Inspiring Leadership



Female Leadership

Act Like a Lady. Think Like a Boss.



Why Are Servant Leaders Always in Demand?

Along with integrity, being of service to other people and individuals is an essential ingredient for any individual – especially for those in power. The more influence and power an individual has, the more the individual has to focus upon integrity and upon being of service to people and society. And when leaders with influence and power are about to lose themselves on the path of servant leadership, they need constant reminders from people around them. This is true across societies, regardless of which industry or influential role the leader is involved in. The higher the role, the more demanding the hierarchical authority level, and the more integrity and serving the leader out to express.

Being a leader is never easy. It is not a task, but rather a calling. If leadership is not a calling, then better let go and let others lead instead. Leadership signifies a great amount of responsibility, starting from being capable of leading oneself first. Before taking on a leadership role, remember to ask yourself:

  • Why Do I want to lead? If the response is “I want to have power over others” (or something in the same direction), then you are not qualified/ready for leadership.
  • Am I capable of leading myself? Do I value and respect myself enough to be able of leading others as well?
  • Do I have enough time and energy for a (demanding) leadership role?
  • Do I care enough about other people and about helping/supporting/empowering other individuals in order to be a leader?
  • Am I reliable as a leader? Remember, leaders do not put other people down, but rather empower them.
  • What are my motivations? If you are motivated by material values primarily, then leadership is not for you. Leaders are driven and motivated by other than material values.

These are some of the basic questions to keep in mind before accepting/taking upon leadership responsibilities.

Also keep in mind: Servant leaders ARE NOT/DO NOT:

  • Emotional drop boxes for insecurities and bad moods/behaviors of other individuals.
  • Needless to say: however empathetic you are; as a servant leader, you deserve to be treated well by other individuals. You do not have to accept poor behavior.
  • You are not here to motivate other individuals. Motivation comes from within. You can inspire people, but never motivate them.
  • Carry other people’s problems: you can listen, but always remember to protect yourself.
  • Take anything personally.
  • Always leading people, and managing things/tasks/circumstances.

“If you cannot handle other people’s disapproval, then leadership is not for you”. (Miles Anthony Smith)

“Serving others prepares you to lead others” (Jim George)

“We rise by lifting others” (Robert Ingersoll)

“True leadership is servanthood. Put the interest of others in at the center of your decisions”.


“You lose power when you use power and gain it when you give it”.











“I have learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” (Maya Angelou).

“One of the most important servant leadership lessons is to realize that you are not the most important or the most intelligent person in the room”.

Servant leaders are always in demand, across societies, in all functions, because in our core, we are all servant leaders. Some of us only need to be trained, and reminded, at times, or most preferably, on a very regular basis.


What is Leadership in Times of Adversity?

Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny (C.S. Lewis)

Has your life been easy? Easy in the sense that everything seemed to run smoothly, without you ever having to face any real adversity, or setbacks? Well, congratulations – you should consider yourself lucky. Or perhaps not? If life treats us too easily, and we always get whatever we reach out for without any effort at all, we do not experience the need for pushing boundaries, or having the need to struggle for anything at all.

Success is hard work.

Not everyone realizes this, especially those who can afford to live in mediocrity. Those who choose not to, and/or those who are forced to, due to e.g. geographical and societal circumstances, even because of family backgrounds, understand the true meaning behind the word struggle, and hard work. Everyone should have to work and make an effort for their living, but there are differences between the concepts of getting everything for free, taking things for granted, having to work hard, needing to struggle, and/or being forced to do something. The next time you want to complain about your personal situation – please spend a moment to think universally, and compare your life to those of others in different geographical locations on Planet Earth. If you feel like struggling, you may change your thoughts after comparing yourself to others. Useful or not, but a certain amount of struggle always brings out the true qualities of people. Have you ever had to struggle or not?

Why is it that countries which we call strong are so powerful in creating wars but are so poor in bringing peace? Why is it that giving guns is so easy but giving books is so hard? Why is it that making tanks is so easy, but building schools is so hard? We are living in the modern age, and we believe that nothing is impossible. We have reached the Moon 45 years ago, and maybe we will soon land on Mars. Then, in this 21st century, we must be able to give every child a quality education. (Malala Yousafzai)

Before responding to this question, please take some time to watch and listen to this inspiring and touching speech by the World’s Youngest Nobel Peace Prize Winner, 17-year-old Malala Yousafzai from Pakistan: Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani activist for female education, is known for human rights advocacy for EDUCATION, and for WOMEN. Today, she is regarded to be one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Advocacy for humanity, equal human rights for all citizens of this world, inspiration, and influence has nothing to do with either gender or age, but with our backgrounds, experiences, interests, spirituality, and things we truly care for. Not everyone has to be abused, exploited, or experience other suffering in their lives in order to become an advocate for change, and humanity – but often struggle brings out the true leadership qualities in people.

Develop Empathy. Always walk a mile in another person’s shoes before judging or criticizing anyone – as you never know what they may have experienced in their lives.

Thank you for taking the time to read, reflect, analyze, comment, for sharing your thoughts and for giving feedback, and most of all, for watching and listening to Malala Yousafzai’s Nobel Peace Prize video. I look very much forward to reading your thoughts, and receiving your comments.  


Why Free Lunches Do Not Exist

“I worked hard. Anyone who works as hard as I did can achieve the same results”. (Johann Sebastian Bach) 

Very few extremely successful people achieve their goals without any effort, or with only little effort. Success also requires the right mindset, and often a bit of luck. One thing is for sure: no one gets results without work. If a very successful person achieves great results without personal work, it is because they had the opportunity to hire people to do the work for them. Most people do not have the needed assets to do so, but others find ways to grow their assets. 

The same applies to any kind of action in life. If you want to achieve something, you need to have the right mindset, and be willing to work towards your goal with a long-term perspective. As Michael Jordan has said: “I’ve always believed that if you put in the work, the results will come.” 

Every Master was once an Apprentice. The best individuals never cease to learn, and to keep their minds open for new ways of looking at things. In order to become a Master in something, you need to keep practicing until it becomes as automatic as your breathing. You do not even have to think about it – it just happens. Of course, these days many people do not even master their breathing. Too many people breathe superficially, so even this automated function of our central nervous system requires our attention. 

However, let’s assume that you have a long-term goal, e.g. regarding your financial situation/investments. The basic rule you need to understand is that free lunches do not exist. Only very few individuals have the luck of winning the lottery, or are born with a silver spoon in their mouths. Still, our choices and ways of living and spending what we earn have an impact on our lives, on our futures, and also on other people’s futures. How we, as consumers, invest and spend our income and savings makes a difference not only in our geographically near society, but also on a global level. Therefore, consuming, spending, and saving/investing money wisely is a good thing to do. 

There are a few especially important things to consider before you start investing: 

– How much can I save on a monthly basis? Or do I have a larger sum of money that I am willing to invest at once? 

– What am I saving for? 

– For how long I am willing to save?

– How do I want to invest the savings?

– What is the importance of the liquidity? I.e. if something unexpected happens, how fast do I need to have access to the savings/investments? 

– How do I want to allocate the investments?

– What kind of risks can I afford to take?

– Do I understand anything about investing? 

– If I do understand investing, do I have the time to manage my investments by myself?

– If I do not have enough time to manage the investments by myself: who will take care of it for me? 

– How will I choose a service provider? 

– Will I choose a private, small firm that will take care of my investments? Or a local bank? Or a broker? 

There are a number of things to take into consideration before investing. Answering the above questions will be helpful, and are also necessary to answer before you invest anything at all. 

A general rule is also to understand the investment object itself. I.e. if you have no understanding about what a fund is, e.g. an ETF (exchange-traded funds), make sure to have it explained to you by an investment professional. There is also no point in taking extravagant risks for example by starting your investment “career” through FX trading, which is the most liquid, but at the same time extremely volatile and includes high risks for those who do not have the needed experience. 

Please also keep in mind that with investments, no free lunches exist. In that sense, investing in no different from other types of businesses. Someone will always pay, and no services are free of charge. There are of course differences in service prices, as well in the quality of service providers and investment performance. 

It is important to choose a reliable service provider. Of course you can invest by yourself, if you have the time for it, and if you think you can achieve better results than the service provider. If, on the other hand, someone tries to pull you into something that seems suspicious, or you do not trust the service provider, there is no point in using such a service provider. Too high promises are also something that you should be careful about. If someone promises you returns on investment that sound almost too good to be true, then it is also highly probable that this is the case. Remember, Rome was not built in a day either, and the same goes for growing your assets. So, do not take unnecessary risks unless it is an amount of money that you are willing to lose anyway. 

The time is always right for investing. What is important is to know how to invest correctly.

This blog post has been written only for informational purposes, and is not an offer to buy or sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any security, product, service or investment. The opinions expressed in this post do not constitute investment advice. The information provided herein or in any communication possibly linked to this blog post is not intended for distribution to, or use by, any person or entity in any jurisdiction or country where such distribution or use would be contrary to law or regulation. Neither the information, nor any opinion contained in this post constitutes a solicitation or offer by the author to buy or sell any securities, futures, options, shares, funds, or other financial instruments or provide any investment advice or service. 


Taking Action Rather Than Procrastinating

“Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world”.

(Joel A. Barker)

Any kind of change requires activity and action. Be it in our personal lives or in business. I have learned, through personal experiences, and through observation of other people and companies, that a fear of making the wrong decisions leads into inactivity, which in turn leads to increased inactivity and there we are – in a vicious circle. 

I have written about the influence from external events, such as the news that are brought into our consciousness every day through various media channels. Experience has taught me that listening to news, in general, can have a huge impact upon the decisions that I am willing to make regarding both my private life, and also regarding business decisions. 

In the world of investments, investor´s actions are often referred to as actions based on mass psychology. When hearing bad news about a certain economy/market, or about a specific company, many investors react quickly based upon that information. Some may react e.g. by selling all stocks of that specific region/company. Others, called contrarian investors, go against prevailing market trends by buying poorly performing assets, as opposed to “traditional” investors.

Keeping a cold head in any kind of situation is important. Be it in personal life decisions, in business practices, in investing or whatever. The world is full of temptations, but also full of what we could call propaganda. The word propaganda has a very negative echo, but any intelligent person knows how important it is to question everything one reads, hears, and experiences. I´m not saying that one should not trust anything; however, questioning sources of information, and staying objective, is healthy. One way of questioning and staying objective is to be very selective regarding the sources of information that we use in our everyday lives. Taking some distance in regard to e.g. news and media can sometimes prove to be an efficient way of getting in touch with one´s inner guide: the intuition. 

Many people have lost the touch with their intuition, because they are always affected by external distractions, be it news, media, other people, friends, family etc. Taking some distance and being selective is a good way of finding back to listening to our intuition, since it rarely mistakes. How you react to something, and how you feel about something rarely lies to you. 

Sometimes reflecting upon various things is a positive thing to do, but mostly procrastination leads to an increased difficulty in decision-making. This is where mass psychology has a huge influence: if, let´s say in a certain market, the economy has been in recession for years, it easily leads to even worse decision-making, or no decision-making at all. Investments are being cut down; companies are dismissing employees, which lead to decreased consumption and so on. 

Markets are always turbulent, if we let them be. Media is capable of bringing negative news into daylight, but smart entrepreneurs know that there always is a demand for their services/products, and that there always is a market for those who are ready to take action, create new demand and push their services/products to consumers. This, in turn, requires the ability and willingness to hire the right people to help the company in succeeding – people (employees/consultants) who believe in the product and who know how to generate income for them and for the enterprise. 

“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy”.

(Dale Carnegie)

What Do You Want to Achieve?

 “All personal achievement starts in the mind of the individual. Your personal achievement starts in your mind. The first step is to know exactly what your problem, goal or desire is”.

(W. Clement Stone) 

Do you know what you want in life? Have you ever taken the time to consider what the purpose of your life is? Do you wake up in the mornings feeling empowered by life itself, by your everyday life, or do you merely, somehow, process yourself through another day without knowing the actual purpose of what you are doing?

If you are at all like me, you have taken the time to reflect upon your life, at least every now and then. In truth, we all reach a point at some stage in our life, where we start questioning ourselves certain things. This may happen several times during our lives, and to be quite honest, it is a sign of spiritual growth if we are capable of questioning ourselves, our actions, and to develop as individuals. 

Very often real achievement requires long-term goals, persistence, and the capability of continuous efforts without giving up at any stage. It is a matter of being able to focus on the final outcome, and there may be many obstacles and failures on the way to achieving your goal. 

Many people prefer to go with the flow, which probably is the easiest way to “get through life” – because, in the end, no one escapes from life alive. This is something worth keeping in mind e.g. when facing your fears. Life is not a gamble, but those who are never willing to risk anything, are neither capable of winning anything. 


“You never know beforehand what people are capable of, you have to wait, give it time, it’s time that rules, time is our gambling partner on the other side of the table and it holds all the cards of the deck in its hand, we have to guess the winning cards of life, our lives.” 

(José Saramago, Blindness)


Referring to J. Saramago´s quote, you will never know what you are capable of achieving unless you try. I have a deaf-blind cousin who is an excellent chess player, and he has also cycled throughout half Finland on a tandem bicycle together with his personal assistant. No one needs to be perfect in order to be capable of achieving wonderful things in life.


Achievement always starts with personal motivation, setting long-term (and short-term) goals, and a willingness to work towards reaching those goals. The road may sometimes be bumpy, even difficult, depending upon the complexity of the actual goal, but the more purposeful the achievement is to us, the harder and longer are we willing to work towards the final outcome. 


Sometimes we may lose the appetite, especially with obstacles coming our way. In these situations, it is important to take a break, to question our actions, perhaps the actions of others as well, perhaps consulting someone with similar (or more) experiences, to get a mentor and/or a coach who you can trust to help you on your way. 


“Part of the issue of achievement is to be able to set realistic goals, which is one of the hardest things to do because you don’t always know exactly where you’re going, and you shouldn’t”.

(George Lucas)



How Do You Know where Your Limits are?

Have you ever thought that it does not matter if you try, since one person cannot make a difference in society (or in anything)? At some stage in our life we probably all do, hesitating, and wondering if continuing with our efforts is worthwhile. Admit it. The difference here, in becoming really successful, is to believe, and never to give up on our dreams, whatever comes our way, and no matter how big the obstacles sometimes may seem. After all, frictions and hardships usually are a sign of us doing something correct. 

“If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them”.
(Bruce Lee)

Do you know where your limits are? Have you ever challenged yourself into pushing those limits further? Do you have any limits at all? Or do you always give up, listening to that voice inside your head whispering “oh no, don´t do it – you´ll never make it anyway, it is not worth giving a try”. 

The next time you have an inner or outer conflict – try to calm down, be objective, and analyze where that feeling comes from. Yes, feeling. 

We have only one sense, the sense of feeling. All other senses are different forms of the same sense: to see, hear, touch, smell or taste IS to feel. Therefore, all senses lead to feeling. 

Our basic feelings are: 







(Kymäläinen, M. University of Tampere. 9.9.2014).

It is all right to have different kinds of feelings, and the easiest way of coping with them is to accept them as a part of our everyday lives. How we handle our feelings is another thing, and it does make a difference whether we focus more on the positive, or the negative ones. 

As the old Cherokee legend where a grandfather teaches his grandson an important life lesson says:

“The grandfather explains to the young boy about the battle we all have going on inside of us.

Grandfather: “My son, the battle is between two ‘wolves’ that live inside us all. One is evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego. The other is good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: ‘Which wolf wins?’

The old Cherokee replied simply, “The one you feed.”

I found an interesting article about this in The Huffington Post (Andrea Wachter: “Which Wolf are You Feeding?” Quoted 10.9.2014). You may want to read it. 

Every single day I get inspired by many different people, acquaintances, friends, or complete strangers. 

Planning my first official half marathon, I have been reading articles and sites about running, and came across a site about ultra runners. Ultra runs are all runs that are longer than a marathon (42,195 km), the shortest of which is 30 miles (48,280 km). The longest ultra runs can be thousands of kilometers and last for several months.

A Norwegian ultra runner, Mensen Ernst (1795-1843), earned his living by running across the world from one city to another, sometimes betting about the time, and other times delivering letters. He was a celebrity known as the “King of Running”.

His first long run was 116 km, from London to Portsmouth, in nine hours, where after he became even more famous by running 240 km from London to Liverpool in 32 hours. He became such a well-known runner that even kings paid to just in order to see him running. In 1832, he ran from Paris to Moscow, 2.500 km in 14 days, running 178 km per day.

What is the lesson behind this story?

That we all should become ultra runners?

Of course not. 

This story, along with the story about the two wolves, is just to remind us about how we can make a difference in our own lives, and even in whole societies, with the right attitude and by being passionate about what we do. 

What is your dream? What are you passionate about?

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the start to change the world”. 

(Harriet Tubman)

What Makes Someone Successful?

People sometimes ask me about the secret behind my success. Me? Successful? Wow, thank you for your confidence. I bet we all have admirers, people who respect and value what we do, and some people who would like to be like us. Many of us love inspirational quotes, sayings that have a positive impact upon our thoughts. Here are some of my favorite quotes about success: 

“Success comes to those who dedicate everything to their passion in life. To be successful, it is also very important to be humble and never let fame or money travel to your head”.

(A.R. Rahman)

“Success is not a destination, but the road that you’re on. Being successful means that you’re working hard and walking your walk every day. You can only live your dream by working hard towards it. That’s living your dream”.

(Marlon Wayans)

“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will”.

(Vince Lombardi)

Further on, Elite Daily has listed 10 traits of extremely successful people (as follows): 

– Successful people work very hard

– Successful people are very curious, and always eager to learn

– Successful people network

– Successful people always work on themselves

– Successful people are extraordinarily creative

– Successful people are self-reliant and take responsibility 

– Successful people are relaxed and keep their perspective

– Successful people live in the present moment

– Successful people respond instantly

– Successful people never quit 

( The 10 Traits of Extremely Successful People. Quoted 8.9.2014).

From my perspective, success is ALWAYS a personal experience. When you focus on your own thing, and doing what feels right to you, you will feel a whole lot more successful than following in someone else´s footsteps. Believe me, find your life purpose, and follow your passion, and you will feel successful. 

Why is it so important to listen to your inner guidance? 

When you listen to your inner voice, intuition, instead of focusing on external issues in order to just have a lot of “bling, bling” in your life, you will feel grateful instead of empty. 

There is no one single recipe for success, but here is some further advice: 

– Always have a goal in mind, but also remember to enjoy the journey on the path of your life destiny. 

– Stay true to yourself, but always respect (and listen to) others.  

– Be prepared for failures as well, since they are a part of your success. Success is often 99 % perspiration and 1 % inspiration. 

– When you study other successful people, try to see behind the facade. We often do not realize how much effort these people have put into becoming so successful. Success does not come over night, although it sometimes may seem so. 

Many blessings to you on your successful life journey. 

“For a successful entrepreneur it can mean extreme wealth. But with extreme wealth comes extreme responsibility. And the responsibility for me is to invest in creating new businesses, create jobs, employ people, and to put money aside to tackle issues where we can make a difference”.

(Richard Branson)

Do One Scary Thing…

…every day. Doors may open, or shut. 

Originally quoted by Eleanor Roosevelt, former human rights activist, diplomat, and First Lady of the United States, who relentlessly continued her societal work and represented the United Nations as the chairwoman of the human rights council, even after becoming a widow. She was a woman of purpose, who definitely believed in the beauty of her dreams. 

We cannot all be First Ladies of the United States or alike, but we can all decide to be the First Ladies (or Gentlemen) of our own, personal lives. Endurance is individual, but it can be trained. It is possible to improve, and to push your personal limits, little by little, every day. 

It is a question of will, and energy. Your body is capable of anything, just as long as you let your mind grow strong and allow your spirit to take charge of your life. 

Write a list of your 10 biggest fears. You don´t have to show it to anyone, unless you want to. What is on the list? Is there a chance of you facing at least one of these fears? With facing a fear I definitely do not mean to take any vagabond risks, or being stupid. I am just stating that by facing some of our biggest fears we can actually remove boundaries and start enjoying life a little more. 

This is at least how it has worked for me personally. 

As a child I was afraid of the dark (as many of us are). I had to fall asleep with a night lamp, and I always checked beneath my bed, and only after realizing there were no ghosts or anything alike, was I able to fall asleep. 

Thereafter, I have faced my irrational fear of the dark in many ways, one of which has been to dive in the night, in tropical waters. It was a very exciting experience, but of course I would never have done it without guidance from, and being accompanied by, my dive master. Diving is a technical sport, requiring more than will and energy. 

Another time, snorkeling with a friend at the islands of Phi-Phi in Thailand, I swam a bit further from the shore. I was photographing the most amazing fishes with my cheap underwater camera, and enjoyed the crystal clear water, as I suddenly saw a shark a few meters ahead of me. My heart beat rate suddenly probably at least tripled; it was such an exciting moment. I was not capable of doing anything but looking at the shark gliding through the water, and then disappearing. 

In only a few seconds of time, which at the moment felt longer, many kinds of thoughts ran through my mind. My first thought was to swim after the shark to find out if I could see more of them. I knew I had been lucky to see the shark, since a dive master at the local PADI center later on told me that sharks usually avoid people for several reasons. My second thought was to swim back to my friend and tell him so that we could swim back together. I decided to swim back, but when I told my friend he was not at all enthusiastic about going on a shark-exploration-journey, and at that point I felt a bit awkward deciding not to swim out again on my own. 

Still not 100 % certain of the type of the shark, but I guess it was a black tip reef shark. It was about two meters long, although everything looks bigger in water. I am not going to start explaining every single detail about sharks, because the truth is that I do not know everything about sharks. I just know that sharks actually usually avoid people. I think I would too if I were a shark. In fact, sharks can get infected by people touching them. According to the Shark Project 

(, at least 73 million sharks get killed by human beings every year, only because of their fins. And how many sharks kill people annually? Not many. 

I have had other natural encounters with exotic animals on my trips and in my home country as well. Never have the animals harmed me. 

Once in Siem Reap, Cambodia, after hours of walking around temples, I sat down on a stone beneath some trees to rest for a while, and to protect myself from the blazing sun. Suddenly, I heard a rustle from the tree above me, and a large green snake fell down on the ground. Taken by surprise, as it happened so fast, I just looked at the snake slithering in the opposite direction. You might guess that I did not sit there for much longer. In fact, I stood up and walked into the temple as soon as the snake had disappeared. A local man, selling souvenirs, tried to assure me about the snake´s innocence as soon as I had explained to him what it looked like. “It is not poisonous”, he said to me, and told me the snake´s name in the local language Khmer. Unfortunately I did not note the name and have forgotten it. But I will definitely remember the appearance of this particular snake, for the rest of my life. 

Having faced my (irrational) fears in many ways, sometimes by accident (like in the previously mentioned examples), but also through careful planning. 

If you are ready to face some of your fears, please remember to keep in mind at least the following things: 

1) Please do not do anything stupid. Be responsible in, and for, your actions. 

2) Only face your fears when you feel you are ready for it. 

3) Don´t let you get forced into anything (by yourself or by anyone else). 

4) Listen to your mind and to your body. How does it make you feel? Your intuition will tell you, so be careful in listening to your inner guidance. 

5) Remember that fear is energy. If you manage to turn your fear into positive energy, you may be richly rewarded. If not in monetary terms, at least in terms of growing as an individual.

“With hope you gain courage. With courage you gain confidence, and with confidence there are no limits to what you can do” (Unknown).