On Thursday I spent the afternoon at the global headquarters of Thunderbird School of Global Management. In my meetings with a dozen or so of the senior leaders there including new Dean Sanjeev Khagram, I was reminded that the true global tribe and Thunderbird's "Tbird Life" leaders have a respectful and professional tone that is warm and welcoming.
It was that positive quality about Thunderbird that caused me to think about forming Global Chamber many years ago. If more companies were successful in global business, and tapped in to that respectful and professional energy, the world will get better, day by day.
I always had noticed as a young professional working my way through Dupont decades ago that the international people had a different and more desirable style. They were generally more thoughtful and inquisitive, more caring and questioning. The best of the best leaders were people who you could look up to with their intelligence, experience... and emotional intelligence.
With this backdrop I'd like to interject that I started to notice these past couple months that more and more people are on edge. And certainly everyone is busy. As Bill Gates has said, 'busy is the new stupid', and so I recommend not responding to the question 'how is it going?' with 'busy!'. We get it! We're all busy.
What are the implications?
I don't think being busy is an excuse to be rude. Today in the New York Times there is an opinion piece on e-mail, making the point that some people are so busy, they don't respond to e-mails. The article uses the example of someone waving as you pass them in the office hallway, and being too busy to wave back. Really? Of course not, you would never do that.
So how is that different from not responding to e-mails? Good article! Read more.
There are basic professional standards that should be in place no matter what. Maybe now is a good time to think about those. Because it seems that there's more of an edge to people than ever before.
One of the wonderful things about President Obama was that he seemed unruffled by pressure and being busy. He continues to live a life full of honesty, respect, resilience, giving back and being global - so many of the attributes that people with a global mindset possess and live by every day. In contrast his successor flings daily insults. Is that giving people in society free reign to be more rude?
With 3 funerals under my belt over the past few weeks, I've done my share of soul searching in long drives and flights across the country. I'm all in with the style of Dean Khagram and the countless global tribe members that we are lucky enough to work with every day. For all of you... thank you! You are my inspiration... whether it is to be a role model or a remembrance that people are better than what we sometimes see.
So I think that those of us doing global business need to rise above that sharp-edged noise. Rising above and having the behaviors essential to being successful across borders is exactly what we need more of in society overall. Like my and your role models did for us... we can now set the right tone for others in our work and other areas of life. I'm working to tap in to their positive energy! Let's join those who are already there.
This week Global Chamber has another cross-cultural session with experts talking about doing business more successfully in Europe. We'll continue to have these sessions regularly that discuss protocol and doing the right thing to set up successful growth worldwide. Those with experience and success doing business across borders and cultures are great people to listen to for continual inspiration and improvement.
Global business can lead the way to a kinder, better world.
Doug Bruhnke, Global Chamber