Wow, what a trip this is! I have been in Bangkok since Sunday. Just a couple hours after I got checked into my hotel, I put my back out. My schedule was packed, so I have been grinning and bearing it – a test on how to focus!
That’s the aching back part…Now for the swelling head…
The government of Thailand has been a wonderful host. The hotel, food, and company have all been outstanding.
On Monday, I met with the Prime Minister who said that my book, High Impact Middle Management, was one of only four he is currently recommending his managers and leaders read. Wow – what an honor. I then heard the Prime Minister give a speech on the importance of strong middle management to about 5,000 government middle managers (they have 80,000 middle managers in the Thai government). The speech was also televised live. During the speech, the Prime Minister mentioned me and my book and asked me to stand up to be recognized. It was a bit surreal, but in a wonderful way.
On Tuesday morning, I spoke to 600 Thai middle managers and senior leaders in the UN Building. They created this wonderful backdrop just for my speech (see below) and gave me a wonderful piece of art (an elephant) as a token of appreciation. On Tuesday afternoon, I met with a committee that is leading the effort to improve middle management effectiveness.
On Wednesday, I spent the day with about 40 government and university folks who may be trained to be trainers. I shared my High Impact Middle Management model in greater detail. What a fine group! I also did a TV interview that will be shown state-wide.
And this evening (it is Wed evening right now) they took me to participate in the Loy Krathong celebration. At the end of Buddhist Lent, Thais celebrate the festival of Loy Krathong. They launch small banana leaf boats (krathong) on rivers and waterways to ask forgiveness from the Goddess of Waters. Thais also believe they float away past sins on their krathongs.
Here is my krathong before releasing it into the river.
And there is goes, along with all my sins and bad luck.
My official duties are done and tomorrow I will enjoy an insider’s tour of the Grand Palace and do some shopping. I will be back in Seattle on Friday. I may not post again until Monday.
The Thais I met have been so warm and generous, and as you can tell, they have treated me very, very, well. They did so many little things to make me feel special and appreciated. Every meal was attended by several high ranking leaders who were interested in how to improve middle management.
I find it interesting to learn about different work cultures and think about how the work I do translates.
As I write this, I am watching amazing fireworks from my hotel window – better than any July 4th display I have seen – more energetic, noisy, and creative. Ahh, life is tough……I promise my swelled head will return to normal next week.