Kevin Goes To Zurich


kevin goes to zurich geoff burch speaker on stage

The way we treat people has an astonishing effect on them. If you see what you perceive to be a dim, feckless, youth, how do you think you could persuade him to be a hardworking motivated loyal employee? Can I suggest that rather than talk at him, that we could look to ourselves and choose a behaviour set for ourselves that would transform him.

Close to us, there is a huge mill that employs many people but the only access to it is via a narrow bridge. It was young Kevin’s first day in his first ever job. He had left school early because he was not the sharpest knife in the box and was trudging over the bridge pushing his bicycle. A large chauffeur driven Rolls Royce glided to a halt next to him, one of the rear darkened windows slid down and a cultured voice spoke to him from the interior.

“Hello.  Who are you?”

“I’m Kevin” came the reply after some period of reflection.

“Haven’t seen you before.  Do you work here?”

“Yeah, it’s my first day.”

“Do you know who I am?” enquired the voice.


“I am Sir Gordon Miles.  I own this place.  Do you have a passport?”

This one has really foxed Kevin, but after some thought it is one question he can answer. “Yes, my mum took me to Lanzarote for me holidays!”

“Jolly good!  You pop home and get it” said the voice. “I have decided that you should spend your first day with me and we have to take the company jet to Zurich for a meeting.”

Can you imagine the scene when he got home from his first day to be greeted by his mum?

“Hello Mum!”

“How’s your first day, our Kevin” and noticing the slightly late hour, “where have you been?”


Kevin was a loyal employee from that day forward and never forgot his day with the chief executive in Zurich. We spend a fortune on recruitment and training and then fall at the first hurdle. You know the person is coming to work for you, you know they need a desk, a chair, a cup, someone to have lunch with.  That person will probably bond with them for their whole career so why put them with someone dodgy?


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