Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Wednesday in Lisbon

Today was a another full and wonderful day in Lisbon.  My colleagues and I began our day by taking the Lisbon metro to the Lisbon Cathedral.  The Lisbon Cathedral is a wonderful part of Lisbon history and we enjoyed Cathy’s staff ride on Afonso I.  Afonso I was a fascinating leader as he was exiled by his own mother at the age of 12 and once he came of age at 14, he then exiled her.  I enjoyed the conversation and perspective of my colleagues as we discussed his leadership particularly in regards to the cultural dimension of competitive versus cooperative.  The conversation was a great example of different individual’s perceptions and how different cultural dimensions impact leaders.

Our next stop was Saint George Castle, Lisbon.  We had fun transportation challenges again today and our group ended up splitting into three small groups: one group walked up the hill in the heat, one group took the tram, and my group had the pleasure of riding in another tuk-tuk.  Our driver was delightful and told us about the earthquake and resulting fire in Lisbon that occurred in the mid-1700s.  He also gave us information about the neighborhood, fado, and the beautiful tiles that we see all over Lisbon.  I was not aware until I spoke to him that the tiles have Dutch, Arabic, and Spanish influences.  I have really enjoyed speaking to local residents and learning more about the Portuguese culture.

Charles had the last staff ride and taught us about King Deniz. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the poet king who was considered a benevolent leader.  He was a great contrast to Afonso I.  Both kings were very future focused however we discussed that King Deniz was more cooperative than competitive.  This week had been my first experience with staff rides and I have really enjoyed the conversation and insightful discussions on leadership with my colleagues.

The afternoon saw the beginning of the UFHRD conference.  Although it was unbelievably hot today, we all spent time going to different sessions and learning about research occurring in our areas of interest.  I enjoyed hearing about the research projects happening in the areas of employee engagement and global/cross cultural dimension.  

Overall, it was a packed day full of learning and discovery.

I am greatly enjoying my week with my colleagues.  I have learned a lot about Portugal, culture, and leadership from each and every one.

Alison Begor

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