Create your Tahiti

Create your Tahiti

This month, Jannie Koegelenberg delves into the next step of growth and leadership development to explain how happy staff make a successful business.

The challenge for businesses once they have identified their goals, started the growth and development process and recognised staff members for their commitment as well as their initiative is to sustain the growth, development and enthusiasm of all staff.

Firstly, management needs to encourage the flow of creative juices. Staff should be free to share their ideas with management, particularly focusing on profitability and exceptional customer experience.

Secondly, the entire staff complement needs to understand that external changes in the business start internally. In other words, internal customer experience is as important as what your customer thinks of you and the business at large.

Thirdly, one needs to encourage staff to, as the old adage goes, not live in a box but to constantly be outside the box.

As the leader or section leader, you should ask yourself: “Do I consistently go the extra mile and routinely over-deliver on my promises?” One needs to lead by example and exceed expectations. This will help you to stand out.

People notice special services and all the small touches that make dealing with a person pleasurable.

As the leader of the business, you need to ensure the workplace is a happy space where staff are genuinely contributing – and are appreciated.

In a nutshell, are your team members happy or is there something missing? Are they in “Iceland” or Tahiti”? In other words, is everyone putting in major effort for very little return, or is it a two-way street?

By creating a “Tahiti” environment, growth is encouraged in both the business and personal context. Alternately, it can be seen as changing the consciousness of yourself and the people around you.

Evaluate what these statements say about your consciousness:

• The future is not the place we are going, but one we are creating.
• Paths are not found but made.

Are you on this level? Being in a conscious state will encourage those around you to view things differently, and as a leader you will want to employ likeminded people thereby raising the bar within the organisation.

One needs to recognise areas within the business hampering positive development such as recurring issues, resistance to change, demotivated staff, and blame being applied to everyone. Also, recognise red flags such as staff being withdrawn or constant critics.

How can you influence positive change?
Take responsibility of a situation, investigate solutions, influence those around you to raise their consciousness, show compassion to your staff and fellow employees and, most importantly, be true to yourself and others.

Positive growth of people calls for positive communication. Leaders need to influence the desire of people to change and be party to the success of the endeavour.

Happy successful people (staff) create loyal, happy ambassadors for your business.


Jannie Koegelenberg is passionate about promoting positive customer experiences in the motor industry. He has a 38-year track record in the industry, having worked at Mercedes-Benz distributor United Cars and Diesel Distributors, Ford Motor Company and Toyota SA Marketing, before becoming dealer principal of MAN Nelspruit.

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Focus on Transport

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