Today’s Cross-Cultural Interview is with Martin Lindeskog . Martin is the person behind the Twitter handle @lyceum.
Martin Lindeskog is a “trader in matter & spirit” and a small business entrepreneur in Gothenburg, Sweden. He is a board member of the Swedish National Association of Purchasing and Logistics (Silf, Western Region). He has started a new series of interviews for his podcasting show on the Solid Vox network.
This is a 2 part interview:
- Part 1 – The Blog Interview
- Part 2 – The Twitter Interview for 10 Cross-Cultural & International Questions
Martin Lindeskog – Part 1
Here is the first part of the interview with Martin.
Hi Martin, for those who don’t know you, can you please tell us something about yourself?
Martin Lindeskog: I come from the west coast of Sweden. I live close to the second biggest city called Gothenburg (Göteborg in Swedish). I studied Business Administration at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, New Hampshire, USA, between 1997 – 2000. After my studies I worked as a cost analyst at a manufacturer of welding products in Troy, Ohio. I went back to Sweden in 2002.
I am an American in spirit, so I am happy that I have I received material regarding the Diversity Immigrant Visa program for the year 2010. I am planning to return to the Land of Opportunity – USA. Please feel free to give me suggestions on great cross-cultural and international places in the Melting Pot.
I speak Swedish and English (my second language). I understand and read German (I had it for six years in school), but I haven’t used it for a long time, so I don’t speak it fluently. I want to learn Interlingua at some point in the future. My wild guess is that Hungarian is one of the most difficult languages. I learned only a few words and phrases during my school project (international project coordinator) at a windshield (windscreen) manufacturer in Sopron, Hungary.
If you want learn some more things about me, please read my post, Seven Things About Me.
How did you pick up your cross-cultural skills?
Martin Lindeskog: I picked up my cross-cultural skills at an early age. I have been interested in fundamental ideas, history and philosophy for all long time. In my teens, I started to read foreign literature in English, subscribing to magazines, e.g., The Economist. I have a special bond to the Anglosphere and I have visited London several times. (Did you know that Gothenburg has a nickname: “Little London”.) I am a member of Vasa Order of America. It is a Swedish-American fraternal, cultural and educational organization. I celebrated Independence Day (Fourth of July) with my fellow members of Vasa.
Do you use your cross-cultural skills in your job?
Martin Lindeskog: As an experienced purchaser of raw materials from different parts of the world and an international project coordinator, I have been interested in international business for 20+ years. I started a hobby business in the end of the 80′s, importing computer stuff and teas from Asia. I visited Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and Thailand in 1992.
Can you tell us about your blog?
Martin Lindeskog: I had read blogs for some time and heard how the interest for this new type of journaling had grown in America, especially after September 11, 2001. On May 7, 2002, I stumbled upon Blogger.com and created my first blog, EGO. Ego is I (am) in Latin and has its foundation in the description of the blog by the following keywords: Reason – Egoism – Laissez-Faire Capitalism.
Anita Campbell (Small Business Trends) wrote a PowerBlog Review of EGO blog in 2004.
I haven’t had time to update my blog for a couple of weeks, but I will do as Stephen P. Smith and take some time to reflect on my blogging and publish a new post in the near future. I have started a new blog carnival, but the first edition is delayed. I will kick-off 2010 with a new series of podcast interviews, when the producer of Solid Vox has fixed the recording studio and other technical issues.
I must thank you Cindy for adding my Twitter profile to your International Social Media list. I am honored to belong to this fine group of individuals. As an example, I see that Charlene Li is included in this list. I think that Charlene Li’s & Josh Bernoff’s book, Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies, is a very important book on social media.
I have a couple of lists I’m building here on this blog, and wonder if you have anything you would like to share.
Have you come across any cultural stereotypes that bother you, or you find inappropriate?
Martin Lindeskog: Here in Sweden you could find an ugly version of anti-Americanism. I started a blog in Swedish, covering this issue, but I got so fed up with the negativity so I have put it on hiatus. I am fighting hard to “bring back the smiley face to America.”
Do you have a favorite movie that could help people understand cultural issues?
Martin Lindeskog: I am not a movie buff, but I would recommend you to watch Lost in Translation. I want to visit Japan and attend a tea ceremony someday…
Do you have a book you could recommend to help others improve their cultural insights?
Martin Lindeskog: I read Cross-Cultural Business Behavior: Marketing, Negotiating, Sourcing and Managing Across Cultures by Richard R. Gesteland during my studies in international project management.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
Martin, thank you for sharing so much with us in this portion of the interview. I’m looking forward to hearing your answers to the 10 Cross-Cultural Questions on Twitter with you later today.
Martin Lindeskog- Part 2 – The Twitter Interview
@CindyKing: First… What is your definition of culture in 120 characters? So… “Culture is…”
@lyceum: Culture is “the sum of the intellectual achievements of individual men.” – Ayn Rand. Source: www.AynRandLexicon.com
@CindyKing: LOL you’re the first person to cite someone else’s definition of culture… and Ayn Rand no less!
@lyceum::) Ayn Rand said it in the best way. And as an individualist, I agree with this statement.
@CindyKing: Then let’s make it harder – “Culture is…” in one word only
@lyceum: Culture is sense-of-life
@CindyKing: “Culture is sense-of-life” …along the same lines, can you finish the sentence “International business is…”
@lyceum: International business is trading over the borders. I have imported tea and computer stuff, e.g. 3.5″ floppy disks
@CindyKing: What is the one tip you would give people to improve their cross-cultural skills?
@lyceum: Take the jump and just “do it,” i.e., travel and move abroad.
@CindyKing: What one bit of advice would you give people interested in international business?
@lyceum: If you are interested in international business, start to read an international magazine, e.g. The Economist.
@CindyKing: This is a Twitter interview with Martin @lyceum – I’m tweeting with Martin & we’re half way thru
@CindyKing: With your experience what tip would you give to people moving abroad?
@lyceum: Before you move abroad, study the country and its history, read books, and talk with people living there.
@CindyKing: What is your favorite website for international or cross-cultural inspiration? …this can be anything at all.
@lyceum: Your Posterous site is my favorite for international or cross-cultural inspiration: http://posterous.cindyking.biz
@CindyKing: Why thanks Martin That is where I like to share fun stuff… 3 more questions before I let you go…
@CindyKing: Can you suggest one other cross-cultural person to follow on Twitter?
@lyceum: @chrisgarrett Bio: “Web geek and co-author of ProBloggerBook.com” He did a great podcast interview w/ @hdbbstephen.
@CindyKing: Good choice to follow @chrisgarrett Now can you suggest an international person to follow on Twitter?
@lyceum: @dragosroua Quote: “Think happiness is a process, not a goal.” Inspired by Aristotle? He is on your int’l s.m. list.
@CindyKing: Another great person to follow: @dragosroua – Finally, who are YOU interested in meeting on Twitter?
@lyceum: @chrisguillebeau I look forward to The Art of Non-Conformity & interested to learn about “Portland, OR & the World.”
@CindyKing: Martin, well that wraps it up for today…
@CindyKing: Thanks so much for your time Martin and thanks to all who followed us today!
@lyceum: Thank you Cindy! It was a great pleasure and I had a jolly good time!
@CindyKing: I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did and invite everyone to read the full interview on http://bit.ly/7lIuz8
@CindyKing: Thanks to @tkpleslie for suggesting we follow @Iconic88 from Australia “Twitter royalty there”
@CindyKing: And thank you @DR4WARD for all of your retweets I hope you enjoyed @lyceum ‘s tweets today too
What do you think? Please share your thoughts and comments below.
Photos from Shutterstock.
Filed under: International Social Media
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