Motivation in the Desert

Zidane, our very capable Bedouin guide, was leading our scramble up a mountain in the Wadi Rum desert in southern Jordan. This is the staggeringly beautiful and vast landscape that Lawrence of Arabia wrote so passionately about.

After climbing a testy rock wall we rested and talked about Zidane’s work with the tour company. “I could start my own business,” he explained, “but I like the people I work with here. And this way I don’t have to be in an office answering phones and problems. I like to be in the desert with the tourists.”

And what about his boss, the owner of the company? “Attayak is a good and kind boss. He treats his people with respect. He trusts them. And if mistakes are made, by guides or tourists, he is straight with them.”

Whether in the Wadi Rum or Washington, Bedouins or British Columbians, the elements of employee motivation are the same. A boss who is respectful, direct, trusting and kind. Doing the kind of work one likes to do. And being with the kind of people one likes to be with.

That’s why Zidane is not just capable but motivated. That’s what makes him a great guide. And that’s why I’d recommend him.

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