My First Trip To Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul Moyan_Brenn

Photo Courtesy of Flickr, Moyan_Brenn

Note: This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive!

This week’s focus: my first trip to Istanbul, Turkey

The Wizard of Oz’s Dorothy taught us “there’s no place like home.” I’d like to add, “There’s no place like Istanbul!”

I’m just back from Istanbul where I attended the Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network annual global conference co-sponsored by Intel. I was also invited to keynote the Endeavor Istanbul entrepreneurial conference, an event postponed due to the on-going protests. You know you’re not home when:

  • There are metal detectors at all hotel entrances
  • Internet access is quite unpredictable
  • Your passport is examined three times at the airport prior to boarding a return flight

The protests in Istanbul remind me of protests in the U.S. back during the Vietnam War. In Turkey, it is simple: the people don’t want a historic park replaced with a shopping mall in the downtown area. And, they are letting the Prime Minister know.

The Prime Minister sees this as an attack on his authority (and ego). His announcement is the genesis of protests that have triggered a violent government response that is only adding fuel to the very protests he wants to stop.

Leadership means getting buy-in from, not ignoring, stakeholders, even those who didn’t vote for you or won’t vote for you in the next election. The Prime Minister does not know how to come to a more feasible solution without appearing weak.

He’s not leading. He’s infuriating a large segment of his own population. The emperor has no clothes yet his advisers don’t seem to want to share the news with him. He won’t thrive but I believe, ultimately, the Turkish citizens will.

I really enjoyed Istanbul, the food, the people and the Turkish entertainers. I can’t wait to return.

Thought for the week:

“Don’t let your past steal your present. Attitude & focus are critical factors in your success. Don’t surrender them to yesterday.”  – Cory Booker, Mayor of Newark, New Jersey

What do you think? I welcome your blog comments!

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting
© 2013 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved
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