This is Peter Zulu. He is a 60 year old game guide in the South Luangwa National Park in the Eastern part of Zambia. I met him a couple of weeks ago on a return visit, after 28 years, to a country in which I used to live.
Nothing particularly remarkable there. I travel. I meet a lot of people.
But I had met Peter 29 years before. Four times over two days in August 1986 and as soon as I saw him, I knew him. What had he done 29 years before to make him instantly recogniseable and memorable across the decades?
He had been superb both technically in his wildlife knowledge but also in his delivery; never too busy, ready to answer any question, able to override the impatience of visitors to ensure they got the very best game-viewing experience.
It makes you think about how you come across to the people that you meet. Will they remember you immediately after three decades?
What Peter had and still has, is a love of his subject but more importantly, a love of delivering a great experience. I doubt if he has spent a lot of time in Customer Experience Training seminars to get to this stage. I think he just brings his real self to his ‘office’ each day and treats people the way he believes they should be treated.
Personal values and authenticity.