Whenever I come to Argentina, one of the people I enjoy spending time with is Eduardo Braun. I first met Eduardo when our common friend Anna Cohen suggested we have lunch together, simply to have a chat about our common interests.
At our first meeting over lunch at an old-world Italian restaurant typical of Buenos Aires, we enjoyed a lively conversation. And in fact, it did turn out that we share similar views about what makes a leader effective, the importance of corporate culture, the power of personal storytelling, and human motivation in general. We also have some similarity in our personal cultural backgrounds and interests, each of us having spent significant chunks of our lives in the US, France, and Latin America.
That initial meeting took place some 7 or 8 years ago, at a time when Eduardo was director of the HSM Group, a global multimedia management company based here in Buenos Aires. Among its numerous activities, HSM organized major events around the world, including the World Business Forum in the US, Europe and Latin America.
Through his work organizing and moderating these events, Eduardo interviewed various history-making world leaders, including Bill Clinton, Rudy Giuliani, Tony Blair, Mikhail Gorbachev, Felipe González, Ingrid Betancourt, and Alvaro Uribe, in addition to Nobel Prize laureates Muhammad Yunus, Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman. On the management side, he spent time with an impressive list of pundits and CEOs, thought leaders such as Peter Drucker, Michael Porter, Philip Kotler, Tom Peters, Jack Welch, Michael Eisner (Disney), Herb Kelleher (Southwest Airlines). Eduardo and I often speak of the insights he gleaned from his years of interacting with such people.
It was Eduardo who first invited me to speak at the World Business Forum and other events here, beginning in 2009. He also did a series of interviews with me for Management TV, a popular Spanish station with wide distribution through various cable outlets in Latin America. These interviews proved to be extraordinarily enjoyable, and I discovered that Eduardo is a truly remarkable interviewer, one of the best I have seen anywhere in the world.
Since that time, we have done several speeches together in Argentina and in Europe. These usually take the form of interactive conversations about our thoughts and experiences on the topic of what makes a leader effective. Because our discussions always seem to inspire audiences, people have often told us that we should film our conversations, or turn them into a book. If we can ever find the time and the opportunity to be in the same place together long enough, I am sure we would find such projects fascinating.
Presenting Las Siete Reglas del Storytelling here next week: After the recent publication of the Spanish version of this book, my editor (Granica) and I sat down to plan some promotional activities during the coming months. We agreed that innovative and unusual formats for such events are often more effective than the traditional author speeches and book signings. So, they suggested that if possible I should find friends, family members or colleagues to present my work and the book, by telling stories about me or engaging me in conversation.
To me, Eduardo is the perfect person to help in this sort of venue, and I am grateful for his interest and willingness to participate. He knows me well, has a deep understanding of the book’s subject and approach, and he is truly a world-class interviewer. So, I am looking forward to some exciting times as we do a few of these events, both this month and again on my next visit in October.
The first of these events will take place on August 22. Below is a copy of the invitation.
While I realize that most of the people who follow my work and read this blog are far away from Argentina next week, those of you who may be in the area are certainly welcome to attend. I can assure you that there will be some lively interaction between Eduardo and me, some interesting attendees, and an opportunity to meet with the editor and purchase the book at a significant discount.
It would be a pleasure to see some of you there!