Love and business in Druskininkai

03.06.2015

I have come back from a spa and I am exhausted. And full of thoughts. From Lithuania I have come back ill because of love.

Here Józef Piłsudski First Marshal of Poland fell in love with Eugenia Lewicka. She was a doctor and she ran in Druskininkai which is a climatic park and she propagated treatment using the sun, the air and exercise. The Marshal was crazy about her and told lies to his wife, he brought her to Warsaw to have her closer and he created a new job position for her. On 27th June 1983 she was found unconscious. And two days later she passed away. Suicide? His wife’s revenge? Such a cruel world?

 

I’m sure that the Nemunas River looks the same today as in those days when Eugenia ran to have a date with her lover. The river’s green banks have no idea what regulation means. And the town has gone to sleep. There is silence around and the wind blows from the river. After the fall of the Soviet Union this spa town in southern Lithuania died suddenly. These days it awakes up for life again. And it flourishes the same as a business does.

Taugh people live here. From potatoes and buckweat they can cook delicious dishes. And they live really simply, so not much money is needed, however the spa in Druskininkai can response to the needs of rich tourists who enjoy the wide variety of the spa has to offer. There is neither euphoria nor being excitement with future. They say: galva senos nepramuši  (it’s no use banging your head against a brick wall) and it tells the story about their determination and rationality. And the river flows…

When I am asked how was in Lithuania, I usually answer: it was beautiful and hard. I experience a special distance in business where specific things counts specific things and your knowledge about the East. Because here is Eastern Europe with all its unique heritage and its history that shapes the identity of this place.

So what is important here in business? Being ready for honesty. Honesty which is hard and uncompromising. It desires no polite bowing, but facts. You can call it lack of trust or lack of long distance planning, but as in love, they know very well that business in unpredictable. Here visions evokes a smile as the reality counts the most. And nobody fights against it, but takes his time and wants to talk about real business issues.

I have learnt that in business, like in life, it is crucial is to decode your partner’s needs and then learn how many of them we share together. And here this is a great business challenge which you experience under time pressure.

What does this have to do with love? Both love and business do not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction. *

*Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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