Greetings. Today marks the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. It was an event that unfolded before many of our eyes and changed, in an instant, not only the face of Europe but our connection to the dreams and aspirations of many people we didn't really know. People who yearned to reunite with family, friends, and the rest of their country. People who imagined that participation in a broader world would mean greater opportunities for self-expression.
But in the absence of these epic moments in history, do we really understand and value people in other places? People who have very different ideas, insights, and genius. Or do they remain little more than faces in news stories, too far away to matter to our lives as people, organizations, and nations. One might argue that many of our biggest challenges today are due to a lack of understanding of other people and other places, and the often misplaced beliefs that they desire to be just like us or are too different from us to warrant our interest or attention. The truth is at neither extreme, which actually creates far more intriguing and powerful opportunities to share, learn, and eventually collaborate.
So as you begin this week, spend some time thinking about someplace in the news that seems different and also fascinating. Then commit to learning more about it and what makes it remarkable. After all, there is something remarkable about every place on earth. Then try to imagine how its brilliance could help you and your colleagues to be even more brilliant and successful.
We win in business and in life by breaking down the walls that divide. What walls keep you from reaching out and discovering the genius in other people and other places? And what will you be doing in the days and weeks ahead to remove them?