it’s been a wild week since you heard from me. Most painfully, I had to get a whole bunch of shots and take a whole bunch of pills. No, you do not have to worry about my health. It was the damn travel medicine doctor working hard to keep the tiny critters from moving in on my upcoming Africa trip. Just about every vaccination I have expired in December. The only one that was still good…for another 5 years…was yellow fever.
Then the doctor went on about how there is no vaccine for Dengue Fever…which I know because I am on the board of Aviana Molecular which is working on a very cool, rapid, on site, diagnostic tool for Dengue Fever. We have the device ready for commercialization but need a few more bucks to get it to market. Yes, this is a pitch for funds. So open your wallet and help out millions of people.
He also yakked about malaria. No vaccine but there a number of pills you can take while in malaria zones. They mostly work. Mostly.
And then there are all the other things swimming around, flying around, dropping out of the trees, meandering through the vegetables, and looking for any possible way to find a nice home inside your oh so wonderful moist, warm, delicious body.
In case this has you wondering, I am off to Benin and Rwanda. Leave January 2 in the evening and return January 12 really early. If all goes well, I will get to spend more time on the ground than in airplanes. As with much of Africa, you really can’t get to them without lots of changing of airplanes. Going from one to the other is even worse. I leave from Dulles which is a nice airport although their immigration system is the worst. Luckily I have my Global Traveler permit so can skip the lines.
Leading a nice Wharton Global Consulting Practicum Project. While in Benin I have someone flying in from Nigeria to meet me. It’s right next door so since I am flying 10,000 miles to get to Benin he figured he could fly 500 to meet me. I do like it greatly when people want to see me this much.
Aside: On a completely different Africa note, I noticed a small news article while paging through a real newspaper. “Revenge fight kills 9″. It goes on to describe a fight between 2 families in Egypt that started over who was first in line to buy bread. Next thing you know, 9 members of the two families are dead. I leave you to think about this.
Before I leave on my Africa trip, I get to be part of the Wharton Africa Business Forum. I am moderating a panel on Disruptive Innovation in Pubic Services: The Role of Social Enterprise and Impact Investing. Lots of amazing people are on the speakers and panelist list. I hear it’s sold out and they are trying to figure out how to shoehorn more people in. Wow! Probably due to me being part of it.
On another Wharton Global Consulting Practicum note, I have two projects that finally got it together to decide to close two weeks after the deadline. Why do people do this? Months of discussion with a well known drop dead date and now…can we wake the dead?
Luckily we are very, very clever so have managed this: the dead have risen! Two additional nice projects. I actually am quite happy about this…in spite of the effort raising the dead requires. To my unending happiness, I have the two best people in the universe that help me get all this together.
Well, if the truth be told, it only works because of them. I am the grit in the gears that they are constantly trying to clean up. I hear it takes a lot of cleaning.
Colleen and SaraRose.
If you’re wondering why this is as crazy as I make it sound, it’s because it is. I have projects starting in Benin and Rwanda (but you already knew this, Guatemala and Ecuador, United Arab Emirates, and Chile. You might notice they are not even remotely close to each other.
Not to mention the things I am working on for Geneva Global. Did I mention that I have agreed to become an official part of them? Seems that have enjoyed what we’ve done together over the last few years. I have a number of things going with them in Africa and another couple in the works.
And then there are my local clients and a few new EOS prospects.
Somehow I manage to get it all done. Clearly this is due to having a collection of exceptional people who keep me in line and manage to actually do much of the work I pull together. A few days ago I had the great good fortune to hear Lars Bjork, CEO of QlikView, chat about being a CEO. He talked a bit about what has made him so successful and at one point said, “I hire people better than me and get out of their way.” Yup.
By the way, we had a bit of private chat, traded cards, and are going to get together to discussion a possible opportunity. You might remember this is one of the rules in that book Kay Keenan and I wrote a few years ago. Conversation on Networking. Go places, talk to people, and figure out what the connection is…then go for it.
No wonder I am always a bit crazed.
I also noticed an article in the same newspaper I mentioned above, Philadelphia Inquirer if you must know, “Nutter’s order also strikes ‘prisoner’ from the city code”. It describes an amazing thing. Mayor Nutter has changed the city code to describe those released from prison as “returning citizen” rather than “ex-prisoner” or “ex-offender”. Or other terms such as criminal, crook, convict, and so forth.
Quite amazing. It is among the best examples of how language does matter that I can recall. Think about the implications. Think about the reception you get as a returning citizen rather than as an ex-prisoner. Words are powerful and shape our thinking. We can’t help it. We respond at a viceral level to the implications of a word as much as to the meaning.
Something to think about before you next open your mouth.