You got it wrong – Act 1

Meeting the man

I was very tired. Had just executed a three-day management workshop. The participants were active, asking good questions, challenging me when it was legitimate, demanding that we go deeper whenever I had hit a nerve.

I try to pack as much into a day as possible, probably overdoing it. My body was still on German time. It was seven p.m. U.S. East Coast. For me it was one o┬┤clock in the morning.

I got out of my rental car, walked across the parking lot, went through the entrance of the restaurant. The cold air hit me hard. Why does it always have to be so frigid in American restaurants, buildings, other public spaces?

I’m in the Southeast of the U.S. It is early summer. Very warm, sunny, the breeze too soft to cool anything or anyone down. Finally I would meet the person whose organization had been giving me work for the last six months.

His company: a major German multinational, which just a few years before had been merged with an American competitor. His organization: a thousand-person engineering organization, with two major locations. One in Germany. The other in the U.S. He is German. I am American.

How do you think the meeting will go?