BLUF: This is what I think, I don´t know if it is my own bias or other people agree with me, a foreign can many times have a perspective of a situation which differs completely from that of the majority of the people from the country one is in. In order not to offend anyone it is really important to understand what the perspective of the other is before imposing as the right one, ones own perspective of the issue.
THE WHOLE STORY: Yesterday I went to a workshop in Chile about leadership. One of the talks was from Bruce Blythe, an american professor. The talk was about managing under uncertainty. The content of the talk was good. But he lost any credibility with me when he talked about having a critical turning point in a crisis when the right or wrong decision is made and either the problem is solved successfully or it is not. As an example he used the Rescue of the 33 miners trapped in a collapsed underground mine in Chile in 2010. This is what he said the strategic decision for the turning point for the sucess of this event was:
"The strategic decision they made was to call for international help. They called the White House."
The drill machine that made the 700 meters hole and got the miners out was indeed from an american company and many americans helped out, but the iniciative, the offer to use it came from a Chilean, from a Chilean mine.
I have Mark´s and Dani´s saying inprinted in my head: "There are more differences among people than there are among cultures." It is very important to have that saying in ones head, because, I have a confession to make, I am annoyed, and I really have to force myself to get the first thought that came to my mind out of my head when I heard that sentence: "Ah, what an american vision of the world!" Sorry, I don´t mean to offend anyone, and I know I am wrong to think that. I have many many good american friends who would never ever say that. Many that have congratulated and acknowledge the actions of the Chilean people on that accomplishment.
The key not to get it wrong (and I most certainly must have gotten it wrong too) is: "Don´t ever make it about yourself something that does not belong to you."
Please please write me those of you americans that got this far in my emaiil and that also get annoyed with what Bruce Blythe said so that next time perhaps I will not have the through: "Ah what an american vision of the world.", but I will think simply: "What a one person´s vision of the world."