Teddybjörnen Fredriksson, ja så hette han.

För länge sen när jag fyllde fyra år fick jag en gåva av min far. En fin present när jag fyllde fyra år som jag sen så länge hade kvar.
Teddybjörnen Fredriksson ja, så hette han. En gång var han bara min och vi älskade varann. Teddybjörnen Fredriksson hans nos den var av garn. Ja, han var min bästa vän när jag var ett litet barn.
och varje kväll var han så go och mjuk, då värmde han min säng så varm. Han var så snäll en gång när jag blev sjuk så fick jag sova på hans arm.
Teddybjörnen Fredriksson ja, så hette han. En gång var han bara min och vi älskade varann. Teddybjörnen Fredriksson hans nos den var av garn. Ja, han var min bästa vän när jag var ett litet barn.
Men åren gick, jag glömde bort min vän. Nu är jag gift och har ett barn. Och så igår när hon fyllde fyra år fick hon en teddybjörn av sin far.
Teddybjörnen Fredriksson ja, så hette han. En gång var han bara min och vi älskade varann. Teddybjörnen Fredriksson hans nos den var av garn. Ja, han var min bästa vän när jag var ett litet barn.
Text av Lars Berghagen

Wonderful Swedish song…. One of those that just makes me ponder about what is actually important in life.

Some random thoughts on a Saturday afternoon on the porch.

I am sitting on the porch in the sun. It is not really warm (about 12 degrees) but it is spring so who who cares how warm it is. It is just so nice to be able to sit outside. The birds are chirping (or actually it is the neighbours antenna array twisting slowly in the wind).
I have for many many years put up a brick wall between myself and the rest of the world. Not allowing anybody to join me on the inside before I am convinced that they don’t want to hurt me. This obviously makes it very hard to get good contact with anybody as few persons can see over the wall to find the real person behind it. Contact…. real contact is what leadership is all about. How to get good and deep contact with your colleagues and actually letting them find out for themselves what they want to do. The latter is actually the concept of coaching. ”Do not present the solution but help the person in focus find it herself.”
Back to the wall, a friend told me that the first impression I made was Hugh Grant. Totally glossy and shallow. Yes, I know that you asked me not to dwell on the Hugh Grant statement but I actually think it is very true. I have to work on lowering the wall and one obvious way of doing that is to trust people more. Instead of thinking that people are out there to hurt you, instead think of the great reward one can get from getting to really know people and from getting a really deep contact.
Being here and now… is also very important. Don’t plan everything or think 20 steps ahead. Just be here and be here now. I really have to work on that. I know it comes from being forced by your own internal top-dog to achieve and constantly building and creating new things. This creates a rather good feeling initially but after a while it just becomes a bad loop spinning downwards where you just HAVE to create more, work more, and loosing the here and now part. This also moves you towards another wall, the fixed wall more and more people walk into and get really ill. Been there, done that.
Daring to take contact… when you have a knot in your stomach or chest it usually means that you have some unresolved business with somebody. When you get that feeling you have two choices, push down the feeling deep down inside or go talk to the person in question. Which do you think is the best? The second in my opinion is the best. So why do I and most other individuals on this planet the first thing?
Where does everything one pushes down inside go? Well, I have learned that it doesn’t just disappear. It ends up far far far down in a well inside you with a big and heavy lid. The more you put into the well the heavier it becomes to carry it with you and the only way to make it lighter is to open the lid and resolve each single issue. Resolve here can mean many different things, but in essence it boils down to daring to think about it and the most important, daring to talk about it. I know it is scary to lift the lid but it can be very rewarding. Just make sure you have somebody to talk about the items inside first, or it can easily lead to that you yourself fall into the well instead, drowning you.
Ahh, the sun. So warm and nice!

Leadership education course – second week

Today I got back from the second week of my management education and I really feel like I have reached another level in my personal maturity and personal development. It is wonderful that one can get such a good contact with everybody else in the course group (18 in total and 4 course leaders), but also the more extreme close contact one get with some particular individuals in the group. You know who you are!!
One of the major tools I got with me home from this week is coaching, i.e. how to help others find out themselves what they really need and want (and not giving them the solution).
It is in total an education spread out over 18 months with about 25 course days. So far the main goal has been to learn more about yourself and be part of a larger group, and how to apply your experiences in your daily management. We have done a number of exercises and by the end of this week it was tremendous to see how good the group worked by itself (there was just some tiny help from the course leaders but much much less than earlier in the process).

It feels like being a small bird learning to fly, and spreading your wings on your own for the first time.

I cannot really say anything about the exercises themselves as that would destroy for them for others. You have to do them yourself without knowing what they are all about otherwise you take the risk of preparing (intentionally or unintentionally) and that would be like cheating.
Thanks to all in the group and the course leaders, Sören, Freddie, Barbro and John from PMI. Isn’t it wonderful that a university can spend so much resources on its leaders and not just the top management, and so far 90 persons have gone through the program or are in it right now.

Thank you Ingegerd Palmer (the president) for making this come true!

By the way, coaching is very hard to do with a 3 year old girl that doesn’t want to sleep 🙂
On the same subject, one of my graduate students wrote the following about the Supervisor course part 1 (”handledarkurs”). The Monday reference is to a division meeting.

Short review follows below since I just got back from it and still have
everything fresh in mind.. I’ll give a short summary on Monday as well,
but I wanted to write down some details about it in advance..
It has been a really, really, great course! That pretty much sums it up.
Seriously, it’s been an excellent stay and I have really learned a lot
from it. The main focus was to get to know yourself, and in doing so you
ended up getting to know all the other participants as well. This was
because we did everything in a group and more or less exposed ourselves on
a mental level in front of all the others. That can be an interesting and
sometimes scary, yet extremely rewarding experience.
So I must thank you Peppar for your recommendation to take this course!
We were 12 participants (5 graduate students, 7 PhD:s) plus 2 organizers.
We stayed at Jopikgården out on Hindersön and our hosts were extremely
service minded. I’ve never met such nice people hosting a ”hotel” before.
The days were filled with different exercises interleaved with lunches and
dinner. It was only two days and one night, but it feels like I’ve been
away for about a week or so. You got to meet people you would probably
never have met otherwise. And even more important, you got to know them
as well, and that in a much faster and efficient way than what is normally
possible or likely to happen. It felt like some sort of, hmm, bonding or
how I should try to explain it..
I think I will NOT mention any details about what exercises we did, except
that we really did get to play with clay and paint. The reason for this is
that if you decide to take this course, I think it is better for you NOT
to have heard anything about it at first. If you hear about the exercises,
you can prepare yourself in advance, and in doing so you only risk fooling
yourself. Sort of like cheating – you won’t gain anything. Just go in with
an open mind and see what you can learn from the experience.
I recommend you all to take the course if you can. I cannot guarantee that
it will be as nice as this has been. So try not to have any expectations,
high or low, as it’s all very personal I think. Either you get something
out of it or you see it as a waste of time. It depends on so much – the
participants in your group, your mindset, what you think you know about
yourself in advance and what you realize afterwards, how open you can
allow yourself to be in front of others, how open others are, if you
think you will gain anything by attending the course, and so on..
I expected to get something out of it, and I think I got even more than
that, at least that is how I feel right now – it’s been very rewarding.
And as said, I’ll talk more about it on monday’s meeting. At least
now you know enough to ask me all those tricky questions of yours. 😉

It was such a nice coincidence that he and I got back from our different courses on the same day and to all at LTU that haven’t been given the privilege to take part in the leadership education program, take the opportunity to attend the the ”Handledarkurs steg 1”.