Monday, June 18, 2007

China – June 18, 2007

Here for the last week of a two week tour: Warsaw, Poland to Malibu, California to Beijing .. and finally expected home on June 14. In Poland had the great fortune to work again with Aiki-Management’s founders, Pawel Bernas and Pawle Olesiak, this time for a full-day program serving 140 members of the Roche Corporation. A very energetic group, I think they were beyond surprised at what they could accomplish in such a short time, though I wish we could have taken a full two days. The impact of being in Warsaw was surreal for me. This is a city many hundreds of years old, but everything visible dates from 63 years ago. Ninety-four percent of the city was completely flattened in September, 1944 during a 62-day long battle. Most if not all of the old-city’s generations were wiped out or fled and never returned. Though the King’s Square (central area) has been rebuilt to reflect the old (albeit with Dutch influence) the current inhabitants live in constant remembrance in an eerie and ultra modern way.

From Warsaw I arrive into Malibu on June 13th for the 2007 Organizational Behavior Teachers Conference, held this year at Pepperdine University with hundred sixty of the top leadership and organizational behavior professors and practitioners from the US and the world. What did I hear loud and clear? That theses teachers are concerned that unless things change, environmentally and politically – and rapidly so – that we are set for dire times. Where once only heard in small discussions around the dining room table at OBTC, this weeks’ voices sounding an alarm were quite loud and from the plenary floor. They see an overwhelming need for strong ethical leaders who will take on the hard problems for the long term rather than looking for quick fixes and fasts profits. And they see it throughout our nation – organizations large and small and including on their own campuses.

A side note: I purchased a copy of Bill George’s new book, “Finding True North.” Bill George is the former CEO of Medtronics and now a professor of management at the Harvard Business School. No he was not at this year’s OBTC (though Pepperdine was my first opportunity to see his book in print). He was at the Gallup Leadership Institute conference that Dr. Tim Peterson (Texas A&M) and I attended last year in Washington, D.C. I strongly suggest you buy Bill Georges’ book. I have yet to hear someone of his caliber so strongly state the need for servant leadership and public stewardship.

One of the good things about the OBTC is that the sessions are designed for attendees to take back to their classrooms and implement. And … I will … beginning with July at the sixth Allied Ronin Leaders’ Retreat.

From Malibu I arrived into Beijing yesterday. Here to serve one of three training organizations that has been using the Samurai Game®. I’ll be here five days and am just settling in. But, here’s today’s report. Visibility is three quarters of a mile … max. No it’s not overcast or fog. You can see the sun, in fact you can look directly at it today, staring for a long time no strain or pain to the eye. Smog. Heavy. Wet. Pungent. Skin tingling. Breath-cutting. Normal. Making a bad-day-in-LA look crystal clear. More later.

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