Lotus flowers grow best when their seeds can take root in muddy, sludgy ponds. In Buddhism, the lotus flower symbolizes the transformation of the muck into the beauty of the blossom.

In intercultural environments, especially for Westerners in China, we’re often up against powerful thinking that can keep us from succeeding. My approach to consulting is designed to mirror the Buddhist metaphor: by being straight with ourselves about our thinking — good, bad and ugly — we tap into the power to choose which kind of thinking we want to have driving our actions. This creates new possibilities for ourselves and for our organizations.