Book Excerpts

Part One – The Right Place at the Right Time

“A dumbfounded American couple seated at an adjacent table shook their heads back and forth while watching two teenagers catch air off a mogul midway down the indoor slope at Ski Dubai within the lavish Mall of the Emirates. I could not resist eavesdropping. ‘The energy required to power Ski Dubai for a single day is enough to power a midsize Midwestern city for a week!'”

“I lacked the courage to tell him that, from my biased California perspective, not as much goes on in a midsize Midwestern city that requires a lot of power. Besides, did he seriously believe that a resident of Dubai would consider allowing snow conditions to deteriorate from packed powder to slush in order to conserve energy? Get real.”

Part Four – If You Got It, Flaunt It

“In 2007 through 2009, the cost of many of the construction projects on which I worked was implausibly higher than a business financial plan could justify. Investment strategy was not textbook. The global supply of human resource talent was stretched and its demand high. Master planners, consultants, architects and contractors charged outrageous fees, knowing that their availability, expertise, and promise to perform within sometimes unattainable deadlines were their ace cards. Iconic conceptual structures were launched from drawing boards with lightning speed. Project approvals were made with equal rapidity and without an accountant’s review for economic viability. The process of competitive bidding (or tendering in everywhere-but-the-United States speak), on a project often produced numbers that turned out to be more cosmetic than realistic. A plan to service and maintain finished projects was absent. When, or if, a business plan was requested midway through construction, it would more than likely not make financial sense. The red ink disappeared into the ozone.”

Part Seven – Meanwhile, Back on Yas Island

“What a thrill it was to rise early every morning with anticipation and vigor, prepared to take on Goliath, and with the knowledge that the caliber of the project on which I was working was unparalleled. The completed marina would treat the owners and their guests on the finest private yachts on the planet to a level of indulgence never before experienced. Money flowed as if from a wide-open hose bib. It was next to impossible to feel guilty about the stream of dirham because uncompromising expectations were instilled in the entire team of talented expats on the workforce.”



One Reply to “Book Excerpts”

  1. I read STAYING AFLOAT pre-publication and was informed, entertained, and intrigued from page one to the end. The cultural insights were fascinating. I’d recommend this book to anyone who is interested in working or living abroad or has interest in how business is conducted internationally.

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