President’s Letter 2013

(first published April 2013)

A while ago, I sat in the audience and watched as my business partner took to the stage in Dublin for the first time after his double-by-pass heart operation. As keynote speaker for an entrepreneur’s conference, he strode on with pride and passion and immediately fell to the floor – then stayed there…

With heart in my mouth and berating myself for letting him take on this assignment, I rose to help him up. Suddenly, he began speaking, grinned at his audience and then at me.

“Did I stay down too long?” he asked.

His speech highlighted that many of us, when we fall down, stay down too long licking our wounds. With the European economy continuing to flat-line, many of us have probably taken knock-backs. The important thing is to get up and go again. Speak to any successful entrepreneur and the message is ‘keep on keeping on’ – persistence.

It’s a tough call being successful. But, as interculturalists, you have all the tools and techniques needed to help other people and organisations be successful; and so ensuring yours. The mission of the intercultural field is to foster mutual understanding, promote learning, facilitate effective communication, which ultimately helps create peace and rapport in the face of ignorance, fear, and hatred. Our skills are needed everywhere and in every walk of life.

Our job, as an organisation is to help you stay at the top of your game and be ever more relevant to the world in which you work. To this end we are widening the scope and breadth of the Tallinn Congress to ensure your relevance, as a leader in our field, in today’s world. As I write, the SIETAR Europa Board and a whole host of volunteers are pulling out all the stops to make this an exceptional congress that you will want to attend.

We look forward to seeing you in September in Tallinn. In the meantime, take some time today to think about what it is that you can best offer those in the world around you. Your success comes through helping others achieve their aims. And remember, success is not a race… you just have to stick at it.

Best wishes for 2013

Deborah Swalllow, DBA