How To Leave Work At Work, When On Vacation!

Only three workdays until vacation! I was hoping for some less busy days, but it looks like I’m going full speed until the plane leaves for Greece on Friday! Still, I have made time for six important steps!

I guess you look forward to some time off. Do you have any rituals at work before you take vacation? Do you leave work at the office or are you checking e-mails on the beach? Or in the hotel room, while your family is waiting impatiently!

For some reason, I have had trouble leaving work at the office. Working on airplanes and before the beach time has often been my style. This time, I will try to leave work at work!

How a vacation should be! Not a laptop in sight!

My pre-vacation 2016 ritual!

  1. Schedule time in advance! Make sure you have 1/2 -1 workday (or an evening or two) to complete the points below 🙂
  2. Arrange your e-mails! It is better to use a couple of hours now to sort out your e-mails, than after your time off. My dream inbox, before vacation, is an inbox with only follow-up items, with deadlines after the vacation.
  3. Do the travel bills! I’m running around with a plastic bag of travel bills. Before you leave for vacation, have your travel bills registered. It is good to get them refunded after your vacation.
  4. Make a plan and book meetings for August ->! Normally, it’s easier to get meetings (and meeting rooms!) booked now. Leave the first day after the vacation free of meetings. You will need that day (or two) to get up to speed!
  5. Delegate work to your colleagues. Go through your to-do list. Can anything be done by your colleagues, while you are away. Trust your team 🙂
  6. Activate your auto-reply! Be clear about your period of absence, contact information to colleagues at work and your phone number in case of emergency. If you work in an international environment, it can be good to explain three weeks of the Norwegian national paralysis called fellesferie. Check out this article from the LA Times! Norwegians abandon their post for fellesferie!

Have some great days at work, before a well deserved time off! Remember, you have longed for this vacation. Make it count!

Better to work extra now, than at the beach!

Cecilia :*

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Do You Know The Young Executive Of The Year?

Do you know an up-and-coming leader? A young leader who is known for his/her leadership skills and talent? Maybe it’s your boss. Maybe it’s someone in your management team. Maybe it’s YOU!

The Podium – Young Executive of the Year 2015

Young Executive of the Year 2015

In February, I was invited to the Young Executive Award 2015. The conference was much more than the award. Interesting speeches and plenty of networking. Check out my talks with three of the candidates!  It became the women’s night. Three highly talented women entered the winners’ stand.  I was lucky, to be the first one, to talk to the winner, Ingeborg Morken, head of sales, marketing and product management at Fjordkraft. Check out the winner interview!

At the end of this post, you see how you can participate!

Too Late, but I Got The Chance!

To take part in the Young Executive of the Year, you must be under 40 years old. Since I am 41, I’m no longer young and promising. 😉 Therefore, I was very happy, when I was given the opportunity to go through the test and get valuable feedback! The organizer of the award, Assessit, invited me to do the full examination.

Of course, I said – Yes! My blog is dedicated to young leaders (and experienced leaders who needs some new inspiration)! A perfect match!

The Online Tests!

The assessment consists of a 180 degree evaluation and face-to-face business cases. My boss and my employees at Deloitte and I did some online tests before the live business case (role play). The purpose of the tests were to get an overview of my leadership competency, ability and show how my boss, my employees and I rated me.

You can find out more about the process and the tests here!

I found the tests thorough and good. All questions are well tested and based on research. The concept is unique, when it comes to leadership evaluation.

I did some online tests from my “home office”! Please, don’t disturb!

The Case Day!

This week, I did the face-2-face business cases. I didn’t have time to get nervous. It was a normal busy morning with the twins. But when I sat down with two evaluators, I could feel my stomach turning upside-down. Help! What have I said yes to? Fortunately, I calmed down fast. They were super nice and explained what would happen the next four hours.

Young Executive
CEO and partner Trond Myhrvold and partner Trude Osa from Assessit explaining me the process! Photo: Assessit

First, I was given a case. I sat alone for 25 minutes and prepared a presentation for a top executive meeting. The case was easy to understand. Time went fast, but I had time to do a little rehearsal for myself, before I went back to the evaluators.

We simulated a meeting. The business case was a role play. We all went 100 % into our roles.

Second, no time to rest. A new business case was coming up. Another 35 minutes of preparation. Then a role play meeting with an employer.

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In action with the role play, making my presentation for the top manaagement of the case company! Photo: Assessit

After the two role plays, I realized that this is not only about testing and getting results and feedback. This is about training and practicing my leadership skills in a safe environment!

People is sports, train for and simulate their competitions. Why shouldn’t leaders do the same?

The Evaluation

The four hours went fast. Suddenly, it was time for the wrap up, evaluation and a discussion. Trond and I discussed the results from the online testing, supplemented with the evaluators feedback from the role plays. I really liked, that we had a good hour on this part. It was time to reflect and understand my strengths and weaknesses as a leader.

I left Assessit at noon, but my self-evaluation continued in my head for the rest of the day. Many of the findings were known, but some new areas were exposed.

Young Executive_report
The Report – the story about my leadership style :)

How Can You Participate?

The candidate must be under 40, have been in the position for a minimum of 12 months and have at least five employees/project members.

You can enter the Young Executive Award, by being nominated by your boss. Or you can also nominate yourself! Either way, you do need a letter of recommendation from your company.

Do you have a talented young leader at your firm?

  • You can make your nomination by using this link

–> Online registration!

Are YOU a talented young leader?

  • Ask your boss or the HR department to nominate you! You can share this blog post with them, as a hint 😉
  • You can nominate yourself! And to all you talented female leaders! – It is perfectly fine to nominate yourself. Men do!

–> Online registration!

Do you know someone who might be a talented young leader?

Lucky you! This is very easy. Just enter this website and submit your tips!

Spread the word! Please feel free to share this blog post in your social media! 

What’s In It For You?

Some might be triggered that this is a prestigious award. It is an honor to be nominated. And an even greater achievement to be one of the 100 chosen ones, who will be downsized to 10, to three and finally one winner.

Still, I would say, that the biggest value was that I:

  • Got a wide evaluation and feedback from people I work with every day
  • Got a greater awareness of my strengths and weaknesses
  • Got the possibility to train in a safe environment
  • Got feedback and advice from professional coaches
Young Executive-2
Deep concentration working on my case! Photo: Assessit

Overall, it was like a leadership vitamin pill, which boosted my possibility to improve myself as a leader. In fact, the evaluation has already made me take some action.

Please feel free to share this blog post in your social media!

Have a great week! Only two weeks until an awaited summer vacation! 🙂


Cecilia :*


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10 Steps To Achieve Your Goal In One Year!

Yesterday, I shared my story about my plan and steps, that I have carried out over the last 365 days!

Today, it is your turn to take the first steps. Start walking! 😉

Photo: Lindsay Henwood,

Imagine June 2017

Take a break. Reflect! Where do you see yourself in one year? What is your dream, your purpose, your goal? If you want to make things happen, you better start today!

This are my advices for you and your next 365 days!

  1. Take time to reflect on where you are in your life! Like many, I use sports, like running or cycling, to clear my mind. Or do as I did last Sunday. I had a strategy meeting with myself! Just me and my coffee cup for three hours! A mind map, to sort out your ideas, can be a good tool!
  2. You must be passionate about your new project. Your passion will be your most important source of energy to keep going!
  3. Set a goal, make a plan! Don’t set to many goals. Keep it simple. Develop a high level plan on what you want to achieve. Make a concrete step-by-step plan for the next three months and next four weeks. I wrote down 3-5 weekly tangible activities, in order to move forward.
  4. Fit your project into your daily schedule. I strongly believe that you must know, when during your busy day to work on your project. You have to make some sacrifices. I focus on writing, when the twin boys are sleeping (instead of doing house work ;)). Sometimes I go to a local coffee shop for 2-3 hours to focus and to get new inspiration.
  5. Make sure your closest support you! My Alexander has never complained about my blog project. He helps me and he gives me honest feedback!
  6. Don’t let failures, negative feedback or comments take you down! I have received negative comments. Some have made me sad and insecure. I shake them off! Failures are important steps to success!
  7. Prepare yourself for a bumby ride! When tough times hit you. Slow down, take a step back. Where do you go from here? Then continue, start rolling and go ahead with full speed!
  8. Be true to your goal and values! There will be times, when you will doubt your goal and your work. It might be tempting to change path, in order to achieve what comes easy. If something seems impossible, it’s only because you haven’t found a solutions yet.
  9. Never give up! 
  10. Celebrate! Be proud and share milestones with the people who are close to you!

I will applaud every step you take towards June 2017, 2018..2020! Take your first steps today! No need to wait until tomorrow!

Tell me! What’s your plan for the next 365 days! Maybe, I can help you along the way!

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Tell me your plan for the next 365 days! Foto: Ingar Næss / Deloitte AS


Have a terrific week!

Did you enjoy my post? Feel free to share it in your social media!


Cecilia :***


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Where Do You See Yourself In One Year?

Looking ahead, one year feels like a long time. Looking back, it feels like one year ago was like yesterday. Days come and go, and boom! 365 days have passed. Are you realizing, that this is your life passing by?

Ask yourself – where do you see yourself in one year?

Look ahead – where do you see yourself in one year?

365 days and counting..

The one and only Steve Jobs said:

“I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”

Have you ever done this? I advice you, to do it! Too many, let days pass on without taking any action. An even worse, are you one of those who complain about your career, your weight, your spouse! Stop whining!

If you want to meet the person, who can change your life. Have a look in the mirror!

My last 365 days

One year ago, I was at home with my half-year old twins. I met a colorful, smiling woman on the street. I just knew her briefly, but we had a chat. Why was she passing by our house? What was her new job, that she was so excited about?

The great Christina Fraas told me that she working for a newly established blog company. Our short conversation lasted for less than five minutes. But she made me curious. She made me start thinking. She made me start taking action!

A couple of weeks later, I found myself in a totally new territory. I was detailing my vision and plan for a leadership blog.

My dream was not new, but my dream would have stayed as dreams, if I didn’t take some action. I started to crawl and eventually walk. I set a goal. I made a plan. I was not in a hurry. I wanted to do things right, rather than doing it fast. The first steps are always the hardest. This are some of my steps!

1) I set some clear goals! Some are so crazy, I cannot even tell you. But I will share them, when we achieve them ;). Then I detailed a plan. A high level plan for the next 12 months. A more detailed for the nearest 3 months. Then three-five weekly activities the coming weeks!

2) I made a secret blog and started writing! I didn’t know if I liked blogging. 🙂

3) I started writing! 1, 2, 3 posts… This is post no. 101!

4) I went public! From Hawaii, on the other side of the world, I launched this blog on September 10 2015!

Living Leadership & Life. SUPing during the day, blogging during the evening!

5) I searched new inspiration. You know, I love TED Talks.

6) I bought a camera. I test, try and learns from the pro bloggers!

7) I explored social media. I re-launched my Instagram account. These days, I am launching my LeadershipLife SnapChap account! Please follow, if you like this blog! Username “leadershiplife”

8) I have to take a stand. I have to reflect. I have to be honest with myself! Hopefully, I become a better leader and person.

9) I have said Yes! – to new opportunities, one of them was the Iceland adventure!

10) I am an idealist. My blog is dedicated to young up-coming leaders and experienced leaders looking for inspiration.

Foto: Ingar Næss / Deloitte AS

Bottom line. I’m having fun! And I took some action! I felt that my life as a twin mother and a women with a business career was great, but not enough. I needed a project that was mine. My passion project!

I am ever so grateful for you taking time to read my blog posts. My readers are my biggest inspiration!

Stay tuned for tomorrow. I will share my best advice for you to take some action!


Love you all,

Cecilia :*


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10 Habits To Boost Your June Energy!

What happened? In April, I looked forward to a sunny May and June, with a lot of quality family time, time to meet friends for some wine and dine and working out.

Today, I look back on one family beach visit, one wine and dine evening with friends and a lot of working hours. Soaked in deadlines, I must admit that I was naive! Everybody wants to finish their work before the summer vacation, and everybody wants to have a June summer party!

I had to ask myself – How do I recharge my batteries fast? Have can I live my diverse life in small doses?

Busy business twin time!

5 Habits That Will Boost Your Energy!

1) Work-out! Being active and working out is my drug. Get up in the morning and do it before work! I KNOW! It is so hard to get out of bed! Imagine your joy, when you are done! Nothing beats the good and proud feeling of having worked out before work.

Morning yoga – the best start of the day!

2) Go to bed early, get up early! At 9-10 pm, I start my evening routine. Success doesn’t sleep in the morning! I never set an alarm clock, since I am lucky to have two toddlers who wake my up around 6 am every day.

3) Take breaks during your busy day! No one can work all day long! Have lunch with your colleagues, cycle to work or spend time with your kids. I try to log-off 100 % from I get home and until the boys are sleeping. My experience is that I am more productive if I take some breaks.

An ice cream break can save your day and boost your energy!

4) Have sex! It feels a bit awkward to bring up sex on a leadership blog. Yet, it is an important energy source. And very important, in order to keep a healthy marriage!

5) Have fun with your friends! But not every night! So far in May- June, I have had one very fun and great night out with friends. We had some drinks. We went to a concert. We went to bed late! (And I had to get up at 6 am…)

Ready for a night out in Bergen!

5 Habits That Will Drain Your Energy!

1) Staying up late zapping the TV or surfing social media. Zap off. Log off! Go to bed and get some sleep!

2) Too much alcohol and too little water! ! A glass of wine in the sunset is great. A bottle will ruin your tomorrow! Number 1 and 2 in my To Do list will be difficult and eat your energy level out! On the flip side, water is essential for your energy level. Make a habit of bringing a water bottle every day!

3) Checking your phone after 11 pm! Make a habit of leaving your phone outside the bedroom! Your brain needs time to relax.

4) Skipping breakfast or eat junk food! You are what you eat. A roller coaster blood sugar level will increase your feeling of fatigue.

5) Saying Yes to everything! I am working on this one! It is perfectly okay to say No to invitations and new tasks!

Make saying no your habit! But always yes to my little ones!

Final Words

Finally, I must share a big celebration! This is my blog post number 100!!!!! One year ago, I started my work on this blog! I want to use this opportunity to share my deepest gratitude to you guys, my readers! Thanks for reading my blog posts, giving me feedback and motivating me to inspire others!

This blog is also an important energy source! It forces me to reflect, relax and take a stand!

Have a fantastic June weekend! I have some busy weeks ahead of me. But I count the days until our summer vacation! Stay tuned, I will tell you more about our plans! Luckily, I have found my energy resources to keep on going!

Hey! Do you know someone who needs to boost the energy level? Pleas feel free to share my blog post!


Warm summer smiles,

Cecilia :*



The World of Sports, A Man’s World?

Close your eyes. Imagine….the opening of the XXVI Olympic Winter Games 2032 in Oslo. The newly elected IOC president has just opened the games. Her opening remarks are broadcasted to more than three billion viewers. Athletes from all over the world are walking down the main street Karl Johan, waving to the engaged audience.

The IOC president is accompanied by the top executives, men and women, from the eight winter sports federations. The new FIFA president is invited to the winter capital of the world. She’s from the African continent and is not used to the cold weather. She shivers as she exhales the frosty air. The president of the World Snowboard Federation hands her his jacket. They rise and join the singing crowd!

Photo:, IBU World Championships Biathlon

Open your eyes. Was there something weird about your dream? Not really. It is 2032! We all know that gender inequality in sports expired two years ago!

24 intense hours in Bergen!

This week, I attended a round-table debate in Bergen, Norway. It was hosted by two ministers from our government, the Minister of Culture and Sports Linda Hofstad Helleland and the Minister of Children and Equality Solveig Horne.

I had looked forward to this meeting for weeks! I felt really humble, when I met the other participants. Great women with a tremendous amount of experience.

The round-table debate. The football president from Sierra Leone Isha Johansen sharing her groups opinions!

Anita L. De France, the first woman the be elected a vice president of the IOC executive board. Isha Johansen, the president of the Sierra Leonean Football Association. Kristin Helle, director of strategic partnerships from UN Women. Kristin Kloster Aasen, the 1. vice president of the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic committee and Confederation of Sports. Guri Hetland, CEO of Trondheim 2021 and coach. Dominique Niyonizigiye, responsible for the gender equality program in the IOC. Tove Moe Dyrhaug, managing director, Rosenborg Football Club. Karen Marie Ellefsen, a “living legend” sports journalist from Norwegian Broadcasting.  Ruth Holdaway, CEO of Women in Sports. Sarah Lewis, secretary general from FIS. Birgit Skarstein, paralympic athlete and world champion. Runa Møller Tangstad, a young leader from the Youth Olympic Games 2016.

A warm meeting between two rowers, paralympian and world champion Birgit Skarstein and olympic medal winner Anita De Frantz

For 24 hours, we shared experiences and stories. We got to know each other, had serious discussion and some good laughs. Finally, we met for a basketball match, coached by the Marco Elsafadi.

Check out the Joint Statement at the end of this blog post!

The Minister of Children and Equality Solveig Horne, coach and role model of the year Marco Elsafadi and the Minister of Culture and Sports Linda Hofstad Helleland  – ready for some action

The leadership of sports – a man’s world

We all love sports! It’s a world language. No matter gender, ethnicity, age or religion, we have fun together, playing or watching. Yet, looking at the numbers reflecting who controls the world of sport, on a national and international level, it’s a man’s world.

The facts!

  • Only 41 out of 404 presidents and secretary generals in the world of sports are women.
  • At the latest FIFA congress, two out of 207 voting members were women.
  • Norway is in the world lead when it comes to gender equality, but in sports we are lagging behind other industries.
  • Studies made by Women in Sports in UK, show that women’s sport sponsorship accounted for only 0.4% of total sports sponsorship between 2011 and 2013.
  • Studies made by Tucker Center at the University of Minnesota, show that women are 40 % of all sports participants. But they only get 4 % of all sport media coverage. In addition, the sports women are presented in more sexually provocative poses, compared to the men.

The organizational structure of sports are defined and created by men. Leadership positions attract more men, than women. Some claim that the working hours (often evenings and weekends) and amount of traveling, if you are a top executive on a national or international level, scare women off. Some of these barriers are real, others are in our minds.

If your husband can work with sports during some weekends, why can’t you? I guess you already are investing a lot of hours into sports, but doing other tasks.

In many countries and organizations, we have glass ceilings. Some places a concrete roof! Many of the women in top executive position are super tough. They just went for it, and some didn’t crash through any ceilings!

I strongly believe that we need to break some ceilings, in order to create a greater diversity. By diversity, I mean gender, ethnicity, age and background.

Why does the world of sports have a problem?

Too little diversity on the top executive level is negative for the world of sports.

The index provider MSCI presented a study in 2015. 1.643 companies had been analyzed. The findings showed a 36 % higher return on equity, when MSCI compared organizations with strong female leadership with organizations without women at the most senior levels. I claim that these results also goes for to sport organizations.

Diversity is top executive positions is good for the financial bottom line.

Sport organizations and events will, eventually, be less attractive to sponsors. A recent example is the demand from the sponsor of the Oxford / Cambridge boat race. The sponsor demand was unequivocal:

Move the women’s race to the championship course on the Tideway alongside the men’s and give both equal funding or the deal is off. 

I wish more sponsors made these kind of demands! If the top management is a silver fox blazer brigade discriminating women in sport. Make demands or move your money elsewhere.

By not including women in the top executive positions, we don’t fulfill the potential of the population. I am sure that more women in top executive positions, is crucial to increase the recruitment and development of better condition for girls and women, all levels, all ages, as athletes, judges or coaches.

Skjermbilde 2016-05-28 kl. 22.05.28
The Norwegian Snowboard Association ran the PowderPuff Girls project for years, increasing the number of women in political, organizational and technical roles

A priority in the C-suite…

As for any big strategic change, gender equality must be a priority, for men and women, in the C-suite (a corporation’s most important senior executives). There must be a political will from the top. Strategies must be decided upon and be followed up. Laws and policies must be changed. Leaders must walk the talk.

The IOC has put forward the strategic initiativ, the 2020 Agenda. Gender equality is a stand alone goal, but also an integrated goal integrated into the other strategic development goals. Now, it is up to IOC president Thomas Bach to make sure his initiative gets implemented, and does not end up as dusted “paper tiger”.

We need more leaders like the Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, who named a gender balanced cabinet “because it’s 2015”.

Mr/mrs CEO, you don’t know where to start? Check out the Checklist for change, published by Women In Sports!

The Minister of Culture and Sports Linda Hofstad Helleland and and Kristin Kloster Aasen, the 1. vice president of the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic committee

..but we can all start in our backyard

Our minister of children and equality Solveig Horne said it perfectly right, we can all start cleaning up our backyard.

If you are you already in a top executive position, make diversity a priority and walk the talk. It is a danger that CXO women can be dancing on the glass ceiling and not recognize the need to work longterm and include women with other leadership skills and personalities.

Are you a mother supporting your kids in their daily sport activities. You take them to training. You clean their football shirt. You wax their snowboard. You make and sell waffles. You are already putting in many hours. Transform these hours into leadership of your local club. You make a difference for the local generation in your neighborhood.

Can we make an agreement, sister?

Since I came home, I have been thinking about how I can contribute. My blog is an obvious channel. I also want to get involved in my local community as my twin boys are growing up. I also hope, I can continue to contribute in the follow-up work from the round-table meeting.

How about you? Can we make an agreement, sister?

Next time someone ask you to a take on a board position (even if it the position as the chair person), say Yes!

Apply to that vacant interesting leader position in a sport organization. And if they don’t ask you! Just ask for it!

Lean into to the world of sports! Join the movement. Lean in, because we need your competence and perspectives! It all starts with the small steps.

No woman can change the world alone. But single actions or comments can change someones life.

You can make some ripples in a deep and wide ocean. Together, we can make some waves and change the landscape of sports! Diversity creates a better future for the world of sports!

We don’t have to wait for 2032. The journey is happening, but we must speed it up!

Women and men, mothers, fathers or any engaged soul, lean into to the world of sports! We need you all!


Have a great and active Sunday!


Feel free to share this blog post, in your social media! 


Cecilia :*

The joint statement from the round-table meeting in Bergen!

Skjermbilde 2016-05-29 kl. 16.35.24

Warning! 15 Quotes From Steve Jobs That Will Change Your Life!

We all love him! The creative genious! The co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Apple! The pioneer who never gave up! It’s almost five years since he passed away, but his legacy lives, both in our daily products and way of thinking.

These are my 15 favorite Steve Jobs quotes.


The 15 quotes!

1) People with passion can change the world for better!

2) Stay hungry. Stay foolish! (Stanford University Commencement Adress, 2005)

3) Sometimes life is going to hit you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith! (Stanford*)

4) Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice! (Stanford*)

5) Your time is limited. Don’t waste it living someone else’s life. (Stanford*)

6) I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No‘ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something. (Stanford*)

7) You think focusing is about saying ‘Yes!‘ Focusing is about saying ‘No.‘ And when you say ‘No,‘ you piss off people! (Apple WWDC Closing Keynote, 1997)

8) That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex, you have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. (BusinessWeek, May 25, 1998)

9) Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations. (I, Steve: Steve Jobs In His Own Words, 2001)

10) Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower. (The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs, 2001)

11) I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.

12) My favorite things in life don’t cost any money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time. (Playboy, February, 1985)

13) Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful … that’s what matters to me. (The Wall Street Journal, May 25, 1993)

14) The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you’ve found it.  (Stanford*)

15) Here’s to the crazy ones — the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things. They push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do. (Apple Computer Ad, 1997)


* Check out the legendary speech at Standford University in 2005!


In the memory of a legend! Have an inspirational day!


Cecilia :*


Women in sports! Lean in!

I have an exciting day ahead of me. I’m in Bergen! Some months ago, I was invited by the minister of culture and sports to a round-table debate concerning women in top positions within sports! You don’t say no to a minister! So, here I am!

Last year, I wrote a chronicle in a daily news paper in Norway. The theme was Women in sports – Lean in! I am reposting it today in English! Happy reading!

Today’s special! Leadership and Life Snap Chat!

If you want to follow my next 24 hours at the round-table debate, add my new SnapChat account Leadership and Life!



Women In Sports! Lean In! (Published in Dagsavisen June 15, 2015)

The board of directors in The Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sports has a good female representation, but the percentage of women in executive positions in sports politics is decreasing. The president of the Norwegian Football Association, stated in June 2015, that we must use gender quotas more. I do not believe that this is the only strategy. Organizations must facilitate the long-term development of both technical, administrative and political leaders. Perhaps those who have been in a top executive position for a “lifetime” should know when it is time to let go, and let others take over. Women must give themselves and other women support, and perhaps a kick in the butt.


A personal story

A friend of mine recently contacted me, telling me that she was asked to take a position on the board of directors in a sports organization. The election committee representative told her that she was asked primarily because she was female, and that they had to fill the women’s quota. She is, in my opinion, very much qualified for the position, but the fact that they were required fill the women’s quota seemed more important than her qualifications.

For years, I have been interested in increasing the percentage of female leaders and being a role model myself, both in the world of sports and in my job as a partner in Deloitte.

During the 2000’s, The Norwegian Snowboard Federation conducted the project PowderPuff Girls. Three young sports leaders wanted more female leaders, judges, TD’s etc. The project was started on their own initiative. After the project had made some progress, the board was asked for support, and the association contributed by providing facilitation. The project was quickly recognized by the entire community, and received a lot of attention. The result was more women in various positions, such as several potential board members and one president.

In order to get more women into board and top executive positions, both women and the organization must facilitate. I do not have the solution, but I do have some thoughts and input.


Organizations should:

  • Make sure that election committees have a diversity, when it comes to gender, age and ethnicity.
  • Plan long-term, and identify female leader talents early on. Facilitate and make sure that women are challenged in terms of tasks and roles. Women are often evaluated in terms of what they have achieved, while men are often evaluated in terms of what their potential is. Be aware of that, the next time you assess candidates!
  • Internal women projects should as far as possible be run by resources with a strong inner motivation, vs. board-decided top-down projects. The projects should involve both women and men. The project owner should be in the top management.
  • Show trust by facilitating for the projects, instead of managing and controlling, by giving economic support, assist with administration and communication.
  • Have an open dialogue about the top executives internally, administratively and politically. Today’s top executives should continuously consider whether it is time to step down. New and younger talents, both women and men, could be what is necessary to take the organization to the next level.

Women should:

  • Do not doubt your qualifications! The nomination committee has done this assessment, and there is a reason for why they asked you. Look around. It is not as if today’s top executives are superhuman.
  • Lean in! Ask someone to suggest you as a candidate, or do it yourself. Show your strengths and make yourself available. Update your CV on LinkedIn, register your name in board databases etc.
  • Promote yourself! Remember that the position is not secure even if the committee nominates you. Get influential people to support your candidacy. The reelected board member Marcela Bustos is a very good example of how to do the latter.
  • Set boundaries and delegate! Clearly state what your available time and prioritization is.
  • Be part of the top executive community! Use your relations to other top executives in order to receive advice and discuss matters.
  • Create your own leadership style! Do not attempt to copy your predecessor. Take advantage of the opportunity. Norwegian sports needs diversity, including the top executives.

I Can’t Believe TEDx Picked Me!

Some weeks ago, I attended TEDx Oslo. A truly inspirational day! Where ever I looked, people in the audience had stars in their eyes. This is religion! For us, this was Christmas eve, New year’s eve and a birthday celebration, all in one day!

The challenge – Be the Change

When all the great TEDx talkers had left the stage. It was time for the audience to lean in. A contest was launched. 10 people would be picked to be a part of the Be The Change program. The challenge penetrated my heart. I had to do, what must be done to be a part of this program. I caught the challenge on my camera, before I ran off!



My Application For The TEDx 2016 Challenge, Be The Change

Below I have copied parts of my application.

1) TEDx Oslo 2016 – the most inspirational talk and why!

I have always admired women standing out from the crowd. Women with a clear message, challenging the established. For me, the 10 points went to Elise By Olsen. I think everybody in the audience were surprised when a young women with pink hair entered the stage. Elise gave us a clear message and new insight.

Elise is a true role model. She is an important role model for her generation Z. And she is different, giving us a diversity in role models. You can watch her TEDx talk here -> YouTube – Elise By Olsen – TEDxOslo

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Photo: screenshot from YouTube

2) Where in life am I today?

Many times I have been the first (or youngest woman) in new positions, both in my business life and being a sports politician. I am a twin mother, a business leader in a male dominated industry, a spouse, a globetrotter and a blogger. I use my blog to show the world that you CAN be a leader and have a life.

Role models is key part of my inner motivation. I strongly believe, that there are too few female role models in top executive positions, both in numbers and diversity. Some diversity might be out there, but different female CXO role models are difficult to spot.

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From my blog post – My battle between motherhood and career

Media loves to expose the extreme versions. They call them Taarnfrids! A caricatured super business woman running in high heels. She is closing business deals on her cell phone, while leaving her sad looking son, dressed in a suit and bike helmet, in a locker at the central station. Or CXOs who did not take any maternity leave. I do not condemn their choices. There is no one size fits all. We need more real role models!

3) Where do I want to be in one year?

A secret! 😉 I will not share this part of my application! Stay tuned, and follow my journey! 😉

The wait

I waited and waited. I checked and checked my e-mail. The decision was postponed. But finally, Thursday morning, it was there! It is a fact! I am one of the ten lucky ones to be at part of the Tedx Oslo Be the Change program!

Ready the a TEDx change!

I hope you will follow my “Be The Change” journey here on my blog!


Cecilia :*


So Angry! I Did Not Sleep For Three Nights!

A friend of mine just called. She had attended a meeting, where the person who asked for the meeting made her feel invisible and ridicule. He used well-known suppression techniques. She knew they had different interests. She had prepared her message well. But she got totally paralyzed, when he arrived late, gave a monologue and left the meeting!

I Could Not Sleep!

Suppression techniques! That’s what we call them. I have experienced it so many times. My worst experience was a negotiation some years ago. The top management did not show up to meetings or responded to our calls. They made us feel invisible. Whatever we presented, it was not good enough or they just ignored us.

Normally, I am a cool cat. But a lot was at stake. I felt insecure, frustrated and angry! I laid awake night after night or I would go snowboarding to reflect.  Why didn’t I do this or say that? How do we deal with it?

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Time for reflection after having experienced suppression techniques

The five suppression techniques!

Doing research for this blog post, I found out that the expression suppression techniques, hersketeknikker, came from a Norwegian, the psychologist and philosopher Ingjald Nissen. He analyzed it in 1945 his book Dictatorship of the psychopath, where he discussed the German catastrophe. (Source: Wikipedia).

The expression was later popularized by the Norwegian politician and feminist Berit Ås. She defined five general suppression techniques.

  1. Invisibility – when you are forgotten, overruled or bypassed. Just like my negotiation experience.
  2. Ridicule – when you get laughed at, mocked or compared with animal behavior.
  3. Retention of information – when you do not get the information you are supposed to or bypassed.
  4. Condemnation – whatever you do it is not good enough. You do your best, and the response is always too passive or too ongoing. I would say that Sheryl Sandberg’s statement about women, unfairly, being called “bossy” is a clear suppression technique.
  5. Inflict of blame and guilt – you get ridiculed, humiliated, exposed and defamed. One example is “Don’t worry your pretty face”.

(Source: Wikipedia)


How can awareness of suppression techniques be your weapon?

Do I use suppression techniques? Oh yes! I have retained information. I have made people feel invisible. But I never ridiculed or made people feel guilty. I guess my strategy is smaller actions. Like many women using suppression techniques, mine are often “backstage”.

  • I am very aware of meeting set-ups. Where and how do I sit at the table. Don’t sit at the far end. Sit next or opposite to the most influential person in the room. Or place yourself to be the most influential person in the room. Elevate your chair. Stand up if you make presentations. Invite people to your home ground, if you want to win the battle.
  • I am very aware of how I speak. Do I address someone by their last name or surname? I inform consciously, what and in which sequence. I am aware of how I use my voice.
  • I am very aware of how I act. A typical female suppression technique is to put my hand on someones shoulder or arm when I make a statement. A Norwegian top politician, today – the secretary of the treasury Siv Jensen, once asked if she could kiss her opponent, today – NATO secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg. I have not done this yet :).


I hope this blog post has increased your awareness. In my next blog post, I will share my best advice on how to deal with suppression techniques!


Have a wonderful Sunday!


Cecilia :*