Here-and-now in our everyday life

Many of us have probably reflected on how good we feel when we are out in nature. The scenery, the scents, the silence. We are here-and-now. One with nature.

Still, we often end up in our office, in the car, watching TV or being tempted to check our smartphones. Always available and filled with both necessary and unnecessary information. We may accept it as part of our modern lifestyle.

Many enjoy nature on holidays, but in order to balance the city life with the here-and-now moments in nature, we need to refuel nature in between. A walk in the park, a jog under the autumn leaves, sitting somewhere in nature and taking in what’s around us with all our senses.

Taking ”nature” back into town
will most likely help us

to work for
a sustainable and developing society,
a workplace

with constructive relationships
and good relationships

with family and friends.

A few years ago, I had the privilege of working with Bill Plotkin in Tarrytown, New York. In the book Nature and the Human Soul – Cultivating Wholeness and Community in a Fragmented World he writes about our relationship with nature.

Hans Akerblom
Creator of LOTS®

Reflection on Goals

On the last day of a five-day certification program, people learning LOTS® have the chance to share what has inspired them the most during the week.


It is an opportunity to reflect and also for us at LOTS AB to get a valuable Outside-in view.


Markus Wiborg, researcher and leadership developer at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala changed his view on goals. These were some of his insights:

“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
Communication
Scandinavian Leadership

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

thomas-ahlström2
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
Communication
Scandinavian Leadership

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.

Avocado
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.

Nairobi
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

The balance of giving and taking

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.

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

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

Svenska

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