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Building Rapport – East and West

Building Rapport – East and West

Recently one of my clients sent a team of engineers to Japan. For most of the team this was their first visit to that country. Before going, they asked me to brief them on some of the cultural issues they might encounter. There is a long list of things to watch out for, from beer […]

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Japan Tragedy – Rapid Change

Japan Tragedy - Rapid Change

This is the final post in my series exploring post-quake Japan. While I’ve enjoyed many aspects of working with Japanese companies in recent years, one issue that’s been a frequent cause of consternation is what I perceive to be their relatively slow pace of change. OK, to be perfectly honest I’m not impressed with the […]

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Japan Tragedy – Impossible Becomes Possible

Japan Tragedy - Impossible Becomes Possible

Here’s another article in this series where I squeeze meaning out of seemingly purposeless tragedy. When I landed in Tokyo 2 weeks ago – my first trip here since the quake – I wondered what signs of the recent disaster might be evident. As the bus made its way from the airport into town I […]

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Japan Tragedy – Selflessness

Japan Tragedy - Selflessness

In my continuing quest to make meaning out of tragedy, here’s another in the series. It’s amazing to me how selfless some people can be when tragedy strikes. Several days following the earthquake-tsunami-nuclear nightmare in Japan I realized that I’d totally forgotten my brother’s birthday. My whole family is spread all over the US – […]

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Do Worry, Be Happy

Do Worry, Be Happy

I am a professional worrier.  Yes, at times I actually feel like I get paid to worry.  What could go wrong with this, what could go wrong with that, what are the mitigation plans?  This was true when I was a project manager and an engineering manager. But, with those positions I was also responsible […]

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The Politics of Inspiration and Shame

The Politics of Inspiration and Shame

As a project leader, part of your job is to inspire people to persevere in pursuit of seemingly impossible goals.  In my work, it’s not part of my job . . . that’s pretty much all I do.  A decade leading projects was the perfect preparation for this work.  Lately I’ve been spending about half […]

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