In W.O.W. (World Of Walks) it doesn't get much better than Hyde Park in London. Arrived London Gatwick from Orlando at 6:30 a.m. Took the Gatwick Express (a 30-minute train ride vs. a 2-hour rush hour drive) to London. (Enough highly armed cops in the train station to fill a troop ship.) Arrived hotel, changed to running clothes and headed to Hyde Park. Entered at Wellington Corner, went all the way to Kensington Gardens, returned and exited at Speaker's Corner. Wiggled through side street to Berkeley Square and then on to Nirvana. (Hatchards book store, on The Piccadilly next to Fortnum & Mason.) Left $200 later and lighter; much of my haul was Nelson stuff—200th anniversary of Trafalgar is this Friday (10.21.05, or 21.10.05 in the U.K., and everywhere else on earth other than the U.S.). After a circuitous route back to my hotel, I figure I logged in all about 10 clicks, or 6 miles.
Now at work on tomorrow's speech on leadership at a big shindig—M. Albright, Gorbachev, Gerstner et al.—called Leaders in London. (Run by the same folks for whom I appeared in Moscow/Leaders in Moscow last week.) I plan to play off Nelson, a complex genius. (Complex genius = Tautology. NB: Jim Collins would not approve. Nelson was about as far from Collins' ideal "quiet, humble, stoic" leader as could possibly be imagined.)
(Adjectives/nouns used on just pages 198 & 199 to describe Nelson from Nelson's Way: Leaderhip Lessons from the Great Commander: tireless self-promoter, sought hero status, sought patronage [suck-up], guts, courage, master of his craft, passion for pleasures of the flesh, driven by duty, autocratic, dictatorial, team player, practitioner of participative management 200 years before it was popularized, loved hanging out with the lads, man's man, lady's man, diligent manager, powerfully inspirational, spiritual, passionate, ... ambitious, aggressive, confident, impulsive, rarely cautious or circumspect, risk-taker, emotional, expressed feelings openly ... classless, fair, self-sacrificing, encouraging, optimistic ... unconventional, did not get along well with superiors ... xenophobic, immodest, impatient, intolerant, imprudent in public and in private ... lucky. Try to weave a "coherent master theory of leadership out of all that.)
Psyched about Berlin (on Thursday). Haven't been since the New Year's after the Wall came down. What a party! It was the night the patrolling Soviet soldiers gave up—Easties and Westies climbed atop the Brandenburg Gate and precariously partied through the night to the accompaniment of half the world's firecrackers. That afternoon I'd chipped my own pieces off the Wall. Entrepreneurs were selling chips from the Wall and renting tools to those of us who wanted the experience of doing our own chipping. Also that day I got to see Check Point Charlie, which hadn't closed down, but which was so central to those of us who gorge on spy fiction.
Genius logistics brought to you by T Peters: Boston to Dubai to Boston to Brazil to Nashville to Santiago & Buenos Aires to Moscow to Orlando to London & Berlin & Bologna to Seattle to Sydney & Taipei.