Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Everything Korea, July 25 Episode: Mentoring, Leadership and West Point

In last week’s commentary, I shared my recent Branding In Asia interview. 

Topics ranged from Korea’s changing corporate culture to upmarket trends with Korean automakers Hyundai, Kia, and their new stand-alone luxury brand Genesis. 

What drew much attention was the profile’s mention of my 40+ years of Korean martial arts experience, the Tae Kwon Do Hall of Fame, and more so my years at the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point. From 1983 to 1991, I served as the Cadet martial arts instructor and USMA Karate Team coach. 

 Don Southerton (center) w/ USMA West Point Cadet 
Army Karate Team 1989-1990. 
Over the years, I remained in contact with a few of the former cadets. More recently via Facebook and Linkedin, I have been re-united with many more… This had been rewarding on several levels including how they served their country in peace time and conflict as well as how they have become outstanding leaders in both the private and public sectors.

Personally, beyond seeing how their lives have unfolded, what touches me most are the kind words they share. It but reminds me the impact we have on other’s lives and the need to support and mentor whenever possible… the fruits of this labor revealed over time.

As one former cadet shared:
I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for everything you taught me and the team. I’ve applied those lessons time and again and worked to pass the knowledge on. I just retired after 27 years in the Army. Time does pass swiftly :) Please accept my best wishes for your continued success. Attached is a recommendation, if it is helpful.

Linkedin Recommendation Link ( Scroll down to USMA/ West Point)

All said, much of my day is devoted to supporting key leadership --part sounding board, part helping keep the issues in perspective, part helping them keep their job... and providing workarounds and alternatives---all with a Korea facing lens.

Connecting Deeper

Have a Korea-facing situation that needs addressing? Need insights into Korea-facing business? In many cases, we can provide solutions and workarounds.

My personal assistant Stacey at can coordinate a time for us to chat by phone, meet or handle by email.

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