I don’t even have a will…!

Lots of things to manage when you’re running your own little shop. Todays challenges:

  • I don’t have a will. I know that is really bad, and I need to get to it. But as a business owner, anything that isn’t directly or indirectly leading to someone wanting to buy my stuff automatically goes on the Yellow List (Pink List: Today stuff. Blue list: Tomorrow stuff. Yellow list: Later stuff).
  • I have to start a company in Ireland.
    I have absolutely no idea how to do that. Oh, and hire someone too. AND I need to start trading on January 1 2017.

So the first one is pretty simple, right? (apparently my suggested solution to the Financial Advisor of “Not Dying” wasn’t as funny as I thought. Oh well. )

  1. Make list of assets
  2. Make a will
  3. Appoint power of attorney

The second one….good thing I can reach out to my Trade Advisor at UK Trade & Investment for things like this. She will know what to do (or know someone who knows).

In short, on my To Do list for this weekend are:

  1. Don’t die yet; make will first
  2. Don’t get tempted by scruffy looking simple solution on how to incorporate in Ireland; talk to some sensible people who actually know what they are doing.

And on that note: Goodnight.

Who goes there? Your Twitter followers?!

Twitter followers come and go for me. Sort of like tide.
I am competitive, so I like the ups, and I am trying hard not to take the downs personally. After all, it is not a goal in itself for me to have followers on my twitter or blog. I sell nothing, want you to sign up for nothing and basically have no interest in your money at all.

I am however keen on helping. Sometimes, only sometimes, I have felt that amazing feeling you get when you see something click for someone. They just saw things in a different way, from another angle, and it made them better. If I can do that, I am happy. But I digress.

audience following why

Point is: do you know who your followers are and why they are following you? Perhaps that question is worth a thought not just for twitter, but for real life as well. And then….how can you help them?

Remember that movie “Pay It Forward”? Call me naive, but that’s what I am doing.  What do you think? Am I just a bit too blue eyed?

 

 

7 words I NEVER allow in customer communications

  1. unfortunately
  2. couldn’t
  3. fault
  4. delayed
  5. unless
  6. cost
  7. maybe

it is important to me that we are clear, positive, solution oriented and customer focused, and that we give our customers a reliable impression. Negative or weak words are not supporting that mantra, so I constantly work for them to be replaced by deliberately “positively charged” words instead.

Related: Grow people, grow business

If you review text, take a moment to reflect on how it left you feeling. What words stand out, which ones do you remember? Are they positive or negative?

How about this text? Which is the most emotionally loaded word for you?  Comment below and share your view — I am curious!

 

 

Packing bags, moving to Ireland?

The CEO of an award winning Medical Device company is considering expanding to Ireland or Germany after the EU referendum

Angela Spang, CEO of medical device provider JUNE MEDICAL, is contemplating a move from London to somewhere else in Europe following Britain’s decision to leave the EU.

Spang is concerned that Brexit will make it harder for her to obtain innovative products from across the continent for her company. Fast paced and award winning JUNE MEDICAL has already grown over 100% since it was founded in 2013.

“There is a huge demand for high-quality medical device and any advantage a company has in accessing innovative products is a huge factor,” she told XXXX. “Mutual recognition for regulatory approval provided access to European wide launches — this is a powerful engine for growth that may now be removed.”

Access to European funding and access to European markets for her own new products will also influence Spang’s decision, she said.

Potential new office locations for JUNE MEDICAL include Ireland and Germany but the company won’t be making any hasty decisions. “We’re monitoring what impact this has over the next 1-2 quarters. If we see a big change in the availability of products or dramatically changed terms, then we will consider alternative geography for investment and growth.

She added: “It doesn’t change our current commitment to the UK, but could change our growth plans significantly.”

Introvert broadcasted to 365 million households

So I’m an introvert. One of those who, if invited to a party will come up with a list of reasons why I can’t come, even though I do like you and your friends a lot. It is just that to me, meeting new people takes a lot of energy.

It doesn’t mean I don’t like people. Quite the opposite; I find humans absolutely fascinating, and I spend hours every day thinking about why we do what we do, how we can do it better and how we are motivated. Perhaps it is because I invest a lot in the relationships I have, and more fleeting interactions are not for me.

Related: Swedish leadership — like ABBA?!

Two weeks I was asked to do a live TV interview, on a show that is broadcasted to 365 million households. Funnily enough, that is an event that really makes me excited! Put me in a car with someone I hardly know and I will try to climb out after 5 minutes, but live TV!? I’d love to!

Of course I was a bit nervous, those famous butterflies had a little race just before we went on air, but overall? Calm as a pot of soured milk. (Swedish expression)image

I would do it again if I could!

 

When Idea Meet Market, Magic Happens

I frequently meet people who, wbig eyeshen finding out I have three companies, widen their eyes slightly. I have learned that it usually means one of three things:

  1. You think I am a workaholic
  2. You want one too
  3. You think I am really rich

I am going to leave 1 and 3 out. Neither is true. More on that later (that is a different post entirely). Continue reading When Idea Meet Market, Magic Happens

IKEA or ABBA — what’s Swedish leadership style?

Apparently Swedish leadership is a science in itself.

Is there anything called Swedish leadership? Methods and approaches differ between countries and cultures, but is there some traits that are more common?

The science project “Swedish leadership challenges from a global perspective” was started 2013, and the purpose is to try to define Swedish leadership.

According to some, Swedish leadership is democratic, with delegation and trust as central themes. Perhaps some of that comes from the Swedish employment legislation where for example one cannot get fired simply for stating different opinions or bring forward other ways of doing things. It is certainly not an option in all countries to openly question managers and leaders, and hierarchy plays a vital role in many cultures. The team approach in Sweden very much puts the boss at the same levels as everyone else, and leadership is adapted accordingly.

Personal traits in successful leaders

There is plenty of evidence for what personal traits makes up the successful leader: passion, self insight, drive, team spirit, clarity, involvement and courage are not in any way unique for the Swedish leadership — it unites leaders from all over the world.

Us swedes do seem good at (even known for?) heavily involving others in the decision making process. We like consensus, sometimes so much we delay making the decision. Involving everyone is great in theory, but it is a time insuring process. It also potentially brings an aura of uncertainty to the team if they’re not used to this consultative leadership style; “Doesn’t she know what to do?!”

It may also come across as less assertive, and sometimes this may be perceived as weakness. However, it usually doesn’t take long for people to realise that just because I want to know what you think, I don’t lack an opinion of my own.

Lack of ego?

Stefan Tengblad is a professor of Economy and does research on the topic “The Swedish leadership style”. According to Tengblad the Swedish leadership style has two corner stones: inclusiveness and lack of individual prestige. Research has shown that this increase companies competitiveness and creates better profitability as team members productivity, effectiveness and quality of work increase.

This makes for lively debate with a team that is more focused on finding a great solution that everyone can agree on, than having a “winner” of the debate. For me and my teams, this have sometimes been what takes the teams I’ve led from “Good” to “Outstanding”. The freedom of being open to share thoughts and ideas makes for a stimulating work environment, where people use their voices to start conversations, not finish them.

Many successful leaders from the small country in the north

Sweden has presented many successful leaders through the years. A couple of names who are usually mentioned are Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström who occupies a powerful position in the apparatus of the EU, Ingvar Kamprad, Swedish entrepreneur and founder of IKEA and more recently singer Zara Larsson who has turned millions of young girls into a united group of strong females who stand up for themselves.

I will ask my team how they would describe my leadership. I am curious to know if they will say any of these things.

To be continued.

Mr Cameron, don’t take your ball home

imageDear Mr PM,

as a leader you state your opinions, share your reasons and fight for what you believe in. As a leader of this country, this is the time to honour the decision the people have made, and despite that being different from what you wanted, it is still your country.
When playing in a team, no matter if the strategy is different than what you proposed, you play your part. Different viewpoints are great, and you don’t take your ball and go home if your strategy doesn’t win. You play your part as well as you can, with the team that you’ve got.

 

Me and 1,279 Business leaders in the UK say Stay

The bosses of more than half of Britain’s largest companies are
urging voters to back Remain in the biggest endorsement from
the business world to date.
Some 1,285 business leaders who together employ 1.75 million

people — including more than 900 small and medium-sized firms and 51 of the FTSE 100 — say in a letter to The Times that Brexit would damage the British economy.

“Britain leaving the EU would mean uncertainty for our firms,
less trade with Europe and fewer jobs,” the business leaders say.
We are concerned we would have to reset the terms of trade
with Britain’s biggest market “from scratch” after an exit from
the European Union and single market.
Mr Cameron predicted an investment boom if Britain backed
Remain, telling the Financial Times: “Businesses, wealth
creators, job creators will think: Britain has made a decision,
let’s pile back into the economy and create jobs and opportunity
because it’s a great place to do business.”
I happen to agree with him.
Britain Stronger In Europe

Winning, Losing and Doing Good

I have read about several entrepreneurs recently who focus completely on the ‘social good’ of their business, as opposed to the ‘old-school’ ambition of making money. I am a huge advocate of social enterprise, charity and philanthropy, and spend a lot of my time and assets to support those activities — but that simply wouldn’t have been possible without the successes I’ve had in the ‘for profit’ world that have given me the flexibility and freedom to do what I believe in.

There’s no doubt that many young entrepreneurs coming into today’s world are very socially minded. It’s hard not to be when the internet and our media constantly show us — often graphically — the challenges our society faces.

Leading with purpose

If you’re a business leader, the passion that created the spark that ignited your career is something you can bring with you into your entire company culture. Apple is a great example: The essence of Steve Jobs’ vision for technology resonates with every single person in that organisation, and guides decisions on a daily basis.

To create that, you have to be able to paint a picture of your vision and you have to be able to describe it and share it with your team in a way that not only makes them understand but makes them feel what you mean. Your job is to give your team purpose, getting everyone on the same page. You have to make sure your entire team knows where they’re going, how they’re going to get there, and what’s in it for them.

Building Success

I am lucky to have had great successes — during my career, I have taken both new and old brands to market leadership, turned mediocre individuals into high performing stars and built successful teams from broken groups of disjoined people. In the last three years I have started two award winning companies, and I currently employ 10 people in two fast growing organisations. When people ask me what my secret is, I tell them:  “You must surround yourself with great people, and as you grow, never forget why you do what you do.”

You must demonstrate your purpose with encouragement, honesty, recognition, and courage… Building a great team is what business is all about. The team with the best players working together wins. This great team will drive growth, and growth is like an elixir. It’s exciting, it creates more and more growth, and it’s a LOT of fun. Business is fun… like chess. It is deliberate, clever, strategic and merciless. You’re playing against others, and you want to win!

Winning

And ultimately, that’s what it comes down to. If you’re winning, you can give back — to your family, your employees, institutions of your choice and your local communities… If you’re losing, your pockets are empty and nobody gets helped. I play to win, but ultimately, I win to help.