Learning Journey: The stage doesn’t matter, your relationship with the driver does

Date: August 1, 2016
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There’s an old story of the boy who stood on a sidewalk, waiting for a bus. A man walking by spotted the boy and gave him some gentle instruction. “Son,” he said, “If you’re waiting for the bus, you need to move to the street corner. That’s where the bus stops for passengers.”

Clever Zulu“It’s OK,” said the boy. “I’ll just wait right here, and the bus will stop for me.”

The man repeated his argument, but the boy never moved. Just then, the bus appeared. Amazingly, the bus pulled over to where the boy stood, and the child hopped on. The man on the sidewalk stood speechless. The boy turned around in the doorway and said, “Mister, I knew the bus would stop here, because the bus driver is my dad!”

When you’ve got a family relationship with the bus driver, you don’t need a bus stop. If you’ve given your heart to the King of Kings, you’re in a royal family of unspeakable proportions.

Today I would like to remind you that when you know the driver of life you can take the bus of life anywhere. He will stop and pick you up where people thought it is not possible.

There are people who think you can’t make it from where you are right now but they will be surprised when they see you make it.

There are those who think you are not in the right frame of mind, or the right status or the right career to succeed but they don’t know that the success giver is your father, your friend and colleagues.

Just like the man in the story above they will be surprised to see you succeed even though you are not in possession of any diploma or degree. What matters is that you know Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above what we can think or even imagine.

The end of June, 2015 became the beginning of another new era for me. The CEO of Gender Links, Mme Colleen Lowe Morna made an announcement that I was to be transferred from GL to GL Cottages to lead another income generating unit “the GLC Shuttle Services”.

The move became an eye-opener for me. Not only was I required to serve the existing customers (GLC guests and GL) but also to source new clients which became a yard-stick to measure the existence of my arrival. I remember vividly having an intense talk the other morning with the manager of GLC manager, Debrah Mukuku on how this was going to be a success. My primary task was to serve GL with all their logistics requirements, which to me became a relief. This was one customer in the bag automatically. I still had the fire burning within myself on where I would get something new that was not already on the books with either GL or GLC. I needed something out of the blue that would bear my name and show that my presence would be recognised.

I started to target Non-Governmental Organisations as GL is the umbrella for GLC. My marketing strategy was simple: “give the business to GLC whom will give it back to the community. This way, we will be fighting for a common goal” as far as NGOs are concerned. One day I took a random drive and found myself at one of the big office blocks in Braamfontein where the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) is based. This is one of the clients whom I can proudly say I brought to GLC.

Donor funding to NGOs has affected the GLC shuttle business and it has been one of our worst challenge in terms of our shuttle business. It goes without saying the more funding NGOs get, the more the business we get. It has been really tough, although manageable. The competition between other sectors such as uber and Gautrain has put pressure on us in terms of pricing, abundancy and efficiency. Nevertheless, with the presence of the strong GLC team under the leadership of Debrah Mukuku it has been a solid, impenetrable structure. She has taught me to believe that in every situation there is a solution. As one of the GL board members commented about our shuttle: “if you want to be clever, use Clever”. This has been a lubricant and the fuel to keep us going.

I came to GLC not knowing exactly what was going to happen. I have never done marketing. I did not know how to approach and convince a customer that they should use our shuttle business. The relationship and support from all the GLC staff and GL with their guidance, made me realise that everything is possible. One lesson that came out of this is that the secret key to every success is to listen, adapt and apply such principles and above all, to have faith and trust in God. He will guide and shower you with wisdom on anything you would ask of him.

Written by Clever Zulu, Logistics & Maintenance Officer at Gender Links Cottages