Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Cheers to walking in the dark with your eyes wide open!

“But the common theme is this: Executives cannot function effectively until they understand the context they are operating in.”
-Developing Global Executives, Pg 22

“The basic mental process of developing into a global leader involves getting your mind around the whole world – not just one country.”
Global Explorers, Pg 186

I completely agree. With every new venture I take on, I can almost feel the process as my mind wrestles to grasp the size and complexity of the task at hand. I’m never fully capable until I’ve grasped the parameters of the project, until I can create a mental map of the situation.

So what do I do when I enter a situation that is completely alien to me, with no reference points?

“Just one more step Kevin, one more step,” I would say to myself. From Europe to South American, Budapest to Sucre, one more step got me through more situations than I would like to remember. Like walking in the dark, stumbling, fumbling and bumping around until I hit something solid, taking a mental note of what I’ve found. Depending on the size and intricacies of the room – and don’t forget my own desire to discover – it takes a while to get a handle on the environment.

I think the world’s cultures are similar in this way. My understanding of them will develop as I discover their parameters, as large as they may be. As much experience as I think I’ve had, I still find myself in situations where I’m walking a bit blind, feeling out, step by step, my path forward.

Cheers to walking in the dark with your eyes wide open!

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