RUSSIA - Winston Churchill said of Russia, "It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma…" I did not expect it to be that way, but I expected a larger-than-life experience. I was not disappointed. I knew about the literature, philosophy, music, and culture. So I attended a ballet, walked in and around magnificent buildings and squares. I was in Red Square the day of the lighting of the Olympic torch for the 2014 Winter Games. I had my picture taken at St. Basil's cathedral - the picture you have all seen.
Riding the Metro (subway) was a fascinating experience. The stations and stops are magnificent - marble walls and ceilings, chandeliers. and statues. However, as you ride the trains you will feel right at home: 90% of the riders are texting!
I was in Moscow to work with executives of a large multi-national company. They all speak English - some better than others - and they are required to make presentations in English. On the first day, the Country Manager reminded them, "You are all very smart; that's a given. But you can be the smartest person in the room, but if you cannot explain what you do and make confident, convincing presentations, then you will not be as valuable and successful as you can be!"
That quotation explains perfectly the work that I do! Our "story" and our "savvy" are not worth much if they remain inside us. They take on life and significance when we can talk about them!
So I enjoyed the history, culture, and architecture of Russia. Pay a visit if you can! But I came back home reminded that even in situations where things are different, people are people. They live, love, and laugh. They do business, sing, and dance. The are citizens of the world just like we are.
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