Going to Indonesia for my job was such a learning experience. As if dealing with Chinese-U.S. culture differences isn't enough sometimes, we throw a third into the mix. One of my biggest lessons recently has been the importance of not managing every person or relationship the same. Each person or entity has something different that it values and that motivates them, and must be managed accordingly...learning how to put yourself in their shoes and give them what they want or need to get the job done.
Another interesting phrase and lesson I learned from a successful Chinese friend:
山高不耐寒...meaning something like “The high part of the mountain is not cold-resistant.” Sometimes being at the top isn’t everything. People admire you for the things you do and accomplish, but you yourself might actually realize all the things you’ve sacrificed or lost getting there. In other words, keep your priorities straight. That is one of the fun parts of learning Chinese...you can guarantee that there is a catchy phrase for any idea you want to express.
And finally, last funny but true lesson that my boss shared with me: 熊傻子掰苞米- "The foolish bear grabbing the corn." I loved this story. The bear, in all his excitement, keeps grabbing corn and putting it under his arm. Every time he grabs a new piece and lifts his arm, he drops the one that was already there. He thinks he's accumulating things, but really losing others. Going in too many directions or grabbing at too many opportunities without paying attention to feasibility or value is often a dead end. But at each step, make sure you are adding to the cumulative value of what you already have.
Translated these lessons always sound funny in English. But come from years and years of history in China. It is impossible to ever hear or learn them all, but it sure does make for good conversation :)
A few pics from Bali and Jakarta. This was the beach behind the hotel. The one I didn't get to actually visit because we had too many meetings. Next time...
This was the best meal we had in Indonesia. Coconut roasted seafood, while sitting on the beach of Bali Island. Mmmm
I was impressed with this bar inside of the pool. You don't even have to get out of the water to get a fruity drink!