It’s my ‘China-anniversary’ these weeks. Exactly 6 years ago, I arrived in China with two suitcases, a lot of hope, dreams - and a bit of fear.
I had tried to prepare myself back in Denmark researching on Chinese culture, traditions, interviewing people with experience operating and living in China, etc., but after 6 years out in the east - I can conclude my way of understanding life (still) is:
‘Learning by doing’.
It has been a fantastic journey. Professionally and personally. I have learned so much about culture, people and myself at the same time. I have grown as a person, as a leader, as a colleague and as a coach.
When I leave China one day, I hope to have time to reflect and evaluate on my time in this fascinating country and culture.
There is no doubt living and operating abroad have opened my eyes towards the World, towards diversity and a deeper understanding of various elements like political systems, the power of languages, education and practical experiences.
What and how we live, see, hear, think, discuss or listen are all part of our experiences and references from the life, we have chosen. Did we experience a lot or mostly just the same? Did we see the World or only heard of it? These questions will eventually affect our way of thinking and how we understand the World.
Education wise, I have always ‘gambled on two horses’ - so to speak. I have an University Master degree and a Mini MBA Leadership-education as well as my UEFA Pro-license football coaching badge. This combination has given me a wider perspective operating in the World of football compared to a former football player, who only has the football part. I’m not saying better or worse, but different.
But one thing is certain. Living and working abroad is an education for life. I can only recommend people to get out of their comfort zone and try to challenge their own thinking and standard behaviours.