08 Apr 2004|Davis Masten

Both my personal and professional life is filled with new experiences that define and redefine how I look at the world. I meet people from all over the world who enrich my life in many different ways, and often stun me with their interesting view of life. However, as I referenced in my earlier Assholes blog post, not all of what I experience is positive. 😉

But I find you don’t really need to venture far away from home to be stunned and amazed by people. The other day, I came out of a client meeting and was blown away by a casual comment made by my fellow Cheskin collaborator, Adrien Lanusse. Adrien has been at Cheskin for 12 years. He started while he was still a student, eventually obtaining his MBA from Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. I’ve known Adrien as a smart, warm, extraordinarily hard working professional who donates time to the community as well as advancing Cheskin and our clients. He grew up in the Bay Area speaking both English and Spanish. What knocked me over was that Adrien, a good looking, charming young man, was recently the Master of Ceremonies of a formal dinner for 1,200 AND it was in French.

What surprised me is that how well Adrien and others who live in more than one culture, in his case the English-speaking and Spanish-speaking cultures, can travel so easily between them, and even comfortably take on a third as Adrien has done with the French-speaking world. Maria Flores Letelier, another of our gems here at Cheskin, grew up in the Bay Area but is of Chilean descent. Her father is a senator there. She told me how she often has more in common with people who live in more than one culture than people who live in one, even if they are not the two cultures she is familiar with. Not only is she able to dip into one culture or the other but also lives in space between.

Adrien, Maria and many of my collaborators are able to move easily from one culture to another with knowledge of the language and cultures. As an aging guy from LA who struggles with his high school Spanish, I am blown away at the depth of the competency and passion that surrounds me. These colleagues keep me humble and in continued awe of the cultures and experiences that surround me. Thanks for being such an inspiration.

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