Portland Leadership Institute
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Leadership for the 21st Century
|Posted on 13 October, 2012 at 4:05||comments (0)|
This is just a short one. We are in Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon, which is absolutely amazing. Will write more later.
However..........the skies just opened up. Jeanna and I took a video from the balcony of our room. When you hear a gasp it was when a gust of wind came up to us. Enjoy!
And as soon as the rain stops, it immediately becomes hot and muggy.
|Posted on 12 October, 2012 at 19:23||comments (1)|
One more thing about time and the modern world. Fabio is housesitting for us. Fabio is a post-doctoral student from Italy; one of our faculty members met him when she recently taught in Italy. We skyped Fabio yesterday. He needs three clocks: one for where he is in Portland, one for his family in Italy (nine hours time difference for him), and one for us in Viet Nam, ten hours the other way. So we are only five hours away from Italy. Go figure.
I am reminded of the beginning of Camus, The Stranger: "Mother died today. Or yesterday, maybe." So now I am sitting in Saigon, 6:00 AM Saturday, watching last night's baseball game. Today or yesterday?
|Posted on 11 October, 2012 at 22:24||comments (0)|
We are watching the Vice Presidential debate, starting at 8 00 AM Friday. In Portland you are watching it at 6:00 PM, Thursday.
Today's 4 baseball games began at midnight. Actually they are not today's games; they were yesterday's. If they happened yesterday, shouldn't I already know who won?
I watch a sports talk show called Mike and Mike in the morning. I saw Thursday morning's show on Wednesday night, while Mike and Mike were in bed, preparing for the next show.
What time is it? What day is it?
My class begins at 12:30. Every day. When do the students arrive? When I walk into the room at 11:45 half of them are there. By 12:15 they are all there. Do they know what time it is?
I take a break and ask them to return in ten minutes. At PSU I would be happy to have them back within 15 minutes. Here? They're all back within 7.
What time is it?
Class ends. At PSU they start packing up 5-10 minutes before class ends. Here? I can teach as late as I want, and they are happy to soak things up. They are in no hurry to leave. It's called respect; it's called being a bit more relaxed about time.
However: If the bus is scheduled to pick us up at 7:00, we need to be there by 6:50. Because by 7:00 it might have left.
Time is a funny thing. We time travel to get here, and we will arrive in PDX a few hours before we leave China next month. We in America are in a hurry to get places, and things begin when they begin. Here: it's more relaxed, but on time is often 5 minutes early. Except when it isn't.
It's all called culture. We are who we are, and so are you.
|Posted on 9 October, 2012 at 21:09||comments (2)|
|Posted on 8 October, 2012 at 17:37||comments (0)|
|Posted on 5 October, 2012 at 2:30||comments (1)|
Would you think an American Prof, a Swiss musher, and a Pennsylvanian/Alaskan father could have similar messages? It turns out that they did, at the 2012 NHRMA Conference earlier this week in Anchorage. The musher, Martin Buser, was the opening keynoter on Monday, while Father Oleksa got us off to a great start Tuesday.
We've all heard the colloquialisms about treating people like dogs. Well, I would love to be treated like the dogs Martin Buser works with. It is no wonder that he has won the Iditarod four times, and finished 29 consecutive times.
Two of Buser's comments strike home to me:
And Father Oleksa was equally brilliant. He has spent his life observing communication and cultural mismatches. Part of his message: My cultural pattern is perfect for me, it is what I know, and yours fits you. It helps explain why some of us are on time, why some of us take an hour to leave a dinner party, and why Americans have exactly an hour for lunch while many Europeans start and end lunch whenever........It also explains more about prejudice/discrimination than the simple belief that one person merely has it in for another group.
A final important message from the Father: when there is a communication mismatch/problem, the one in the lower power position always loses. Think about that next time you and I miscommunicate!
My presentation was Tuesday at 1:00, as perfect a time to present as could be. Titled "Different Perspectives on Leadership: What You Can Learn from Today's Thought Leaders" I connected thoughts from Teresa Amabile, Jim Collins, Malcolm Gladwell, and Patrick Lencioni into a cohesive set of thoughts about focus and success in 2012. My focus (pun intended!) was to help everyone either get unstuck, or to help them figure out how to achieve their Big Hairy Audacious Goal. The enclosed ppt could help you get started on your own journey.
Alaska is nothing without scenery and adventure. I spent two days in Beautiful Downtown Talkeetna, the starting point for Denali adventures. After a Saturday filled with clouds and beautiful snow, Sunday dawned bright and shining. And 25 degrees. After breakfast I dashed out of town, nearly hitting a moose (sorry--no pictures. It all happened too fast, as I watched him cross the street in front of my car), and headed to Denali. From 42 miles away it took over the horizon. It was all I had expected. It truly is the Great Mountain.
The night concluded with my first sighting of the Northern Lights. Again, no pictures. The pictures are all in my head. As is the scream from my friend Jenn when she first saw the lights. (:-)
Next stop, Viet Nam (with apologies to Country Joe). Saturday at 1:40 PM, arriving Sunday night! Can't wait!
|Posted on 25 September, 2012 at 2:07||comments (2)|
As many people know, academics have an opportunity that should be available to many, but unfortunately is not. We have the chance to take a sabbatical every seven years.
The basis of a sabbatical is in the bible, where we are told to leave the ground bare in the seventh year. The word itself stems from the Hebrew "shabbat," and the Greek sabbatikos, a ceasing.
Although available to faculty members every seven years, I have taken only two in my 32 years at Portland State. I stayed in town doing research for each. This time I decided to do something different.
The university requirement (and essentially the biblical requirement) is to enrich oneself. Jeanna and I will spend our time being of service around the world.
We'll keep everyone informed of our actions. We expect that some of our musings will be of the leadership variety, some of the international culture variety, some will be about teaching and the people we meet, some of course will be about food, and the rest? Who knows. But stay tuned; the ride is always exciting.