the insight I gained early in my career prepared me to have the self-confidence to design, dream, and launch SendaRide. I am now in a position to share my challenges and experiences with my staff, enabling each of them to learn, grow, and share this wisdom with the next generation.
How do you diversify your organization’s offerings to appeal to the target audience?
We’ve diversified our services after learning from our customers what they needed, rather than trying to tell them what they needed. I started SendaRide providing one basic service: non-emergency transportation to and from the hospital. Very soon I returned to my customers to learn what was working, what wasn’t and what else they needed.
It was through these one-on-one meetings with SendaRide’s clients that I began offering a more diverse and personalized set of services. I’ve learned that if you don’t overwhelm your clients with features and let them describe their pain point to you, a very successful product will emerge.
Describe some of the vital attributes that every business person should possess.
Each of us has access to the fundamental attributes to be successful – it’s how we understand and develop these attributes that determine our level of success. Those key attributes include being on time, prepared, respectful, dependable, organized, and positive. Regardless of our level of education or experience, each of us has the ability to capitalize on and excel in each of these fundamental attributes to success.
As per your opinion, what roadblocks or challenges are faced by women in a corporate business? And what is your advice on overcoming them?
I believe society is making huge strides in levelling the playing field for women. We now recognize that men and women often have very different innate methods of dealing with conflict, victory and defeat. The challenge for both genders lies in understanding these differences and approaching our different styles with grace, professionalism, humility, and respect for everyone.
My advice to my younger self would be “through your actions you are teaching people how to treat you”. You have the ability to set the standard because people learn how to treat you based on what you accept from them.
Have you in any ways contributed towards the cause of women empowerment?
I was fortunate enough to participate in two accelerator programs that have the mutual goals of inspiring women and giving them access to the tools they need to succeed. These two accelerator programs were the Women’s Startup Lab and Spring Board Enterprises.
These two experiences have been life-changing for me. Often, I felt isolated as a female founder of a tech company in the Midwest. These programs have allowed me to develop a vast network of fellow successful female entrepreneurs. Each program – although very different – has empowered me, given me self-confidence and allowed me to learn from other very successful women. I left these two programs with the commitment to maintain the network and connections with the community of women I met and to help other entrepreneurs navigate the tumultuous startup world, whether male or female, every opportunity I could.
What are your insights on developing a better environment for women to evolve? And how it could help grow businesses?
I believe that developing a better environment for women to evolve necessarily includes a better environment for everyone to evolve. Setting a level playing field for everyone, irrespective of gender, race, religion or sexual orientation demonstrates by example that, we are all equal, and deserving of the same opportunities.
How do you strategize your game plans to tackle the competition in the market?
I continue to learn from my competitors. Each of them wouldn’t be successful if they weren’t doing at least one thing well. I believe there is room for success among competitors because society wants to have more than one choice for any service, product, or technology. Choices allow diversity and compel us to constantly review and improve our products and services to remain relevant.
However, the competitive side of me that propels SendaRide forward is always committed to offering superior service in the market and always being the chosen provider of non-emergency medical transportation for the healthcare industry.
What are your future endeavours/objectives and where do you see yourself in the near future?
My sole focus is on SendaRide’s success as a transportation service that eliminates barriers to, and lack of access to, medical care for everyone. One’s social status or geographic location should not limit their access to high-quality medical care. SendaRide’s success will provide an alternative solution for access to medical care and contribute to the overall health of our population.
My goal is that SendaRide’s accomplishments will lead by example, contributing to the success of our team of dedicated staff, providing financial freedom for our contracted drivers and inspiring an altruistic mindset among both our employees and our drivers.
Provide a one-line quote that best describes your approach to business and vision.
“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a grey twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”
*This interview is covered by Swiftnlift Business Magazine