If you are having trouble viewing this email, please click here.
December 2013

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not in some of us, it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

As I reflect on the life of this great man, I share with you this passage from Mandela's 1994 Inaugural speech as one that has always stayed with me.  He was a cultural bridge, he wasn't afraid to be bold, make difficult decisions, be uncompromising in the face of adversity and stand up for what he believed in: But there was also another side to Mandela. He was a man of humility, integrity and great principle who wasn't afraid to swallow his pride, concede and negotiate when he needed to. His willingness to acknowledge his mistakes, learn from them and change tac was one of the strengths that I admired most about his leadership.

As we wind down for 2013 I will leave you with a passage from Mandela's book 'Long Walk to Freedom' and urge all of us to take a moment and reflect on how many hills we have climbed and just how far we too have come.

"I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom comes responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended."

� R.I.P. Nelson Mandela.

Cultural Synergies would like to thank you for your continued support, feedback and friendship in 2013 and wishes you and your families a safe and prosperous 2014.

If you would like to read or follow our Cultural Intelligence Blog go to:

To read our latest discussion paper - The Business Case for Cultural Intelligence go to:


Best Wishes
Tom Verghese

LinkedIn Share Button

Send to Friend

  The Legacy of a Great Leader




Meng was one of Google�s earliest engineers. He has created what has been one of the most popular programs at Google titled "Search Within Yourself" - which is more about finding than searching. This is a book about the power to switch into a state of intense concentration, but at the same time be completely relaxed, feeling the beginnings of an unwanted emotion, like anger, but having the ability to choose whether to let it take hold of you, or simply make it dissolve and disappear. 

The premise of the book is that emotional intelligence is one of the best predictors of success at work and fulfilment in life, and that it can be developed in everyone.  He distils emotional intelligence into a set of practical and proven tools and skills that anyone can develop.

Mindfulness he claims is one of the most important things that you can ever learn in your life. He takes mindfulness practices such as meditation and makes them relevant for professional environments.

The program continues to have tremendous results at Google, so much so that he ceased his work as an engineer and made this his focus.  He writes with humour, humility, wisdom and mindfulness, making it an easy read that I found particularly enjoyable and useful in terms of reminding myself of the importance of meditation.





� Search Inside Yourself: The Secret Path to Unbreakable Concentration Complete Relaxation Total Self-Control."  By Chade-Meng Tan (2012).


'Raising Your Cultural IQ - DVD and CD

'Raising Your Cultural IQ' explores the issues around culture, the challenges that culture can pose and provides some great strategies on how to leverage on cultural differences and similarities.


'The Invisible Elephant - Exploring Cultural Awareness'
2nd Edition by Tom Verghese

Many aspects of culture are invisible, yet culture has an enormous impact on our lives. Like an Invisible Elephant, if ignored these aspects can lead to misunderstanding, stress and conflict. Alternatively, if attention is given to the Invisible Elephant, it can enhance productivity, improve teamwork and create more joy in our lives.

Book testimonial by Asma Ghabshi
Learning And Development Manager, Shell Oman:

"The Invisible Elephant made my perspective of my national culture in comparison to my personal culture more visible. It has given me a deep insight into dealing with people of different cultural backgrounds."

'Pillars of Growth - Strategies for Leading Sustainable Growth' - Book by Tom Verghese, Kerry Larkan, Steven Howard and Brad Tonini
Written with the business leaders and entrepreneurs of Asia in mind, 'Pillars of Growth' provides a road map to assist you in thinking through four critical concerns that impact the sustainable growth of every business.