In my last blog post (Dec 31, 2021), I mentioned that I would write another post early this year to wish everyone a Happy New Year! Well, as you can see, it didn’t happen. I could make a lot of excuses including: (1) teaching several Kellogg MBA and executive program classes; (2) participating in multiple meetings for nine different boards of directors and trustees; and (3) giving a lot leadership talks for the benefit of the One Acre Fund.
However, as my grandfather used to tell me, “Harry, NO EXCUSES!!!” And he was right! It is clearly incorrect to say “I didn’t have the time.” Why? Because as I discussed in detail in my latest book, “Your 168: Finding Purpose and Satisfaction in a Values-Based Life,” we all have the time. In fact, we all have 168 hours every week (24×7). So the question is never whether we have the time. The question is whether something is a priority or not. Since my “website boss” Khalid reminded me the other day that writing these posts IS a PRIORITY, I decided I better make it a priority.
This topic of “NO EXCUSES” came up in one of my talks last week. A student said that they wanted to start exercising, but they couldn’t because their work required them to travel a lot and usually the hotel fitness center was closed when they arrived in the evening. They wanted me to agree that it was difficult. However, in a respectful way, I explained that I have also traveled a lot during the last 40 years and have always had one rule when choosing a hotel: I never stay in hotels unless the fitness center is open 24 hours or the hotel desk clerk is willing to give me the key to the fitness center. As usual, I am flexible ;). If exercising is not a priority for someone, that is fine, it is their choice. However, if it is IMPORTANT, one should make it a priority, and decide what things they must eliminate that are lower priority. By the way, some students admit that they have a difficult time balancing their lives and prioritizing multiple activities. This is exactly why SELF REFLECTION comes first. How can you possibly balance your life and prioritize activities if you haven’t reflected on what is most important in your life?
Okay, so even though I am six weeks late, I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year!!! (and by the way, one of my students mentioned that Chinese New Year was the first week of February, so versus that baseline, I am only three weeks late!!! 😉 )
One final topic: I had the opportunity to teach my class on “Leading a Global Company” to the executive MBAs in the Kellogg-Hong Kong University of Science and Technology program (KHUST). This joint program is rated consistently by the Financial Times as the #1 Executive MBA program in the world! The executives in the program are fantastic, and talk about a “global community!” The class included executives from China, Philippines, Taiwan, Ireland, Australia, Singapore, Japan, Brazil, India, Germany, Finland, United Kingdom and the United States. Even though I had to teach the class on Zoom very late at night (and early in the morning) given the time zone difference, the experience was both informative and fun. I definitely learned as much as the KH23 executives about the challenges, issues, and opportunities in running global businesses. Here’s a picture of some of the KH23 executives.
I hope to get together with the KH23 execs when they come to Kellogg in the Fall.
So, once again, here’s wishing you and your families and friends a fantastic 2022 from me as well as from the “growing Kraemer gang.” “Growing” because my eldest daughter, Suzie, married a fellow Kellogg grad and super fellow, Casey Clark, last December. Here are a few pictures: