This week I have been in Korea and Japan with my wife and business partner Curtis Blair. This being our wives first time to Japan and Korea, I have really delighted in watching their reactions to the new sounds, sights, smells, and cultural differences. I have enjoyed watching Curtis’s wife Lisa attempt to choke down Sushi and attempt to navigate the depth of a bow. I have enjoyed watching my wife attempt to deal with the shoes on shoes off ritual, or the sitting on the mats cross legged. Which actually spawns one fun quick little story

As we were taken to dinner at a the Sushi restaurant, you have to take your shoes off to then go up to the little grass floor when you sit cross legged. Gaye did not have any socks on, so she noticed some little slippers setting on the side. She thought that the purpose of these hot pink “little kitty” slippers was to wear as she went onto the upper clean floor. so she stepped into the slippers and went up on the floor. Well…… soon the workers came running in looking horrified. Gaye had not only stepped on their clean floor with shoes, but had taken one of the other guests. Oopps. A slight cultural melt down. Luckily our hosts were gracious and we all had a good laugh about it.

A number of years back one of my team members Ed Anderson and I were traveling in the UK. We had some experience that seemed a bit odd (I don’t even remember what it was) and as I make the comment, Ed turn to me and said, “It’s not better, It’s not worse, its just different.”

This has really stuck with me through the years and I have learned that if we take the time to understand not only the culture, but the motivations, and reason behind the differences. There is typically strong reasons for the different ways we approach things and we are very close minded as we think our way is the only correct way to do things.

As I prepare to golf for the first time in Japan today, I am hopeful that it is Not Worse, and not to much different. I guess some constancy in life can also be a good thing.