Service Parable of the Traffic Cop

In one of Harare’s Eastern townships lives a man named Frank. He wakes up at 4 am as though he is planning to catch his rural bus that comes to Harare only once a week; just so he can try and avoid the traffic jam to work. With no packed lunch, he leaves for work with the cold words of his wife Chihera still ringing fresh “If you don’t have relish for tonight’s dinner, don’t bother coming back home”. Even though he dreads the very thought of waking up to go back to that workplace where his boss does not even like him, he has no choice. “Oh come on, not another traffic jam” he sighs. The last thing he needs at this point is to be stuck in a traffic jam. There is hooting here, hooting there, hooting from every angle but no car is moving and every driver is getting impatient. He can not afford to be late for work knowing well his boss will ‘vampire’ him. He can only pray that his boss is also stuck in a worse traffic jam.

“Mai Nigel you will have to continue without me, I will find my way to work and I will call you when I have spoken to my boss about the funeral, said Trymore the traffic cop as he disembarked from the car. “Let me help these motorists who are stuck in this traffic jam”, he went on to say. As soon as Trymore got to the traffic intersection, he started directing the traffic and the cars began to move. Trymore started making some dance moves as he was directing the traffic much to the delight of the drivers who were also getting free entertainment. “You corrupt police, we are not giving you any money if that is what you are looking for”, yelled one motorists as he drove off. More motorists continued to scoff at Trymore on the ethics of his fellow traffic cops but this did not deter him. Unknown to the scoffers, Trymore was on his way to work just to request some days off as his mother who had been sick for 3 years had died that morning. Even though he was in a hurry, he could not ignore the desperation of the stuck drivers and moved in to assist with zeal despite his own predicament. He did not ignore a cry for help even though those around him were unaware of his own need for help and comfort. . Thanks to Trymore’s efforts, motorists like Frank arrived to work on time thus avoiding the insults of his boss and ending his day on a good note with Chihera.  

Morale:

1. Be kinder than necessary. Someone you meet may be having an equally bad day but they may still choose to make someone else’s day inspite of their own circumstances.

2. If you are having a bad day, don’t make everyone else pay for it. Your attitude is your choice.

3. Don’t paint everyone with the same brush. Not everyone offers excellent service to get a kick back. True service also exists among ServiceCaptains.

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Rest, Don’t Quit.

Banksy said “When tired, learn to rest, not quit”. Resting is not laziness. Laziness is resting before you get tired. Every morning as we wake up, our body is kind enough to release a hormone called cortisol that gives us a fresh burst of energy to face yet another day. Surprisingly, some people wake up to idleness and get into rest mode before they get anything done. Cortisol is known as the “stress hormone”. When released into the body in normal proportions, it gives a healthy level of stress; the kind of stress that makes you get up and chase after your dreams, that makes you increase your pace to meet deadlines and push you into taking actions that create progress. Too much stress however, causes the body to release high levels of cortisol which can lead to high blood pressure, poor sleep, anxiety, irritability, depression, fatigue and digestive problems which will make your body so tired, unhealthy and feel like giving up.  

Working hard can undoubtedly be very rewarding but often drains us to the last ounce of energy. In this fast-paced rat race, it’s easy to be in constant high pressure, high stress mode. In response, the body goes into a “fight or flight” mode; it is constantly evaluating whether it should fight through the stress or simply take flight and just ‘run away’. It is therefore normal that when you are tired, you may feel like you cannot take it anymore, you cannot go on and you just want to quit. This is your body giving you a signal of cortisol overload. It does not mean you should quit; your body is suggesting that you take a rest, meditate, go on vacation/retreat etc and let the cortisol levels subside. Before you consider quitting, consider resting. Resting is not laziness. Laziness is resting before you get tired.

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Comfort Zone

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It’s Possible

Its Possible Do It

Karen Civil said “If the vision was impossible you would have never received it.” Consider the creativity that went into the creation of the universe with its multiple planets, galaxies and solar systems; things visible and invisible, living and non-living. It is impossible for the human mind to fully comprehend it all; a hint that an Almighty God is capable of thinking ENORMOUSLY BIG. The word ‘impossible’ does not exist in God’s vocabulary; for with God all things are possible. The impossibility of a vision only exists outside of God’s divine enablement. Many people are in the habit of constantly saying “it’s impossible, it cannot be done”, without exploring the possibilities of how it can be done. If you are praying for a business idea from God, be prepared to receive one that seems impossible. If God hands you a vision, he knows if you work on it with Him, the impossible becomes possible.

Don’t forsake your business ideas, visions and plans because you have been paralysed by the fear of failure. Don’t waste a lot of time listening to the voice that says “what if I fail” yet another voice echoes right next to it that says “what if I succeed”. You have always been told “You will never know unless you try”, hence let that be enough motivation to push you to greater heights. With the correct vibe, you develop the stamina to pull through what you set your mind to achieve and your vision can become a reality. Remember you received the vision from God because it is possible to achieve; if it were impossible, you would have never received it.

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Beyond The Profits

Triple Bottom Line

“Profits that

degrade

humanity

are in fact

losses “

Patience Phiri

John Elkington developed a framework for evaluating Business Success and Sustainability called the Triple Bottom Line. It measures three dimensions of performance using 3Ps namely; People, Planet and Profit relating to the social, environmental and economic aspects respectively. Entrepreneurs have an obligation to make and use their profits in a way that does not harm people or the planet. Just to use an example of drug abuse; selling drugs may seem like a lucrative business because the customers who are now enslaved by the addictions cannot help but come back for more. If truth be told, it is no secret that drug abuse has detrimental effects like seizures, stroke, mental confusion, brain damage, relationship breakdown, financial struggles etc.

Its unimaginable how a drug dealer (“entrepreneur”) enjoys the profits he/she makes from selling drugs fully aware that they will eventually destroy someone’s health and life? There is no business success if you make profits by causing harm to people. What will become of a drugged society? Before you celebrate a business that you think is successful, check their triple bottom line. Entrepreneurs with a high regard for the triple bottom line are worth supporting because they advance the good of humanity; which is why Service Captains Academy is training and supporting entrepreneurs who intent to start or scale up their Social Enterprises (businesses that prioritise social good). Profits that degrade humanity are in fact losses.   

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Small Acts, Big Impact

Every act of kindness, no matter how small will make an impact. If we all try in our small way to do even the little we can in our small corner, these many small acts can make a difference. Don’t say “my act is too small, insignificant and will not make a difference so why bother to do it?”.

If one million people contribute a dollar each, they can raise a million dollars ($1,000,000). If one million people show good acts in their home, workplace, community; it can transform the world. Do not despise or withhold your positive contribution to this world. No matter how small the act may be, do it anyway!!

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Keep moving forward

Keep moving forward

A river flows forward not backward. It does not pass the same spot twice. Once it has passed, it is gone. It is looking forward to what is ahead not what is behind. Don’t dwell in the past; whether the past is full of regrets or accolades. Your past wins do not make up for current shortfalls. Create today’s win and prepare yourself for a more prosperous future.

You have already experienced yesterday, you are yet to experience tomorrow. If you walk forward into tomorrow with your eyes looking backward  into yesterday; you will stumble and fall. Learn from yesterday and use it to leverage your future success. Keep your eyes forward. Keep moving forward.

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