Culture and Leadership Connections Podcast

Alan Headbloom – The Buffet of Life

April 21, 2021 Marie Gervais Season 4 Episode 8
Culture and Leadership Connections Podcast
Alan Headbloom – The Buffet of Life
Show Notes

Bio for Alan Headbloom 

Alan Headbloom is an Intercultural Consultant/Coach, Applied Linguist and Talkshow Producer & Host. He presents workshops to immigrant professionals and to their American counterparts who need to function across cultures and geographies and provides one-on-one coaching to expats who need to perform at high levels in their global companies. 

Episode highlight

As a Swedish-American, Alan Headbloom is very aware of his white privilege and has spent his life enriching himself with lessons from other cultures. Listen in on how he has created a unique tasting platter from the smorgasbord of life. 







“Working across borders and time zones is something we’re all doing these days increasingly.”

“You don't know the blinders you grow up with because that’s just part of the water you swim in.”


Childhood Incidents

At 12 years-old, Alan’s Swedish grandfather who had immigrated to the USA took him and his sister to Sweden. Alan was awed by the cultural differences and felt inspired to fearlessly learn many different languages.

Once, when he accompanied his parents to the country club they belonged to, he found it odd that all the members were white and the servers, black. This informs his community advocacy to this day. 

Influential Groups 

Alan was born to an upwardly mobile, white, Christian family in a white suburb of the industrial American city of Detroit. He claims he checks all the boxes for privilege - white, male, able, and hetero with a Christian upbringing. 

Temperament and Personality Influences

Alan claims that he has been bossy and righteous in the past but his experiences with different cultures have helped him grow. He tries to imbibe mindfulness from the people he interacts with because it does not come naturally to him.

Cultural Epiphanies

When Alan was in Germany for a year, he grew close to a friend’s family he lived with for five months. He then told the mother to use the informal pronoun for him. However, she told him that they didn’t know each other well enough. He was hurt but understood that they defined closeness differently.

More Great Insights! 

Alan advises white people and native speakers of English to give outsiders a chance. He recommends learning about other cultures to unlearn privilege and entitlement and become tolerant, loving and accepting.

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