Russians, like everyone else, need help once in a while. But, helping a Russian, they say, is like trying to save a drowning man who won’t give you his hand. I have surely had that experience at times. It is a pathetic experience, and so often one that I have a hard time getting past.
We all live in the same world and are here to help each other. But, the Russian often questions the motive of the one offering his hand. Once I had visiting me a man of notable achievements in the Russian film world. I had a contact in Hollywood who I offered to introduce to him. His response was, “Why would he want to help me?” The presumption was, of course, that the other man has his only his interest solely in mind. As Russia moves into the larger global stage, the individual will realize that, in addition to self-interest, there is a great value is simply helping others when its needed. That way, one finds his place in the global world of mutually beneficial relationships where things get done on trust.
How to work successfully with Russians, in these changing times, is covered from different angles in my book “Walking on Ice, An American Businessman in Russia.”