Da Vinci @ Work: Meet Lucky Macheke

Lucky thinks and acts like a managerial leader – and everyone wins
 
Not so long ago, Lucky Macheke saw himself as an ordinary employee. He would come to work, do his job to the best of his abilities and go home. That mindset has gone for good. Since enrolling for his BCom degree in Business Management with The Da Vinci Institute, Lucky has been thinking and acting like a managerial leader.
 
“The results have been amazing. I have saved the bank a lot of money and at the same time made life easier for clients who were in a financial predicament,” says Lucky, a consultant in the legal department of one of South Africa’s big banks.
 
That “paradoxical thinking”, combining business sense and compassion, saw him coming up with a collections solution that would benefit the bank without leaving defaulting homeowners high and dry.
 
Blending business sense and compassion
 
“I care about my employer and I care about the wellbeing of our clients, so I presented my idea to the executive committee, who gave me the go-ahead to do a pilot project for three months,” says Lucky. “The result was an improvement of more than 500% in collections.”
 
This success secured him a place among his employer’s 25 most innovative employees of 2017. “I felt so honoured. I did something that changed the world and changed someone’s situation. I know I can do more amazing stuff; I’ve done it before and I can do it again.”
 
That confidence comes from knowing that he has what it takes to be a managerial leader.
 
“For me, a managerial leader is someone who imagines a new and different future and delivers that by applying strategic thinking and long-term systems thinking,” he says. “This is the kind of leader who looks at business performance and makes recommendations to ensure continued growth, viability and competitive advantage within sensible risk parameters, and motivates to ensure that the highest standards of quality and productivity are consistently maintained. A managerial leader is also flexible, problem-solving and creative.”
 
Lucky, who graduates in September 2018, is planning to do his honours next and then a master’s or an MBA.
 
No matter how well he does in his career, he says he will never forget the importance of taking people and their wellbeing into account.
 
“People are important. I realised that when I lost my dad in grade 7 and my mum in grade 10, and was raised by my aunt and my gran, who was over 90 years old and passed a year or two ago. She encouraged me to go to school and make something of myself, and I would like to share my achievements with the people who have been there for me: my family, my colleagues and my mentor, Mr Abel ‘Baba’ Mngadi, previous chief operations officer in the business. He also gave me sustenance to transform theory into practice and have a vision of a true managerial leader.”