The Power of Love – The Foundation of Ethical Business

We regret to inform our readers that our Founder, Christine Garbett passed away on the 31st of March, 2018 after a long battle with cancer, Christine will be missed. Please find a link to her obituary here.


Presented at the Caux initiatives for Business 7Th biennial conference 5th to 8th February 2018

By Rob Garbett

History, and certainly the personal experiences of sensible people, has demonstrated that love is the ultimate positive weapon.

Love, like a diamond, is multifaceted and covers, in this one word, what the leading prophet’s, philosophers and positive thinking minds, over the ages, have encompassed in their writings, deeds and by the way of their example. The tragic irony is that the blessing of love is often disregarded, scorned upon and thrown aside. It is as if many are willingly lured away from the light towards the cold emptiness of darkness which leads to oblivion unless reversed.

Love and religion are intertwined in an eternal embrace.

Stephan Hawking, who was known as the greatest living scientist, said:

“Religion is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark which that great Christian thinker, Professor John Lennox, replied “Atheism is a fairy tale for people afraid of the light”.

I know that all of you here are followers of the light, followers of the light have a sacred duty to nurture and practice the spread of the light in everything we, as followers, do. Show people the light in every action we take.

The writer Kile Jones, in his essay defining religion stated:

“It is apparent that religion can be seen as theological, philosophical, anthropological, sociological, and psychological phenomenon of human kind. To limit religion to only one of these categories is to miss its multifaceted nature and lose out on the complete definition”.

Some of you may have read the article I wrote entitled “Business and Love” covering partly, our experience in Mozambique which appeared in the CIB E Script publication in 2015. You will know, from what I wrote, that although the experience, which was essentially a fight against corruption, was massively painful financially and, emotionally a most traumatic experience but, as followers of the light, the reward of keeping ourselves in the light provided sustenance to us in that ultra-marathon battle. The strength, and confidence, we gained, and the positive recognition that it is the light that is supreme, outweighed the pain by many multiples.

My business career started at the age of nineteen, after a stint in the army, when I was employed as a wharf clerk in the Duncan docks harbor in Cape Town. I became a director of the company, that employed me, at the age of twenty-two. I met my wife Christine in 1982 and for the last thirty-five years we have together, with a wonderful team, run a business which now employed around 650 people.


It is vital, if not fundamental, that the management team are, of course, skilled but, rising above that, they are people of like mind when it comes to integrity and truth. Diversification of personality and or character promotes diverse thinking. Teams are not born they are developed, formed, and matured over time. Extended interaction will enhance effectiveness and will reveal the strength of each member and those areas where support is required. Egos must be left outside the board room. Very little beats a cohesive, loyal interdependent group. I am very wary of individual leaders being placed in their position by title. The guidance, rather of an executive group unfettered by the prospect of overriding unilateral decisions of one person dampens enthusiasm. In our company the EXCO, by simple majority, takes major decisions and dispenses antibiotics as necessary. Every member is free to have their say, nobody is shut down. Strong guidance by an elder should be part of any team without the elder being overbearing or dictatorial.

Business, I need not tell you, has its hills and valleys but you gain more from the downside, as I have already said regarding our Mozambique experience, than the ups.

Welcome adversity –  the road to success is littered with failures which are the grease of triumph, if you make it so.

Failure, in many guises, hovers around, often unnoticed, I call it waiting for the Klap, (an Afrikaans word meaning a slap across the face). Prepare and be ready for the failure klap because it is sure to come. Never hide behind corporate liquidation to avoid settling with creditors, always settle, whether you are obliged to do so by law or not, no matter how long it may take.

It is very difficult not to be tempted by what seems like the silky-smooth attraction of corruption. Nobody will know, you tell yourself, you’ll make good money, you can do good with that money, and so on. The twin brother of corruption is deceit. Once you are enmeshed in the evil tentacles of corruption it is difficult to extract yourself. It is also clear that your colleagues, your clients, the government official with whom you do business, and even our family, will eventually become aware that you are morally corrupt, and this means capable of corrupt and dishonorable Practices of all kinds. This is to say nothing of the sub conscious moral beating that everybody, and I am sure that this applies to everybody, takes by practicing unethical business, the haunting fear of being caught that resides with you and the shame that you know will befall you, and your family, if you are exposed, walks alongside you, a constant companion. Once you have lost your reputation you are almost at the point of no return, in aviation, known as the PNR when referring to the fuel supply to complete the flight in an aircraft. India, south Africa, is known to be corrupt. If the two were to compete in the corruption stakes, I would think that south Africa would probably win the race. Why are people corrupt, I often ask myself, and of course there are a multitude of answers to this question. But, if objectively examined, the answers are always spurious. The positives that are attracted by uncorrupt business dealings run infinitely ahead of the perceived leg up produced by corruption.

I could have titled this the talk the power of truth, truth is another facet of love although, I will say, perhaps amongst the most sparking of facets. The power of truth cannot be over emphasized, do not tempted to lie – the truth found, even when it seems so easy to lie, always, I say again, always produces a positive outcome.


I started this talk by making the point that love is multi-faceted, each facet is perfect. The best way I can describe the way in which each aspect of a business should be treated is with constant striving for perfection, not always achieving perfection, but always striving. A diamond cannot be perfect if any one of the facets is flawed. All the elements, or facets, must be brought together in a business to ensure success, but also to provide the stimulus and satisfaction, brought by perfection, to give us comfort and knowledge that we have produced a work of art which is contributing to the welfare of our fellows.

I was once told, by the one of the richest men in South Africa, two things, firstly that striving to achieve one hundred per cent efficiency in a business is not advisable, “eighty percent is good enough”, he said, ‘’the other twenty percent is too costly to achieve’’. Secondly, he said “Bob, you are too good for business” going for one hundred percent is vital, compromise by setting a lower standard is an insult to your business, your client and yourself. I regarded his second remark as a compliment.

There is no such thing as business which does not require ongoing attention to the basics. The shifting sands of the market, for example, requires continues constant focus on this facet. I have frequently found myself chipping away to the coalface of our business operations completely disregarding that, perhaps, we should not be in the coal business at all or perhaps there was more efficient way of chipping at the coalface rather than what we had been doing over time. This is strategic thinking, and this requires discipline, motivation and determination to take one out of the comfort zone that surround all of us and plunging, if necessary, head first into the unknown but let me hasten to add it is also essential to investigate the unknown (especially the depth of the water!) and make it as known as possible before taking that head first plunge.

It would be seriously amiss if I did not touch upon the negative cash flow tsunami unless out flows are noted the waves come crashing back and will destroy your business unless you are well prepared. The danger is self- evident but is missed, or disregarded, by many – never be lax when it comes to expenditure, practice restraint.

The world famous South African golfer, Gary Player, was told by a spectator how lucky he was to which he replied;

“The more I practice, the luckier I get”

The reason I am not personally delivering this paper to you, it is being read by my dear friend Anthony Duigan, is that my wife contracted breast cancer a few years ago and is currently undergoing intensive treatment. Now I venture to say most people would think that this is a completely negative event but, some of you may be surprised to hear this, it has produced very positive element. The faith we have in the love of God and the absolute knowledge that God is there for all of us, filled with love and welcoming, has instructed our souls. It is indeed a mystery that pain almost always leads to strength and reward. Nelson Mandela, who my wife and I had the honor of meeting on three occasions, gained his structure, strength, and resilience from the pain he suffered during his incarceration. We all know that Jesus Christ suffered enormously as a man but just look what resulted from that suffering.

My son was a drug addict who committed the most heinous of crimes which has had devastating consequences for many people., he is presently experiencing the intense pain of guilt and incarceration which has turned him around one hundred per cent into a fine, God Loving, human Being.

Trouble proves a blessing, or a curse, depending on how it is received and treated by us.

Remember the rule, and welcome those times of business adversity, and it will happen, as opportunities to learn and develop. Complacency is the enemy of continued success breeds complacency.

If only I’d know, as a young man, about and payed attention to, the golden composite stream of rules, some of which I have mentioned, that flows through all successful businesses and effects every aspect of business whether it be staff relations, relations with clients, interplay with governments, harmony with fellow directors and managers and so on.

Christine and I enjoy visiting a well-known restaurant in Johannesburg which we have done for years. The waiter, who almost always serves us, one day said, “Mr. Garbett, why are you and your wife so kind and courteous to me” and I looked him in the eye and said, “Because when I look at you, I am looking at God’’. God made us all in his image. If I may have leave you with this, remember that treating your employees, and others, with dignity and kindness will produce a like response.

Martin Luther King once said:

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot Drive out hate, only love can do that”.

The foundations, central core or heart of your business must be based on the principles that the good Lord has laid down for all of us without which, more times than not, you will just be whistling in the wind.

The philosophy of our business is to strive for the highest standard of service and in all respects to act with intergrity, kindness and Professionalism”.

Thank you for the privilege and honor that you have bestowed on me by allowing this paper to be presented at the conference.

May God bless all of you and may God give you a multitude of opportunities to practice love in all circumstances.

Obituary – Christine Garbett

It is with the deepest regret and sadness that we announce the death of the founder of this company, Christine Garbett, who joined Jesus at 17h10 on Saturday the 31st March 2018.

Rob & Christine

Bob Garbett was with her until the very last moment and read Psalm 23 to her at the end.

There is no doubt that Christine touched the lives of everybody she met with love.  The many dozens of tributes from South Africa and from all over the world almost without exception make mention of this wonderful light that surrounded her.

Rob and Christine were married for thirty six years and spent twenty four seven together during this period with only less than ten nights of separation.  Their love and devotion to each other is a wonderful illustration of love that can exist between two people on this earth.

Christine was remarkable in many ways being one of the few women in the world who flew alone in single engine aircraft to Europe seven times. This achieved on a background of having come out of South Africa from England over forty years ago by ship because she was a nervous flyer.

Professional Aviation Services (Pty) Ltd was established by Christine in 1979 without a Rand in the bank but with her head overflowing with ideas.   She had decided to challenge the near monopoly that existed in the turbo prop and jet market at that time, she also felt strongly that the corporate aircraft sales market needed a company that would not only provide excellent service but the strongest of ethics and straight forward dealing.

Christine met Rob in 1982 and they married in June 1983.  The company sold many corporate and other aircraft and then slowly branched into the current activities which include the employment of over 650 people and branches in some of the main centres in South Africa.

The Executives, Managers and many other in the company will miss her solid and reliable thinking based on compassion and love but also with a brain and thinking processes that were unique to her.

Christine is survived by her husband Rob, son Trevor, daughter Cherrylain as well as grandchildren,  Robert and Annabelle.

There are no words to describe the impact that Christine had on the lives of so many people as well as the impact her ideas and energetic activities have had on the environment.

We ask all those that have read this obituary to thank God for having placed such a loving wonderful person amongst us on this earth.

Our world in 2018

by Tony Frost, tony@siroccostrategy.com


 

It would be easy and accurate to say that 2018 will not be very different from any other year. Some say it has to be better than 2017. Of course it doesn’t, but it may well be.

We live in a fractured and fracturing world. Much of this is the result of poor or non-existent leadership. We see it in our own country, but it is equally prevalent and maybe even more dramatic abroad. Here we just have to think of the tweeted rantings of Trump and the dithering Theresa May to put our own trial and tribulations into context. Some say that emigrating is the answer. I am not so sure about that.

Whatever happens; things are going to happen, some big and some small, over which we have no control. This, however, is not the issue, what is the issue is that we may have no control over events and circumstances round us, but we most certainly have control over how we view and react to those things. Before we get into any scenarios about 2018 let us be sure that we fix our mindset.  Last year I wrote about the crucial attitudes needed for success. They are no less important for the year ahead:

  1. Fix your Mindset

There is little more demeaning and self-defeating than a victim mentality!  Have a sense of hope, spread this hope and be joyful about life. It really is worth living!

  1. Be Courageous

Surround yourself with like-minded people who also want to make positive change happen.

  1. Make Creativity your Centrepoint

Society starts with you. We CANNOT leave the future to the politicians. You are the centrepoint of all of society and if ever there was time for innovativeness and creativity it is now. Be at the centre of renewal.

  1. Persevere!

There is no way you would be able to summit Mount Everest unless you are prepared to persevere, hang in there, keep going. Especially when the going gets rough and tough! But the rewards are priceless!

  1. Spread the Love

There is too much animosity in the world. We are all too angry about too much, but do not really know what we are angry with, or at, or about. Anger is a useless emotion. Get rid of your anger it will not help you in the long run. Love is contagious. Love those around you and let them know it. This will come back to you in countless, and often surprising ways.

  1. Live and Work IN the World

The world is truly a village; a village of increasing complexity which simultaneously becomes more accessible and more opaque; bigger and smaller; faster and slower; closer and further. Without education it must feel like a world of chaos. Even with education it is often extremely difficult to understand. And yet it is our world. It is critical that we are part of it; just as it is part of us. We cannot escape from this globalised world. Avoid looking only at the needs and wants of our village, or our country. Be a world citizen, but live and work locally.

  1. Make sure you Stand for Something

Too many of us concentrate on being busy; almost as though busyness on its own will bring rewards.  But busyness on its own will inevitably lead to disaster. At the end of one’s life no-one will ever ask what we were busy at; instead they will talk about what we represented; what we stood for. These are the things that make for positive change in society. Think of global icons – Mandela, Mother Theresa, Mahatma Gandhi, Desmond Tutu. All of these individuals are known way beyond their singular area of activity or interest because of what they stood for, not what they were busy doing.

So now for 2018:

Politics: For South Africans 2018 will, to all intents and purposes, be a precursor to 2019 when our next National Elections take place. This will mean our year ahead will be filled even more than usually with politics, politicians and politicking. It will be tempting to get sucked into this maelstrom. But rather make your presence felt at local level where it really counts. People protest locally about local issues. There has been very little protest nationally about national issues although Zuma has helped to change this somewhat.

Economics: Economics is the twin sister of politics: Especially for a little country like South Africa which is so dependent on the goodwill of the world. This means that we must make our democracy work for all at all levels. Especially locally! We desperately need radical job creation! Be entrepreneurial. Support local entrepreneurs. Buy South African!

Education: Much of our education is shambolic. If you are reading this you are probably amongst the educated elite. Education is an easy area in which to make a meaningful contribution. Teach kids to read. Volunteer at one of the local schools. Mentor teachers, principals. Provide financial support to the kids of your employees. The matriculating class of 2017 represented only 37% of those that started school 12 years earlier. Education is our biggest crisis!

Technology: We are in the throes of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. New technology will be in our faces at every turn. Jobs will be lost, but many new jobs will be created. Embrace the change. It is all designed to make living and working easier and to make our connected world even more connected.

Society: Our fractured, tormented past haunts us. We live in divided dormitories. But recent research shows that South Africans are generally not racist and all want to be part of a really new and undivided South Africa. If we wish to build a united South Africa at peace with itself we have to reach out to those who we see as being different, maybe even strangers. Indeed many of us see our own countrymen and women as foreigners. Only we can change this. Not someone else. Not the politicians (actually for many of them it is not even in their interests to do so). Not the government. Us, we and them, are the only ones who have the capacity to make the change happen and we will be the biggest beneficiaries.

In summary 2018 is a year of change, of opportunity, of some uncertainty on the economic and political front, but it mostly a year in which the citizenry can really make our presence felt. It is really up to us to create the kind of country we want. This is far too important a task to leave to the politicians!

 

IATA Dangerous Goods Workshops

Only two days to go to the IATA Dangerous Goods Workshops in South Africa.

The Johannesburg event will be held at the airport Southern Sun Hotel on the 31st January, the event starts at 09h00 but we suggest that you join us from 08h30 for coffee.

the Cape Town event will be held on the 1st February 2018 at the Hotel Verde, start time is 09h00 but please join us at 08h30 for coffee.

Bookings can be made through Professional Aviation Services, contact salome@professional.za.com or david@professional.za.com for details

DG Workshop Invite_SAFDangerous Goods Workshops_2018_Agenda South Africa

Aviation stowaways in 2018?

CBS Chicago has the story of a lady who manged to slip past all AVSEC measures at  O’Hare’s Terminal 3 and board a London bound flight….

This after wondering around the terminal for two days.

Yes, in 2018.

Once on the London-bound plane, sources say, Hartman hid in a bathroom and eventually walked out and found a seat.  When she couldn’t produce a passport Monday at Heathrow Airport, officials sent her back to O’Hare, where she was taken into custody Thursday.

The list of failures is long and I am sure that their will be enough blame to go around but perhaps the place to start is Human Factors and Training?

Continue reading

Changes to Dangerous Goods training?

Join IATA for the interactive Dangerous Goods workshops and learn about the changes that are on the way in how we train Dangerous Goods.

Dangerous Goods training is a particular challenge for the courier and express industry, this is your opportunity to learn first hand information how the significant changes to the way Dangerous Goods training will be done in future will impact of your business.

DG Workshop Invite_SAF

IATA Dangerous Goods Workshops South Africa 2018

The agenda and speakers for the IATA Dangerous Goods Workshops on 31 January in Johannesburg and 1 February in Cape Town is set out below:

Dangerous Goods Workshops_2018_Agenda South Africa

Please make sure that you book early at (IATA Dangerous Goods Workshop Bookings) and make sure that you don’t miss out on the opportunity of meeting with the Dangerous Goods Experts from IATA

And remember the participation fee is USD125 and all will receive a free electronic (windows or mobile) copy of the DGR 59th 2018 edition valued at USD328.

Dangerous Goods Workshops_2018_Agenda South Africa

DG Workshop Invite_SAF