Business Tripping With the Boss
And we’re talking around the world business trips too!
With this foray across Macedonia added to our sojourn to Lebanon, I’ve now business tripped twice with my boss, Tarek. And I have to say I like traveling with him. He’s a very relaxed yet organized traveler. He’s flown enough to have his routine down, he gives me space to do my own thing, and maybe best of all, we don’t sit near each other on long flights.
But it’s more than that, for Tarek is amazing to watch in-country. While I may seem to meet people everywhere and make friends easy, I am still junior varsity compared with his professional social skills. He makes connections, business connections, with a practiced skill.
In meetings with local people, be they Lebanese lawyers telling dirty jokes, Macedonians offering ouzo toasts at 10am, or clueless Americans trying to bluff, Tarek never looses his cool. He’s precise, diplomatic, professional. And I love watching him work.
Now, don’t think this is some fawning love-in. In the office, he and I often disagree, and we’ve been know to actively work against each other, but in the field, we undergo an amazing metamorphosis.
We easily trade off in meetings, taking turns leading the conversation as we move from one topic to the next. In strategy sessions, we talk honestly and openly about our strengths and weaknesses. Overall, (I hope) we work well together. Of course, I may be jinxing myself with this post & due a good grilling back in Washington, but that is not here and now.
Now, we are mid-day in an orgy of fact-finding, idea-generating, people-connecting motion and I have to get back to work. Work I really enjoy, with a boss I enjoy traveling with.
May you too be so professional lucky!