From failure to success? #success & #startups

Most succesful startup companies have experienced failures. This is nothing new. But what is it that makes the good ones come back again and again? Well, perseverance, courage, dedication and good old-fashioned hard-work are some of the ingredients. And perhaps most of all the ability to learn from their mistakes. 

I have been so fortunate to be involved with some young entrepreneurs - in the best way possible. And this is continuing  to be an inspiration to me. Why, you might ask? Well, because their energy levels are high, their courage enormous and the sheer engagement shines in their eyes. They are passionate people, passionate about their idea and perhaps their future success. And they are not afraid of failing - or if they are, then they overcome it. That is so inspiring to see, because it is such a human trait to be afraid of failing, more than to aim for success. 

Maybe there is a cultural element in entrepreneurship? I have noticed that startups in the States, in Iceland and in China have more guts and just go for it. Many European countries - and not least the Nordic have a more laid-back attitude towards entrepreneurship. Perhaps because we have a different welfare-system that takes care of us if we fail. So we are not as gutsy or a devoted. Of course this is a tough generalization of whole nations, but I do think there is some truth to it.

In Greenland we do not have a startup culture. We have a welfare culture, where the State takes care of us from birth to death, and it so limits us to take the necessary steps to become an entrepreneur. So how to change that. Culture is not something you change overnight. 

My best bid is to start all the way down in the elementary school - to build character, to challenge, to have competition and to focus on the individual and group responsibility. We need good role models, we need young "guns" that are willing to fight, to work hard and to endure. So yes, basically we need to build a capacity to even have young entrepreneurs succeed, since our entire system is not build for that.

Do you have good ideas from your society? From you surroundings?  Please share with me here!


How you DO the talking #talkervs.doer & #theWHY

This was a question asked by a reader on a previous blog:

I would like to request a blog post on how you did your TALKING, in order to motivate people to be DOING as a leader. I know you have written about trust in "Trust is everything" (15th of September), but perhaps an article on how you DO the talking more specifically.

So here I go:

I believe in trust - on so many levels. If you trust someone, then you also want to confide in them, to share you thoughts and ideas, to discuss with them and to be completely honest. I guess this is not news to anyone who have experienced the opposite - either at home, at work or with friends. So a MUST is to establish some form of trust between you and the people you want to move in one direction or another. 

I think my very first and foremost action is spending enough time with people around me to have them trust me. That goes for everyone I meet. In a company, privately or even during a coaching session. I try to let people have a sense of who I am - and hopefully they will like what they hear, see and feel. I am also a strong believer in authenticity. I believe that people can FEEL if you are being true or not. In leadership I think this is crucial. So I speak from the heart, also when it is not popular, when I have made a mistake - and apologizes. 

In order to really address the question from the beginning, then this is the core. Of course it is easier said than done. But my core values are: respect for others, personal integrity, freedom, openness and honesty. Those values goes hand in hand with creating trust. And if people trust you, have a sense of who you are and feel your authenticity, then they also start to discuss with you. And the topics that really matter to them. Not just some bullshit management, hearsay or flip-flop talk. No they actually start sharing with you - and hopefully the colleagues what their biggest dreams, hopes, worries and very specific daily problems they are struggling with. When a large group of people begin to adapt that kind of behavior it spreads like you wouldn't believe. People WANT to trust each other. I guess they are just so used to management bullshit, hidden agendas and lack of personal involvement.

A trick - or rather a strategy - I use is a lot of meetings. Meetings with entire departments without their bosses present. Meetings with all the leaders across the organization. Morning meetings with all staff in the company. And lot's of blogging about not just WHAT we want to achieve, but WHY! I am such a sucker for Simon Sinek - and his very direct approach to address the WHY.

I do not know if I have answered the question that initiated the blog, but I hope that I have shed some light onto how I see this. The Talking vs. Doing. Basically: trust, authenticity, clear values, direction and heavy involvement. Try it out, you will be amazed what you can achieve.







Aim higher? #courage & #potential

Are you using your full potential? Are you aiming high enough? On a personal level? On a professional level?

I think most of us are wondering about our potential. In my humble opinion it is limitless. We can do exactly what we want to. We may not know HOW, we may not the WHAT - but I think that most importantly we do not know the WHY.

But if we get to know the WHY - then it will be easier to find out more about the WHAT and the HOW!

Am I confusing you? Well, the let me tell you a personal story. 

When I was 16 my biggest dream was to go to the Olympics in cross country skiing. I knew I had to train a lot and that this would mean moving out of my beloved Greenland for a number of years. I moved to Norway to pursue my dream. I was relatively poor, but I chased my dream because I had a strong sense of my WHAT. Slowly I got hold of my HOW - hard training 4-5 hours a day and a strong sense of commitment to my goal. 

At that time I did not know my WHY yet, but I knew my WHAT - and slowly getting to know my HOW. After 6 years I succeeded - and I participated in my first Winter Olympics in 1992.  Somehow I had reached my goal, but very quickly I found out that this was not enough. My joy for skiing was much more than just reaching a mere goal. The WHY was the real reason for me to pursue my goal. Skiing was something much more than results or getting somewhere - skiing was my WHY! Being happy, being free, travelling the World and realizing my potential as a skier was my WHY. What a phenomenal feeling it was to know my WHY - a purpose in life. 

Somehow along the way I have lost some of my WHY professionally, while I am comfortable with my WHY privately. Right now I am in the process of finding back to my professional WHY. And slowly, but surely I get a sense of where my WHY is workwise! It has something to do with making people work well together towards a common goal, to make people grow on a personal level, to influence other people on a positivity streak-kind-of way and being a GO-giver. 

what is your WHY? 


Political will to compromise #glpol & #qin14

Topic number one in the upcoming Greenlandic Election is how to make a broad coalition on major topics. A difficult discipline - to make compromises and political solutions with a declining economy. My sincere hope is that we will have BOLD politicians elected on November 28th that are able AND willing to make the necessary commitment to form a broad coalition. This will not only require brave politicians, but also WISE politicians. We do not have a lot of these types of politicians in Greenland today, but my hope is that we will have more and not less after the election.

Our left wing party, IA and our center party Siumut are both talking about inequality and the need for reforms of taxation, pension and housing. But also that the uranium debate should not be a major topic. In my opinion this is very wise indeed. Uranium is a topic that divides the population and can easily light an unproductive debate. The other topics are more about the future LIVING conditions in Greenland and how our society should be formed. My belief is that there is a mutual agreement among the big parties that the inequality in the Greenlandic society is a major issue that needs attention. Unfortunately so far I have not heard any specific solutions for bringing a better balance to the Greenlandic population. It is proven that the inequality in Greenland have increased over the time of the Home Rule in 1979, which is a huge failure on behalf of the past Governments. Somehow there is a need to address this through a series of reforms that heighten the educational level and at the same time provides private sector jobs that are attractive. There are no obvious quick-fixes to this issue, but only the long and tough road of reforms AND the will to succeed. My hope - and I think a lot of voters - is that at least the three major political parties after an election will form a coalition and have a very specific written coalition mandate with concrete goals attached for the coming election period. Only through specific, measurable goals will there be the necessary focus to achieve results. 

My fear is that our future Parliament will NOT be wise, willing to make compromises or have the balls to make reforms. But I remain hopeful and will personally follow the election campaigns, voter meetings and debates. So follow on here in the Arctic Journal or on

Lead generation #leadgeneration #contacts

In Greenland we are currently undergoing dramatic changes - or at least some of the youth are undergoing dramatic changes. 

The question I have in my head is WHEN we will have a lead generation in our country. 

So many talented youth are speeding forward, using the possibilities of social media to connect online. I truly believe some will be our future decision makers and make the necessary adjustments to enter the WORLD. 

All amidst chaos opportunity lies.  

And those who have the contacts, the ressources and the courage also have the obligation. 

Philosophy? Dreaming? Possibility?  

YES, all the above is true. But I am a firm believer of our future generations. And thus Greenland WILL be connected to the World in a different way.