Markus Amanto

Growing up, as a child and teenager I often felt unworthy of taking up space in groups and relationships. I generally had difficulty understanding how to behave in groups and relationships. Several years later, I went for an evening walk together with Are Holen, who was the trainer for a crisis management and emotional debriefing course I took in Norway. I still remember the very spot below the ski jumping hill in Lillehammar where he asked me why I was doing the work I was doing, which already then was the development of teams and leaders.

My then 28-year-old brain quickly blurted out that "I want to help other people", whereupon Are repeated the question. He had a look that felt like it was looking straight into my very core, not cold and threatening but loving and challenging. I felt that there was no point in trying to hide or try to polish the truth. After trying a couple of other more or less beautiful reasons for my career choice, it hit me. Like one of those solid and impactful hits of spiritual and emotional development that we sometimes need. I had worked with what I did to help myself.

My career choice was my way of trying to solve the riddle of my childhood, meaning how I could feel worthy of taking up space in groups and relationships, and how should I behave in them to feel good. Then and there below the place where the ski jumpers in the 1994 Olympics had competed for their medals, the realization dawned of me that I could actually work with whatever I wanted. I felt that I was good enought, I felt that I had learned to relate to others and that I had also learned a lot about leading others. I remember thinking with a great sense of freedom that I could actually become a plumber.

Markus writingMarkus exerciseMarkus celebratesSmoothieMarkus in a shirtGames and love

After considering various options, I came to the conclusion a few days later that I wanted to continue working with developing people, leaders and teams. Not because I myself needed it anymore to be OK, but because it was simply the most fun thing I knew to work with. More than 20 years later, it's still the thing that gives me the most joy professionally. To see a person arrive at a new insight, to see a leader grow with the right combination of support and inspiration, to see teams find new joy in their collaboration and new levels in their results.

There are several things I find fun, such as enjoying outdoor activities in nature, both near and further away. Rapaselet a the heart of the Sarek National Park in the north of Sweden has an extra magical place in my heart. I like to move, both running, various sports and weight training as well as sitting with my guitar and creating my own compositions. I enjoy spending time with other people, thank you childhood for your lessons, and one of my favorite ways to do that is to play different board games. Health is both fun and important, and while it can have many different dimensions, I soon start to miss my morning green smoothie if I'm away from my Vitamix® blender, no advertising intended, for too long.

Markus with laptopMarkus with guitarAll that is fun, but back to what is most fun professionally. To support leaders and teams in different ways. On a deeper level, for me, it's about spreading love, joy and peace. I have had the privilege of doing that in several different ways.

As UGL trainer during over 30 UGL courses. As a team building facilitator up among the trees and out in nature during my early years in the industry just southwest of Washington in the USA.

With Kongsberg Automotive who for several years hired me to hold leadership courses for their managers in North America, Asia and Europe where with their multicultural groups I felt that I could really contribute on several levels and my own Swedish-Finnish-Russian blood found a sweet spot.

Creative visualizations with a management team in Munich to find their way forward.

The group of twenty-year-old new managers in Wuxi near Shanghai who refused to give up when they repeatedly failed to solve an experiential learning challenge I gave them. Two hours later they achieved their desired success, I had to change my program and the conversation afterwards yielded so much more than if everything had gone "according to plan".

Sitting with a group of employees in the grass on an island in the Stockholm archipelago overlooking the water and talking about what is really important until they got to know each other better so they could move forward in their collaboration with more work joy and higher productivity.

There have also been many memorable moments over 25 years with other managers, leaders and employees in organizations such as Stockholm University, KPMG, ALMI, Tetra Pak, Astra Zeneca, Pitney Bowes, the Church of Sweden, Nasdaq and others.

Today, it gives me great joy to know that satisfied participants are studying my online courses in English and Swedish in places such as Bangladesh, Romania and Ängelholm, often while I myself am sleeping. A lot of it is self-study and I don't need to be there because the film, text or checklist is, but I wouldn't want to end up meeting people live as well. Regardless of whether it is face to face or via a convenient video call. It is that thing about people, relationships and leadership being so much fun.

Markus with hiking boots