Mikael Jensen PhD

I'm a multi-talented doer as well as thinker living in Sweden. I have a PhD. I run two companies. I write books, articles and blog posts. I am a speaker and an educator. I spend time on sustainable development, music, art, health and SEO.

Welcome to my self-centred international website and blog.



Learn swedish online

5 May 2023

Sweden is a rather attractive country to work in. The tax is high but most other things are really good. If you are planning to move to Sweden it may be a good idea to lear the language. Non Swedes that work in Sweden can get by using english. Most professionals in Sweden are good at english. Learning the native language is not necessary but of course better during the part of life that doesn't involve work.

Many of my co-workers, both close and at a distance, are from other countries. Within the academic world we can expect many nationalities and many languages. To be able to work in groups and as a whole department there has to be a common language. Either english or swedish. Since you probably need to use swedish outside of work this might be the best solution.

It is possible to take lots of different courses to learn swedish. The best alternative though is problably to learn swedish online. You can take the lessons in your own time and tempo, and in the end of the each course do a test to check how well you have learned. This kind of course will cost you some but the advantages are many.

The alternatives are for example to take a course at the closest university. You learn the basics of the swedish language but it may still be hard to learn how to speak. Even if the university courses are free, you don't have to pay anything, you can't expect to be admited. The number of course members are limited. So there are some obvious limitations when it comes to university courses.

Even if you know a language you still have to learn what kind of activities Swedes often are involved in and the social rules for thoose activities. It is part of the culture. So you also need to learn the Swedish culture to take part in the society.

Some examples of what you can do is learn the concept of and activity "fika". You can also take part in a quiz nigth at a lokal pub. Swedes often excercise and spend time outdoors. Swedes are also fond of music in many forms. Look this up and try to find other activities to do while you live in sweden.

Good luck in finding a course to learn the swedish language and to have a good time while staying here.

Lustrous life

11 Oct 2020

I have just started the online lifestyle magazine Lustrous life. There are several purposes.

First I haven't had a serious site in english before. This is my first bigger attempt.

Second, I wanted to make something bigger to fit our ongoing business development.

Third, it covers most of our interests and money-making areas.

Fourth, it is in line with our development outside of Sweden. We now have customers all over the world and therefore we want to share our knowledge and understanding on a new wider and more global platform.

The fifth reason to start a new site is to put our web design abilities at test and also to use more of our creativity. For SEO reasons we have designed most sites so far in a minimalistic or rather simple way. With Lustrous life we are focusing more on the potential of web design that we have held back on other sites.

The sixth and last reason is that we are going to use the new site in educational purposes. My colaborations with students that for any reason want to learn how to work as web designer or copy writer will have a real life arena to learn and train on.

I welcome everyone to take a look at our new project and give suggestions on how to make this site great in every way.

How should you dress as an academic?

7 Sep 2020

The question how to dress when you work at a university is raised by many but answered by few. The main issue I think is what to wear during a lecture. There is no recommended dress code in Sweden but maybe an implicit one.


The lecture

When I am the main speaker of a lecture at the univesity or when I am asked to give a guest lecture elsewhere I usually dress in one of two ways.

1. Dark pants with a press fold, a t-shirt and a blazer that is matched with either the pants or the t-shirt.

2. Blue jeans, a shirt and a blazer.

Both alternatives looks nice but are semi casual. Not too strict. Not too stylish or handsome attire. Not too ordinary.

Denim is usually for workers but it is also looking very good in a lot of situations for an academic.

At the office

Even if you aren't scheduled to meet students they might show up anyway. That leads me to choose a similar attire as above every day at office.

The quiet life in the countryside

22 Mar 2020

What is it like to live in Sweden during the corona pandemic? The answer depends on where in Sweden you live. In the big city regions people tend to stay inside as much as possible. In the countryside people get out now and then.

Today when the weather is nice and sunny lots of people in the countryside are outdoors. They are active in the garden tidying up or playing. It is likely to see the whole family doing things together.

In the big city regions the weather is just as nice and sunny but the streets are empty. This is especially visible in the three largest cities of Sweden: Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö.

Normally people are out on the streets shopping during the weekends in the capital of Sweden and in Gothenburg as well. The business is running low right now.

Malmö is known for its food culture and rather cheap hotels. People are not visiting restaurants at all. The hotels are almost empty.

This is not good for business and the economy in general. But everything is not negative. People are helping each other and they are doing it for free. Young people are offering the eldery to shop food and other necessary things for them.

After a grey winter we all need to get out in the sunlight. Instead many individuals keep on living a grey indoor life. Too bad. But, as I try to explain, there are some big hearted individuals in the big city regions that are outside to be able to help others and lots of people in the countryside that are outdoors just as any spring day previous years.

Those of us living in the coutryside get sunshine on our skins but we could also claim that some inviduals in the big city regions have sunshine in their hearts, speading the wormth to the ones that need it the most.


Happy New Year

31 Dec 2019

I wish all my readers and followers a Happy New 2020.

I look forward to a new decade.

Multimodal - what does it mean?

28 Sep 2019

The word modal and the word mode both derives from the Latin word modus. Modus means either way of doing things or measure. There are other words that we often use that comes from Modus. Model is an example that means small measure. The meaning of modal as well as mode is typically way of doing things but there can be some exceptions. Multimodal would then mean many ways of doing things.

Two main meanings

There are two more precise meanings of the term multimodal:

  • Sense modalities stand for our five senses and the processing of sensory information. When we get information through two senses or more at the same time and this is processed into one experience, then, that experience is multimodal.
  • When we communicate and use two means or more at the same time, thus, the communication is multimodal.

These two meanings can be actualized at the same time in a handshake. A handshake is a way to communicate and specifically a way to greet. When we do this we use at least three means to appear friendly to the other person. We say "hi" and present ourselves at the same time as we smile or produce another facial expression and touch/grip the other person’s hand. This act activates three senses in both the receiver and the producer. We see each other, we hear each other and we touch each other.

Speech is an example that is based on one way to produce communication. We produce sounds with our speech production organs. If we consider speech to be one way to produce communication then it is unimodal on the production side. On the reception side, on the other hand, it is bimodal. We both see and hear what a person is saying. We can actually deduce a lot just from looking at the lip movements. When we speak in a noisy environment we rely more on seeing the words than on hearing the words. Speech is on the receiver side multimodal.

Why I admire Sarah Sjöström

31 Jul 2019

Sarah Sjöström had her international breakthrough in 2008. She was 14 at the time. The first time I saw her swim was the 100 meter butterfly final in Rome 2009. She broke the world record and won the gold medal. That was ten years ago.

Sjöströms development as an athlete and individual has continued since her breakthrough. I believe that there are many individuals that have the physical potential of being great athletes. Some never start with sports. Some never find their right sport where they can flourish. Some do find their right sport but don’t have the willpower, thirst for victories, the discipline and perseverance to become more than just a good athlete.

Sarah Sjöström has all that it takes to be the best of the best. She is doing the hard work and is repeatedly challenging herself. Even if she doesn’t take a gold medal in every event that she participates in, she is, in the long run despite some backlashes, the best female swimmer in the world. I am going to give some facts to back that up.

A leadership competency model

24 Jul 2019

This post is about my leadership model. To help the reader understand the components of the model I will give a historic background and present some of the most important factors in leadership research. I present my own research to support the leadership competency model.

History of leadership research

About a hundred years ago researchers and others were mostly interested in trait theories. Leaders were expected to have certain traits or set of traits. Thirty years later some researchers are becoming more interested in leadership style while others start to talk about leadership skills. Robert Katz developed a model in 1955 based on three types of skills: technical skills, human skills and conceptual skills.

Technical skills are the kind of skills, competencies and knowledges you need to handle the core activities within an organization. If your organization is manufacturing clothes the leader has to know about the manufacturing process rather well and also be able to perform some of the steps of the process manually.

The Human skills are about handling people. You could also call them social skills or social competence. Any leader on any level has to have a well-developed social competence. The conceptual skills are needed to see what is going on in an organization from a helicopter perspective and from an outside perspective. A leader needs to know about the vision and goals of an organization to point in the right direction and form strategies for the future. This is also something the leader needs to communicate to the rest of the organization.

The trait theory, the style theory and the skills approach all have the leader centered perspective in common. The main difference between the two former and the Skills approach is the fact that skills are learned. You don’t have to believe that some individuals are born leaders. It is possible for most individuals to learn how to lead.

What is a brand?

22 Jul 2019

A brand is something that fully inhabits our minds and partially inhabits the world. Let me take some examples. What brand comes to mind when you see this can?

It doesn't really matter what brand you think of. Since the can in itself is brandless the brand is only in your mind. What brand comes to mind when you see these trousers?

Maybe the choice isn't a clear one. Maybe several brands come to mind. Now the third example. What brand comes to mind when you see this device?

Most people say Apple or Iphone. It is not a surprise. Apple is the strongest and highest valued brand in the world according to interbrand.com. It has been that for several years now. More about that later.

Some basic advice to optimize your blog posts

16 Jul 2019

What is optimal content for SEO? To begin with, why do we want to optimize anything? The answer is that you want to be visible on the first page when someone is searching for things that you are writing about.

When you want to optimize your blog post content, especially written content, there are several factors that could and should be considered. If we narrow it down to factors relevant for the search engine Google, these eight basic suggestions will give you a good start.


1. Write a blog post that is 1800 to 2000 words long

The optimal lenght is around 1870 words. Top ranking pages average on this level.

2. Write a completely original text

To copy someone elses text or have long quotes is to your disadvantage. Write your own text and be rewarded for it. It shows that you know your stuff and are a good writer.




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