Guest post by Bruce Avolio, Executive Director of the Center for Leadership and Strategic Thinking and Marion B. Ingersoll Professor of Management
Up until two weeks ago, Umeå, Sweden, was just a dot on the global map to me.
Since going there, it has become a place of special significance for me.
Working with the Center for Leadership, Umea, whose tag line is, “science that is useful,” we held a conference for 400+ delegates focusing on leadership, creativity and innovation. We also participated in a TEDx event, at which I lectured for 16 minutes….full stop on “Showing up for Leadership…Ta Dah!” What strikes you about Umea and the folks who reside there is that they seem to realize they are building a very special city. This may be due in part to the world renowned design college there and also because Umea will become the capital of European culture in the next year.
At the design college, I saw a full classroom where the floor operated as an iPad.
We talked about the importance of using science to support leadership development with executives, coaches, trainers, etc.
We explored leadership in a country that has not been in a war for over 250 years.
Umeå & Sweden. Wow!
And I met some new best friends, some great new colleagues, and sopped up the energy of Umeå at -27 centigrade. Also, at an officer’s quarters (sometimes Swedish and sometimes Russian depending on the state of wars a couple of centuries ago) turned restaurant, turned museum, we witnessed the standoff between the use of wine and beer in enhancing one’s cuisine. The beer guy talked of blatant discrimination against beer in restaurants, where the wine list was two pages long and beer got two lines! That night, in a far off place at -27 centigrade the beer guy ruled!