A Couple of years ago I was lucky enough to visit Walter Peak Station at the head of Lake Wakatipu and join about thirty other tourists on the farm excursion.
We arrived at Walter Peak on board the 100 year old steam boat TSS Earnslaw and on disembarking were directed over to a gentleman looking every bit the South Island high country farmer with his well worn walking stick and two beautiful farm dogs. The performance that was to follow made me proud to be a Kiwi. The reason for that pride was a guy named Duncan.
In my work I get to visit many businesses across many industries around New Zealand and one of the areas that disappoints me is the number of people that are just turning up to do a job only because they need a pay cheque at the end of the week.
This situation is one of the main reasons we rank so low in the OECD productivity list and the key reason you and I rate very few of the experiences we have as great.
So when I come across someone that is really passionate about what they do, I get excited and that morning at Walter Peak station with Duncan, our farm excursion guide, was one of those times.
Not only was Duncan clearly excited by the opportunity to share his passion with us, he had all of us just as excited 2 minutes after he introduced himself and that excitement carried on for the next three hours.
After much difficulty, towards the end of show, I got 2 minutes with Duncan alone and asked him how long he had been doing these tours, Duncan in true Duncan style came straight back at me with “How long do you think?” I said based on his performance, about 10 years, Duncan smiled and said more like 10 months! He then moved in closer and putting is hand to the side of his mouth said “And you know what, I still can’t believe they pay me to do it”
Duncan can’t wait for the next boat load of visitors to arrive at Walter Peak Station and yet another opportunity along with his dogs to share this amazing place and high country farming in this unique part of the world.
As we steamed away from Walter Peak, I couldn’t help thinking as we all waved to Duncan standing on the wharf, what New Zealand business would be like if we had more Duncan’s.