Everyone has destiny helpers. It’s just that many of us are not aware of who they are and what their role in our life is. These are people placed in our path to help us achieve certain goals and purpose in life. At times these destiny helpers get on to your very nerves and you wish they could disappear; actually they rarely come in the form that you wish they did. Many of these destiny helpers come to us in the form of Gatekeepers. I learnt about the concept of Gatekeepers long after I had enjoyed their services. I just did not have a label for these people or their role in my life. It is only at a later stage that I realised I had been blessed with many Gatekeepers.
Over the time I have written these blogs, it has not been lost on me that the time I spent in West Africa served as an Open Learning Portal for me. That ideally should not have come as a surprise since even the idea and name of the blog “@ My Father’s Feet” was conceived in that same period. Anyhow, I was once posted to Ghana as part of a start-up team for a Greenfield Telco. I attended this Mega Church, Christ Temple, and the HQ of the ICGC ministry founded by Dr Mensa Otabil – a dream come true for me by the way! Sitting at the feet of this leader was nothing short of phenomenal and his impact in my life has been enormous. A story for another day……perhaps!
One day as I left Christ Temple a lady tapped on my shoulders and asked to speak to me. I was still very new in the country and had barely clocked two months. I wish someone had recorded my reaction! Priceless. I literally froze and had severe chills. At exit points after the first service, the Church was normally a sea of humanity with people leaving and others entering the Sanctuary for second service. I turned around to face the person who had tapped my shoulders and the lady blurted out “the Holy Spirit just asked me to talk to you and ask for a job”. What! Like seriously! Just like that? No introductions followed by any niceties. A cold delivery of an urgent message I guess. Don’t ask me why but I entertained the conversation even when my mind was telling me to excuse myself quickly and take off.
It just so happened that we were about to commence recruitments for the start-up Telco and would require a large number of Contact Centre Executives. In my mind I thought someone who knew me, maybe from the Telco, had pointed me out to her. Apparently not! She was a Choir member in Christ Temple and had no clue where I even worked, my name or my role. Since we planned to have an open Career Fair to collect CVs for various roles I asked her to come with her CV on the set date. That is one of the biggest mistakes I have ever made in my Human Resources career. No, the mistake was not me asking her to bring the CV but the plan for a Career Fair to quickly amass CVs – big mistake! The turnout was an overwhelming disaster! Although we had planned to have Security personnel, we ended up requiring the Police. We were looking to hire just about 200 or so graduates but the mass of people that showed up that day became rowdy and we had to quickly provide empty cartons for the potential candidates to drop their CVs and leave the premises.
Long story short, the CV for the lady landed in one of the numerous boxes. We asked the different business units to sift through the CVs for the different roles – she did not meet the criteria for the Contact Centre Executive and was therefore excluded from the long list. I only learnt about this when she called me a month or so later to inform me she had not heard back from the Company. Please don’t ask me why I had even given her my number on the first day we met. Maybe I wanted a quick exit hoping she would never get in touch, maybe? From our conversation, I found out she did not have the basic requirements, a Bachelors degree, and so did not make the cut. That was the end of the story then, I thought. Not so. The lady kept calling me and asking that I help her find a job. At one point we were hiring interns to help us with some admin work and she eventually joined us.
When we completed the admin work as part of the start-up and were about to launch our products, we decided to hand over the admin support staff to a managed service company. I wasn’t even bothered about how she was fairing in the assessment since I thought I had done my part and helped her get a job. When she excitedly came to my office to inform me she had passed the interview and was going to join the Managed Service Company, I just congratulated her. Her getting the offer or not was a non-issue for me. As she walked out of my office, I heard the Holy Spirit tell me “that’s your Gatekeeper”! Oh, what now! I wondered! All the hints I guess had been dropped but I didn’t pay attention. Her name, wait for this, was Lesgate! Who has such a name! I remember tears just flowing and wondering what would have become of this whole “arrangement” if she had not got the job – I had an opportunity to put in a word for her since the role she held served my function and she was doing an excellent job, but I couldn’t be bothered.
So Lesgate was my gatekeeper. In a new country, at a new job. I had been given a Gatekeeper to spiritually watch over me and I didn’t know about it? Even worse, I didn’t even seem to care. My mind sped back to many other people who have come to work in my team in other organizations under similar mysterious circumstances – they had been Gatekeepers. I still remember a lady who served as my EA in another organization. We were doing a re-structure and I recall receiving a call from the Sales Director in that organization. He told me, “Get yourself an intelligent EA not a “Bimbo”! This was in reference to my beautiful EA who was so intelligent and only lacked formal papers. Anyhow, she stayed on and later grew her career in leaps and bounds even after I had left the organization. She was one quite effective Gatekeeper I must say. I still recall many conversations we had during my stint in that organization and we are still in touch. I have had several Gatekeepers and I remain forever grateful for their role.
Nowadays I am not only sensitively aware of my own Gatekeepers but I can also pinpoint other people’s Gatekeepers with great accuracy. Just two years ago the Holy Spirit turned the tables on me. I had just shared a vivid dream with a friend where this friend featured heavily. As I later mused on the dream and its meaning, the Holy Spirit whispered, “You are her Gatekeeper”! What the world! The issue was I had been told for sure what my role was and was not relying on signs or hints – like a name, Lesgate maybe!
Do you know your Gatekeepers?