Monday, March 19, 2007


I am just back from a 10 day trip to Prague, Czech Republic and Bratislava, Slovakia. The trip was a part of the Executive MBA I am pursing and I went into the trip with few expectations except to drink some good beer with my classmates. What happened was something totally different.

Communism fell in the country of Czechoslovakia in 1989 with the student led Velvet Revolution. Since then, the countries have experienced extreme growth, but it has been driven by the youth of the countries. Seemingly, the generation that had come to adulthood under the communist rule was not well prepared for a free market economy. Today that means that the average age of a CEO is around 35. There is a real shortage of highly educated people to continue the growth they have seen so far.

As a part of the trip we were introduced to a tight network of people ranging from two U.S. Ambassadors, the CEO of Sky Europe, the author of the Slovakian Tax Reform (a flat tax of 19%), and Jan Bubenik who founded Bubenik Partners recruiting firm and was a key leader of the student group who led the velvet revolution. The experience has me conflicted for several reasons.

Going sailing was a chance for me to reevaluate where I am and what it is I want to accomplish with the time I have. Trudging up the corporate ladder has lost most of its appeal since I started working after graduate school. I simply don’t have the patience to put in 20 years to make it up the ladder to a management role where I could actually have some impact. As a result, I started looking at traveling and fulfilling a personal dream of seeing the world. All of it. Sailing eventually became the logical way to fulfill that dream on a budget. Now enter the Prague network. What if I could move right into a management level position while simultaneously garnering some international experience? Not to mention the economy is rife with entrepreneurial opportunities. From what I have seen so far, I don’t think I could continue to pursue a corporate career in the U.S., but that doesn’t mean all those aspirations are gone. Now that I’ve found a path to continue the pursuit of those aspirations what does that mean relative to the personal goals of traveling the world?

Is it possible to break a circumnavigation up over a lifetime? Say I go for it as planned in 2008, but head east to the Med instead of south to Panama. Work in Prague for a few years and see what happens? The Croatian coast is supposed to be beautiful with over 1000 islands in its cruising grounds. Not to mention easy access to the Suez and down to the Indian Ocean. I feel like an author who’s come to a cross roads in the story he is telling. How do I want this story to read? What should be the title of my next chapter?


Anonymous said...

Lee come on dude,you are just going to get pulled into a capitalist trap over there buddy.Before you know another five years have past and your heading down the same path as every other sucker .to quote our mate thoreau...with consummate skill he has set his trap with a hair spring to catch comfort and independence,and then, as he turned away,got his own leg caught into it. phil from oz

patty said...

You cannot use starboard to0 conform a t- hull to a hull!!
It will leak!!

303 solvernwash must be used prior to anti fouling also!! very important. you cannot just rince with a hose!!