“With LOTS® I can question things in a structured way”

Peter Seligson, Member of the Board for Anti Ahlstrom Perilliset Oy

That I reach him whilst driving his car is not surprising. Peter Seligson, Member of the Board for Anti Ahlstrom Perilliset Oy is a businessman as well as a busy man.

Even though he has moved from A to B during our conversation, also in a physical sense, his presence is 100%. There is no doubt he loves what he does for a living.
He says he can drive people crazy in his way of questioning and trying to see things from a different perspective.
– I like being of an opposite opinion, he says and laughs. With LOTS® I can question things in a structured way.

We talk about leadership now and then. About patience and the importance of not rushing through the process.
– The leaders of today have to be able to deal with instant gratification, he says and explains further: The people of today are used to always receiving instant gratification in the shape of likes and comments on social media. To a leader this is a challenge.

What makes a good leader in 2019?
– A good leader in 2019 must be able to help people move on, to engage in order to be able to patiently work towards something also when you can’t see the results straight away, Peter Seligson replies.

A few weeks ago you talked to students at the Hanken School of Economics in Helsinki, Finland. What is your most important message to them?
– The leaders of tomorrow need to find new ways to become better and to challenge, question and add balancing input in a constructive way. One challenge is that you as a leader no longer will be the one person that knows everything – today there is Google. At the same time people today have become more primitive. Social media lays a path for simple truths. This is another challenge.

Read the interview with Thomas Ahlström, Managing Director of Anti Ahlstrom Perilliset Oy, here.

Sara Vogt
Scandinavian Leadership

“With LOTS® I can question things in a structured way”

“Leadership is not about being the best – it is about making other people better”

Thomas Ahlström, Managing Director, Antti Ahlstrom Perilliset Oy

The Ahlström family has a history of entrepreneurship that dates back 167 years. In 1851 the Ahlstrom paper company was founded.

In the five generations since then, the family has grown to somewhat 300 members and 15 500 employees all over the world. Antti Ahlstrom Perilliset Oy and its Managing Director Thomas Ahlström are responsible for making the Ahlstrom companies function and prosper now and as well as for future generations.

Thomas Ahlström’s keywords for future leadership are accountability and agility.
– A leader has to be accountable, that is not stressed enough at business schools, he says. A leader must also be agile and able react to changes, he continues. – Then there is something I learned from working with LOTS® leadership is not about being the best – it is about making other people better, Thomas Ahlström says and continues: With LOTS® we benefit from the reflections, the inclusive way of working and seeing things from different angles.

In 1990 Thomas Ahlström found the time to reflect on life. After one year on a boat with his wife and toddler he learnt that there is more to life than a career and his (now) five children are still very central in his life.
– They have taught me gratitude and the ability to enjoy the small things. Like the other day when one of my daughters called me up for a spontaneous lunch, that was a really nice moment.

Thomas Ahlström wants his children to choose their own path in life, though he also stresses the importance of having to be able to support yourself. We are back to importance of accountability.

See Thomas Ahlström talk about the keypoints of leadership and the importance of reflection:

Read the interview with Peter Seligson, Member of the Board for Anti Ahlstrom Perilliset Oy, here.

Sara Vogt
Scandinavian Leadership

“Leadership is not about being the best – it is about making other people better”

Have you ever considered giving a tree rather than a flower?

Giving a tree can make all the difference to those living in poverty and suffering the most from the effects of climate change.

Vi Agroforestry and partners enable farmers who live in poverty in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania to develop a sustainable life. By growing trees in combination with crop families can increase their farm yields and their access to food and income. The trees are also essential for the climate and the environment.

Planting a tree.
The trees prevent soil from being flushed away at times of torrential rain. They provide shade against the strong sun and fixate nitrogen in the ground. Pictured: Jolie Usanzituze and Helen Sjöholm. Photo: Marcus Lundstedt

Vi Agroforesty and partners use the tree to fight poverty and climate change. The method is called agroforestry which means planting trees together with crops. This method give fruits, animal forage, firewood and building materials. The method also improve the farmers’ crop: the trees prevent soil from being flushed away at times of torrential rain; they provide shade from the intense sun and fixate nitrogen to the soil.

Vi Agroforestry recommends the farmers more than 800 various types of trees. The avocado tree is used for timber and grows a fruit full of nutrients, oils, mineral salts, proteins and vitamins. Photo: Edward Echwalu

Constant reevaluation and development is key for an organization like Vi Agroforestry.

The Vi Agroforestry team in Nairobi. Foto: Hans Akerblom

If you would like to contribute to their work, you can visit their website to find out more: https://viskogen.se/om-oss/vi-agroforestry/

Hans Akerblom
Creator of LOTS®
Founder of Scandinavian Leadership AB

Have you ever considered giving a tree rather than a flower?

The balance of giving and taking

Balanced bird
It’s normal to be imbalanced; it’s a natural thing. But at the same time we need to learn from these imbalances and take conscious steps towards living and working in outer as well as inner balance. Photo: Jonny Lew/Pexels

The late Alice Miller (1923–2010) was an influential and also controversial Swiss psychologist and psychoanalyst and spoke about positive and negative narcissism.

The difference lies in
how much we like ourselves
and what we want to
contribute to our world.

It could be a good thing to stand in the spotlight and to be given attention for what we do if we are in touch with our own self-realization and contribute because we want the best for everyone.

If we end up in a situation where we will do anything to satisfy our own needs we end up in negative narcissism. This will not work in the long run.

An imbalance occurs
when we don’t give
as much to our world
as we take from it.

Neither will it work to put others needs first and give up on our own, i.e. giving more than we get back. Cutting back resources and keeping the expected performance level can lead to long term sick leave and early retirement for many.

The more aware we get, the more we will understand that giving and taking needs to be balanced over time.

It’s normal to be imbalanced,
it’s a natural thing.

At the same time we need to learn from these imbalances and take conscious steps towards living and working in outer as well as inner balance.

We can all contribute in our own unique way by having the courage to stand up for what we believe is good for ourselves and others, long term as well as short term. To make that happen, it will probably help if we are content with ourselves and are in touch with our own self-realization, i.e. positive narcissism.

Hans Akerblom
Creator of LOTS® and founder of Scandinavian Leadership

The balance of giving and taking

”It is our job to fulfill people’s dreams”


Eva-Lena Frick, 57, has as a cross-country skier competed in both Olympic games (Sarajevo 1984) and World championships. In1989 she finished her active career and is since 2015 CEO for the legendary 90 Kilometer cross country race Vasaloppet after 12 years as CEO for the popular cycling race Vätternrundan.

Differentiating the goal from the activity in a race such as Vasaloppet might seem easy on a sports level. On an organizational level it is rather like assembling a 4000 piece puzzle where 2900 parts of the puzzle are just blue sky, according to Eva-Lena Frick.

The traditional Vasaloppet is the worlds largest cross country race and what started as a historic 90 Kilometer race on skinny skis has developed into a winter and summer event that attracts around 100 000 participants every year.

In order to make sure that no pieces of this puzzle suddenly go missing the Vasaloppet is now facing some challenges. With two associations as owners, each with a separate board, 35 full time employees and around 4000 voluntary helpers, Eva-Lena Frick felt that the organization was lacking focus and therefore she contacted Hans Akerblom to acquire a tool to gather everyone, start talking about the same things and get all members of the organization to listen to each other.

See the interview with Eva-Lena Frick here.Eva-Lena Frick

”It is our job to fulfill people’s dreams”

From the ski slope to the office chair


A professional skiing career, five world championships and two Olympic games, a sports shop, a retail agency and board member of the legendary Swedish cross country race Vasaloppet. Meet Martin Hansson, 43, a man of many trades.

“I am not a leader”, the former professional alpine skier says. Dalskidan, the sports shop in Sälen, Sweden, is a family business and Martin Hansson sees himself as the person bringing in ideas.

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After 13 years of Alpine World Cup, Martin Hansson decided to dedicate his full attention to his business Dalskidan, situated in his hometown Sälen. It’s a sunny spring day and we are sat at a small coffee table in his shop. The Swedish ski town is just ending the winter season and it is quiet in the bright and open spaced retail area. Although the snow is still covering the mountains, Sälen town is slowly welcoming spring.

Martin Hansson is not slowing down, though. What you cannot see in the shop itself is all the equipment he provides hotels and ski areas with. This part of the business is expanding and taking up a lot of Martin Hansson’s time at the moment.

His passion for sports also inspired him to become a part of the board of the Vasaloppet, most famous for it’s legendary 90 km cross-country run from Sälen to Mora. “I am not a board professional, but I have the drive”, he says with a smile. As a board member he first got to hear about LOTS® and he had a great learning experience working with the board and senior Lotscoach® Hans Akerblom, planning the way forward for the world known race. (Or rather races. What started with a story about a future king in 1521 is today a row of winter and summer events, attracting around 100 000 people every year.)

“LOTS® brought a structure to our work that we really need”, he says. “A board like this brings a lot of people with different ideas together and then it is so important to find a common view and also a common language.”

Martin Hansson will also implement what he has learned for his own business. “I just need to find the time”, he says, almost apologizing. And pinpoints the problem most leaders and non-leaders struggle with these days; the time to reflect and the time to learn and progress. “What I really liked though is that LOTS® is so easy to take in and understand, it’s great to see how everyone can learn this and develop.”

Sara Vogt
Scandinavian Leadership

From the ski slope to the office chair

Everything changes whether we want it or not

change snowman.jpeg

Change is natural and never ending. There is nothing we can do about that.

What we can do is to think about our own Vision and our own Values and take initiative for change. Change is natural. Change is life. Change is challenging.

What are we striving for? How should we handle our constantly changing world? Let’s first look at some typical changes that we are all confronted with.

Getting older
Getting older is probably the most important change in our lives and there is nothing we can do about it. We can just accept it and try to avoid imbalances when we are confronted with the change of ”growing older”.

Changes in our relationships
We are also confronted with changes in our relationships. These changes can be everything from parents or other relatives who die, friends that no longer are friends or friends that divorce and go separate ways. As our children grow up our relationship with them changes. Change is natural and can challenge us.

Constructive ways of coping with changes
Striving for balance in life may not be as important as striving for constructive ways of coping with changes. Change can make us more creative and open up opportunities – on an individual as well as a team, organizational and country/region level.

What about you?
– How do you cope with change in your everyday private and professional life?
– How much energy do you get from or consume in everyday changes?
– What do you learn from changes in life?
– How much easier or more difficult does it become for you to cope with the changes?
– How many initiatives for change do you, yourself, take in your private or professional life?

Take some time to reflect upon the following questions:
1) How and when have I taken initiatives for change in my private and professional life and what are my experiences from that?

2) How have I coped with changes that other people or nature has created and what have I learned from that?

3) What happens within me when I think of changes in my private and professional life that I know will come (even if I do not know exactly what or how)?

Hans Akerblom,
creator of LOTS®

Everything changes whether we want it or not