Archive for April, 2010

Dagar efter bröllopet

Posted in Uncategorized on April 29, 2010 by Boris Ekner

Bilderna från bröllopet kommer. Vi hade en professionell fotograf som kommer att leverera bilder om några dagar.

Dagen efter festligheterna samlades den närmaste släkten i familjens sommarstuga ca en timmes resväg utanför stan. Här bjöds på härlig mat, goda drycker och massor av trevligt sällskap. Gästfriheten vet nästan inga gränser. Jag flöt runt i poolen som en tjock och blek säl, slurpande på några öl och en eller tre whiskey… Otroligt skönt.

Måndagen var det fotvandring upp till en av landets tre levande vulkaner. De har totalt 34. Man kan hyra häst om man vill men jag ville gå själv. Jag gjorde det i Frihetsgudinnan när jag var 15 och gav mig 17 på att göra det här också. Höjden, 1500-2500 möh, och värmen gör att luften känns tjock och utan innehåll. Flåsade och svettades som en gris hela vägen upp. Nästan tre timmar tog det nog att nå toppen tror jag.

Väl där fanns ingen lavaflod att kika på. Men “marken” var mer än 50-60 grader varm, luften dallrade av hettan. När vi stoppade ner våra vandringsstavar i de heta hålen så började trästavarna brinna direkt. Det var som att tända en tändsticka. Bilder på alltsammans finns på Facebook.

På väg upp mötte vi flera personer på väg ner. Lokalbefolkning och andra spansktalande hälsade och log utan att tveka en sekund. Tyskar och amerikaner var lite mer re4serverade men hälsade ändå.

Så hörde jag ett par som kom närmare, de var båda i 25-30 års åldern. Det lät som om de talade svenska men jag blev osäker. De passerar hela vårt sällskap som alla pratar med varandra på svenska utan att reagera alls. Så hör jag att de faktiskt är mina landsmän så jag ropar Hej där! Vinka och hälsa! De stannar upp och ser hastigt skamsna ut, hälsar och går vidare….

Hälsa med ett leende och glada tillrop? Näpp!
Stanna och prata lite? Näpp!
Se ärligt glad och road ut över att finna landsmän på en vulkan? Näpp!
Gå vidare och strunta i att man mot alla odds mött fem personer från samma land? Jajjamensann, det kan du skriva upp!
Vi svenskar är tråkiga.

Men vi hade en härlig dag på vulkanen. Den långärmade t-shirten, solkrämen och kepsen gjorde nytta.

First one in Swedish

Posted in Uncategorized on April 28, 2010 by Boris Ekner

Bröllopet var fantastiskt! Marcia var vacker som en prinsessa i sin bröllopsklänning. Familjen och de allra närmaste vännerna var samlade omkring oss. Jag var givetvis nervös med hög puls. Fattas bara annat.

Vi fick oss en vacker ceremoni med tal utan manus från vigselförättaren advokat Louis Pedro Alvarez. En ung men mycket väl ansedd advokat. Han lyckades att hålla väl eftertänksamt tal till ett brudpar som är äldre än honom själv. Det är skickligt.

Efteråt var det mat, dans och fest till alla fått nog för natten.

What’s Swedish?

Posted in Uncategorized on April 28, 2010 by Boris Ekner

I think I’ve been into this subject before… What is Swedish?

It’s not saying Hallo to another Swede when going down from a volcano in Guatemala.
We where climbing the Pacaya volcano the other day. Suddenly two swedes appear going down. I heard them talking, recognized the melody in the language but not hearing the exact words. The two youngsters passed us in less than 3 meters and didn’t react until I shouted Hallo Swedes! They didn’t stop and ask anything, they didn’t look happy to find fellow countrymen. Quite surprised a small hallo was heard and of they went .

Being a Swede means that you want to ride the elevator on your own. Being a Swede means that you mind your own business almost not caring about anyone else. Being a Swede means that you envy anyone that got more lucky than you.

I and parts of my family met two of those at Pacaya the other day. Strange meeting when you think about it a bit further.

Can’t say I miss that part of my home country…

Notes from Guatemala

Posted in Uncategorized on April 24, 2010 by Boris Ekner

The flight did go in time – despite the ash cloud from Iceland. Didn’t see any ash at all. Not even over Iceland! So, no crashes, no interference, no drama. All the planes was on schedule.

At 9 PM we saw the lights of Guatemala City in the windows of the airplane. A huge town that fills the valley climbing up the sides. Breathtaking beauty.

About 25-30 C in daytime, 15-20 at night. No rain yet, just clouds.

The people are so friendly and respectful. Caring and helpful. It’s stunning to see. Small details that makes big differences.
Let me give you a couple of examples:

-My wife to be, miss M, is talking to the wedding co-ordinator Mrs B. The room is kind of small and I can’t say I’m taking part of the conversation. So I’ll take two steps back so people can make an easy pass. And suddenly I realize that they are excusing themselves when they walk between me and the two women in front of me. People who wanted to pass the two women and the single guy wanted to pass us but wanted to go around us. I.E. not walking in between the three of us. That would not happen in Sweden.

-I share the elevator in the shopping mall with an unknown man or woman. They all say hallo when they enter the elevator. And the first one of us leaving says ‘Bye’. Out of good manners, decency and respect. Doing that in Sweden? Nope!

-When family members and friends enter or leave the house they say hallo/good-bye to each one in the room. It’s done with hugs and a kiss on the cheek for the women, shaking hands and maybe a hug for the men. All for showing respect and good manners. Doing that in Sweden? Nope!

Guatemala is different. Lovingly different from what I’m used too.

Tomorrow I’m marrying the love of my life in this strange odd wonderful country.

See you later…

If if if if …

Posted in Uncategorized on April 19, 2010 by Boris Ekner

Everything is set and done. Almost everything is taken care of. Just need some cash and some other small stuff.

My brother called and told me if CO68 leaves NYC for ARN tonight we are going tomorrow morning with that aircraft back to the US. If that plane doesn’t leave NYC today we are staying in Sweden. He´s travel agency told him so. We’ll see… Nervous waiting – I don’t like all these if if if if …

Right now I got to many of my nerves on the outside of my skin…

The sky is safe

Posted in Uncategorized on April 19, 2010 by Boris Ekner

The airports of Sweden are open again. 🙂 We’re flying Tuesday morning.

The apartment is empty and sold, all the documents are signed. Slept on my sons couch this night.
This day its double checking that everything is as expected.

I got good sons

Posted in Uncategorized on April 19, 2010 by Boris Ekner

I got sons I love. These guys have done so much for me these last days. I’ve been so nervous about the flight this Tuesday. And my beloved sons have been in charge of it all when they’ve been present in the apartment. Daniel is such a boss sometimes. 🙂 …frankly, I’ve needed that. It’s been so many things to attend to the last weeks it’s been hard to make the right priorities. And the fact that I’m moving out from Sweden has been an issue. A lot of people tells me I’m so brave doing this. No I’m not – I’m in love. In love and 100% nervous. Nervous of knowing if I am making the right choice? Well if I don’t try I’ll never know – right? I’m making a parachute jump out of an airplane now. It’s exiting and terrifying at the same time.

Sunday after a good evening at the pub

Posted in Uncategorized on April 18, 2010 by Boris Ekner

Had a great evening. Thanks guys!

Tuesday at 9.10 the plane are scheduled to depart. These last hours it’s taking care of the last things in the apartment. I hope and pray the airspace is open on Tuesday.

Volcanic Ash

Posted in Uncategorized on April 16, 2010 by Boris Ekner

It doesn’t look good for Tuesdays departure. The erupting volcano continues polluting a closed European airspace. The marriage is next Saturday. Lets hope and pray I get there in time.

Today I got me two more carry-ons. Rearranged some of the luggage already packed. One of the sons got me another and better scale. I’ve spent hours in front of the computer hoping for good news. Filled out all the forms for me and my sons at the airliner website.

Hope and pray. Pray and hope…

It’s hard to be humble when you know that one is the best.

Posted in Uncategorized on April 15, 2010 by Boris Ekner

In the latest lessons for life I learned that –
A weak manager attracts even weaker people.

First thing first – Let’s make one thing crystal clear;
Being a manager is not the same as being a leader. Being a manager is to manage administrative activities. Being a leader is to lead the business ahead, developing HR/staff and production in a positive way. Regrettably, there are managers who believe that leader is a synonym to manager.

You see – I applied for some jobs that I didn’t get … It was good I didn’t get them. I didn’t fit. But I did learn a lot. That I like.

‘You will not have this job because you don’t have enough knowledge of the development talks with the staff’. That was one reason I’d got. But that specific topic was not an issue during the job interview! And he told that to a guy who have had more than 400 hours of perhaps the world’s most advanced leadership classes and training. But the recruiting officer at hand had no knowledge what so ever of military leadership exercises. The reason given me was pure corporate bullshit in its essence.

‘Because you are too much a military officer’ – Was another reason I was told. This was a good one… It was said with considerable hesitation, though. But ‘Too much a military’? I’m straight forward, frank, honest. No bullshit, lots of facts. I’m caring and have great concern in the people I’m sett to manage. To much a military? No..oo… I didn’t like that one… This really got my mind spinning. I don’t think the guy who said it did his service. So what did he know, why that label for me…?

Lots of long thoughts and even longer conversations later, it was clear to me that it was ‘Too much authority’ he meant to say. Authorities are doers. I know they are because I’m one of them. Too much a doer…? Hmmm…. That’s an odd opinion. I applied for a job as the manager and they didn’t want a doer? Strange. Not once during the interview, the question ‘How would you like to develop the business as well as the employees?’ was asked. That issue was never on the agenda. Being a doer was not a topic.

Another guy got the job, and he’s good. No doubt about it. I do respect the choice. I worked with him for a while before I quit to move out from Sweden. This guy is good, believe me. He has natural leader skills, but no education in the area.

Instead of hiring me who has knowledge of basic simple stuff like Maslow’s staircase and things like that, they got a person who has no educated leadership classes at all. But he has leadership experience from coaching ice-hockey teams, which can be quite good. But with no educated skills for supplements he will face some hard times.

Other responses I’ve heard have been of the same kind. So what was the real reason for me not getting the jobs I applied for?

Well – Someone told me that I looked for jobs above my skills. No, I did not. I applied for jobs that I knew I could manage. If you get candidates who don’t meet expectations – don’t blame the candidates. Rearrange, rephrase, the ad and application form. The fact is that you will always get the candidates you ask for.

But never the less it all falls back on me and my personality. The one that said that I’m too much an authority was right. You see, I can dominate a room full of people just by walking into it. Everyone in the room turns around and look at me for no other reason than the fact that I walked through the door. I get noticed. I get heard. There are some advantages being like me. But some disadvantages too.

Let’s take a closer look at the disadvantages first.
Weak persons, managers and others, can from time to time feel insecure in my company. You see, they don’t control the conversation. I do. They don’t control the meeting. I do. They don’t control how the meeting develops. I do. -Because they let me do it. I meet them at their level. I meet them as their equal or superior. This makes them unsafe, insecure. Therefore they don’t use a person like me. They simply dare not to hire me because they think they can’t control me. Or that they might lose control over my person. (One asked if I could carry out orders. Me a trained military officer…? Naaee… I wonder how did that thought begin?) These are the managers but no leaders.

The benefits then?
The benefits of being like me is that I get the staff to deliver. And they deliver with a smile and joy! I get the staff to grow and improve as a team as well as people. I make them feel recognized and appreciated at work, and they do what I ask them to. I set crystal clear goals that everyone understands. I get everyone to feel important and needed. I get everyone to feel heard and seen. Then they deliver. It’s a piece of cake – when you know how to do it. But it’s really difficult when you have no idea at all. Here you see the difference between zero and four hundred hours of classes, courses and training.

With the answers at hand looking back at it all – It was obvious that I would not get the jobs I applied for. The managers who were to hire was to soft and weak to dare to employ a person with more knowledge and more personal strength than they have. I had a feeling of doubt about this when it all happened, but I ignored it – then. That was not smart…

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