Berlin Visit – First Impressions
1. My first visit to Berlin. We arrived in Berlin on Monday morning. Nine minutes after the pilot parked at the gate I was sitting in a taxi heading to the hotel. This is by far the fastest I have ever been facilitated in arrival to my destination. Customs, immigration and luggage pick-up are all dedicated to the gate. Never before have I seen such efficiency, or something that comes even close to it. Wow!
On the afternoon I visited the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag. Great energy here. Lots of young people. This place feels very green and quick silver.
If Berlin was a person what would they say? Here are the first words I hear: “I am alive! I am together! I will embrace life fully! I am not going to miss out on anything!
My first impressions of Berlin – beauty, pride, pain, remembrance, confusion, hope and a search for a new identity. Berlin is a gate. It is a gate to the past. It is also a gate to the future.
Berlin – More Impressions
2. The history of a place is built like sedimentary rock, layer upon layer. Berlin has many sedimentary layers. The Prussian Empire, Industrialization, the making of Berlin into the capital of the German Reich (1871), early Twentieth Century and WWI, the Weimar Republic, Hitler’s rise and WWII, the Cold War and the construction of the Berlin Wall (1961), a divided city that became reunified, and now the newly rising Berlin with multi cultures and immigration. Each of these layers is recorded here and is felt. This place is an epicenter. Uncertainty, excitement, anxiety and hope converge in the vortex of Berlin.
3. My German friends educate me regarding the word leadership which is problematic here. Since I am a leadership expert and coach, here to facilitate a leadership summit, they take the time to explain that the German word for Leader is Fuehrer. We converse about this, exploring the themes that can help reframe the past into an elevated future. Healing of the past can be found in new, higher and evolved expressions into the future. Can Germany and Berlin be a laboratory place for future type leadership? Could we practice here “facilitative leadership”, “enabling leadership”, “collaborative” and “co-creative leadership”? These are some of the cutting edge trends in 21st century enlightened leadership. Can Berlin be one of its laboratories? Perhaps it can. It will help to give Berlin the new identity it desires.
As this city becomes the center of contemporary art and culture, where you can party 24/7, Berlin may also evolve to be a laboratory of the future for the new emerging field of co-creative leadership. Such is the leadership that energizes both business and social entrepreneurialism.
(Click on images to enlarge):
© Aviv Shahar