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Ready to serve: Lessons from the muck

The third in a series of presentations delivered by Arthur Goldstuck via Twitter. The presentations consists of 10 Twitter messages, or 10 tweets, each of 140 characters or less. The format will be refined over time, but this is how the “tweenote” presentation entitled “Ready to serve: Lessons from the muck” appeared on Twitter on 11 August 2009:

1. Who is the most important person you have ever met? Richard Branson? Mick Jagger?  Nelson Mandela? Sepp Blatter?

2. The most important person I’ve ever met is Aaron Mabase. I only had the privilege of meeting him once.

3. He boomed out: “Welcome to my office!” The walls and floors of his office gleamed white. He watched to see if I approved.




4. I sure did. Aaron’s “office” at departures of O.R. Tambo International was the cleanest airport toilet I’ve ever seen.

5. Aaron was intensely proud of his job. One of the most menial in the world. But he knows: few people improve more lives.

6. It’s the single job in a major building that has the most immediate impact on the quality of experience of a building.

7. Aaron isn’t unique. Themba Dlamini at Arrivals has the same welcome – and pride. Perhaps all the airport cleaners do.

8. I also come across the same pride in toilets at Shell and Caltex “one-stops” that dot SA’s major highways.

9. Do their CEOs have any idea of the importance of Aaron and co? Not only in their work but in their example?

10. If pride exists in the muck of the most menial of jobs, what excuse do you have not to give customers a good attitude?

Thank you! The Tweenote presentation, “Ready to Serve: Lessons from the Muck”, is available at The Big Change.. http://bit.ly/49ukaj

* Arthur’s first tweenote presentation, on the role of Web 2.0 in the evolution of Internet maturity, was made in 2008, and repeated in June 2009. It will be reproduced in The Big Change shortly.


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The Big Change is a business strategy blog and newsletter published by Arthur Goldstuck, managing director of World Wide Worx, a leading technology research organisation based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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