This is the first in a series of posts from our CEO Kim Barnes. Kim, the author of Exercising Influence: A Guide for Making Things Happen at Work, at Home, and in Your Community (Pfeiffer, 2007), has the opportunity to travel frequently to present our courses throughout the world.
In February, Kim visited Vilnius, Lituania to present a session of Exercising Influence: Building Relationships and Getting Results. Below is her account of the trip and the training session.
The Exercising Influence workshop was very successful here. The 11 participants included several experienced consultants, managers from real estate and finance, and a senior executive from a Finnish company operating in Lithuania. Interestingly, most senior executives here are in their early to mid-thirties, at the most – those who were about to or just graduated from universities when the Soviet Era ended. There was great chemistry, and the learning was very powerful.
Beyond the workshop, I enjoyed my visit to Vilnius. Over the weekend, the whole town turned out for the festival of St. Casimir – an occasion for feasting, drinking, singing, and selling all manner of food and handcrafts. There were hundreds of booths and thousands of people milling through the streets. I also had the opportunity to visit an exhibit of “micro-miniatures.” I expected it to be rather a joke, but instead it was an astonishing exhibition of the work of one artist, who uses tools you can only see under a magnifying lens – the same is true of the art works. The pieces were exquisite – there was a “fox and grapes” scene and seven camels carved to fit inside the eye of a needle. Yes, all you biblical scholars out there! I was truly knocked out – but the resulting eyestrain had to be relieved by a lovely meal and a little good red wine. Finally, I was taken to the Amber Museum. I learned that there are actually amber mines – you don’t have to wait for it to wash up on the beach. The usual captured insects were prominent and magnified, and the shop! Well, there is a lot of amber here, they sell it everywhere, but if you are a jewelry maven, there is only one place to buy it. Outstanding!