I have made some of my best friends through my involvement in the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO). In fact, it’s how I met Mort Feinberg, the contributing sidebar editor of this book; he has lectured at numerous YPO events. The universities are usually held in large venues to accommodate 1,500 participants or more. Leaders from government and every industry present their opinions on current affairs. And although I am always interested in learning about how different business leaders confront various challenges, the most valuable lessons I’ve learned at YPO events have come from going to smaller, more informal forum meetings and cocktail hours. I don’t drink myself, but I do attend these events to fraternize and network. I was always interested in these individuals’ positions as international lecturers and members of YPO. Americans, in particular, have such dramatically divergent opinions on how to administrate and develop a company effectively.
It was through my YPO involvement, also, that I learned about the American fashion industry; because my YPO meetings obliged me to take a handful of annual trips to New York, I extended some of these stays to learn the ins and outs of the industry. Up until the 1980s when Japanese designers began to emerge as world leaders in fashion, there were few, if any, fashion-forward designers in Japan, and many Japanese took fashion cues from the West. The United States, on the other hand, had almost ubiquitous talent. After ...