Alex van den Heever
The Power of Relationships
Developing Loyalty and Building Trust in Difficult Situations • Breaking Down Barriers • Opening Up Honest Communication • Avoiding Polarization and Defusing Conflict
The transforming nature of true friendship is beyond dispute, everyone has their own personal experiences and has enjoyed the rewards of committed friendships. But what of the relationships that develop between colleagues? Can these be as powerful as spontaneously formed friendships? Can healthy interpersonal relationships in the corporate environment lead to greater levels of personal and financial fulfilment?
The answer is a resounding, ‘Yes’ says wildlife expert and inspirational speaker, Alex van den Heever. In his presentation The Power of Relationships he provides the keys to unlock this latent potential in working relationships.
“In the corporate environment, a veritable melting pot of different cultures, individuals are required to not just work together but to achieve a harmony that ensures the client experience and ultimately the success of the company.”
With humour, sensitivity and surprising humility Alex demolishes the walls that isolate each one of us. He tells the story of his own path to abundance; it’s a tale of extremes, white and black, man and boy, apartheid and unity, emerging world and developed world. Alex uses the real life story of his life as a game ranger at Londolozi Private Game Reserve and his relationship with tracker Renias Mhlongo to convey transformational wisdom and insights.
Alex is a new generation of South African speaker, ultimately personable but capable of utterly breaking down cultural barriers in the work place and fostering a generosity of spirit amongst team players. It’s not a methodology he offers but rather an ability to inspire the audience and open their minds to their potential as individuals and as a team.
ALEX VAN DEN HEEVER
Alex spent his formative years growing up on a cattle farm in the Western Cape, a particularly beautiful part of South Africa. After completing a Marketing and Business Management diploma at Damelin College he joined world renowned game lodge Londolozi in 1995 to become a safari guide. By the age of 24 he had already become Head Ranger. In 2002, he took the position of Land Manager and spent 6 years as custodian of the land. During his 13 years at Londolozi he raised money for habitat restoration projects, did marketing presentations and conducted specialised safaris.
He holds the highest qualification for a guide in the country. Alex has just started a trust called ‘People of the Rare Earth Foundation’ which will raise funds for rural communities living adjacent to wildlife areas in Africa.
Alex is a down-to-earth and passionate man, who through his love of the bush and the deep bond that formed between him and his tracker Renias, has learnt the true meaning of the power of relationships.
Renias Mhlongo was born on the farm Dudley in the former Eastern Transvaal province of South Africa. The Mhlongo family sustained themselves on the land by growing vegetables, tending cattle and hunting/gathering. Renias is fortunate in that he was one of the last people raised in the original traditions of a Shangaan pastoralist and naturalist. During Apartheid Renias and his family were sent to a designated Black settlement called Dixie. Without any formal education Renias was forced to seek work at Mala Mala Private Game Reserve as a labourer.
In 1984 he became a tracker at Londolozi – thereby realising his skill as a naturalist. He is one of 16 Senior Trackers in South Africa and his intuitive approach to tracking is uncanny.
Renias has travelled internationally, and in so doing has touched many by the gracious manner with which he teaches people about African landscape, culture and philosophy.
The relationship that developed between Renias and Alex started when Renias was appointed to Alex as his tracker. Renias passed on his deep knowledge of the African bush and also taught Alex to be fluent in Shangaan, the language of the area. When they went to London together, Alex was able to return the favour by showing Renias the wonders of the Western world. For thirteen years they have conducted safaris with guests all over Africa. From tracking leopards at Londolozi to following bears in California; from the remote African village of Dixie to the Knicker Bocker club in Manhattan these two men have broken through the barriers of their backgrounds and formed a bond which has changed both their lives forever. This is a relationship which is seen by many as a model in a democratic South Africa.
"... Alex touched his audience with his passion for his subject, and the sensitive way in which he explored the critical issue of "personal relationships" by drawing on his own extensive experience - unlocking valuable lessons for us, in not only our corporate, but also our social lives."
David Lawrence, Deputy Chairman, Investec Bank Limited
“Alex van den Heever’s stage presence can in short be described as motivating and thought provoking. His ability to bring to life the awe inspiring tale of friendship encapsulates the very essence of South African diversity and culture.
He manages to touch people in a very real and relevant way and specifically within the context of our (client) event he was able to take a very personal experience and apply it to the corporate world. The ultimate touch was of course in bringing his friend onto stage in a powerful conclusion which could be felt throughout the audience. We would definitely consider using Alex in future motivational talks for our clients.”
Harshna Kanaye, Consultant: Organisation and Change Management, Deloitte Consulting