Marjo Hellman is the founder of Magnetic Executive coaching, which helps high-achieving executives and organizations become the #1 leaders in their field. With her experience in TV news journalism, award-winning consulting and performing on stage, Marjo helps her clients develop the skills and confidence to set themselves and their organizations apart.
Marjo’s clients include Nordic corporations, Formula 1 coaches, banks, government agencies, telecoms and tech companies.
Marjo is a board member at HVS Tennis and an Advisory Board member at the Finnish Tennis Association. Marjo also studied theater at the University of Surrey, London, and Executive Presence at Cornell, USA, and has lived abroad for more than 10 years. She now lives in Helsinki with her family and works globally as an in-demand coach and speaker.
Below we caught up with Marjo to learn a little more about her views on the changing nature of business.
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We are thrilled to have you join us today, let’s start off with a little introduction. Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your company.
Marjo Hellman: I’m an International Executive Communications Coach, CEO, and founder of Magnetic Executive coaching at my company Hellman & Co.
My mission is to help companies and executives leverage magnetic communication so they can become influential leaders in their field and make a meaningful impact in the world. Directors, entrepreneurs and global corporations come to us when they want to learn the in-demand future skills that help them thrive as leaders – and as human beings.
My award-winning communication work includes “Finland Emojis” which is the most successful global PR campaign for Finland to date. My recent venture Finnish Flow coordinates the Finnish business community’s presence at World Economic Forum week in Davos. At Finnish Flow, we have collaborated with global changemakers such as Deepak Chopra, Sadhguru and Bjarke Ingels.
The past few years threw a lot of curve balls into business on a global scale. Based on the experience gleaned in the past couple years, how can businesses thrive in 2023? What lessons have you learned?
Marjo Hellman: Resilience is a must – and as an entrepreneur, you should always be innovating. It’s important to accept that, as a leader, you don’t have all the answers. A modern-day, next-generation leader knows that it’d be foolish to pretend you know everything.
We’ve seen so many unprecedented changes in these past couple of years, from the global pandemic to a war in Ukraine and the energy crisis – that no leader can claim to know how to handle these massive shifts straight from the get-go. It’s very humbling to admit that all of a sudden, we need to rewrite almost every plan.
As leaders, we have had to learn to adapt, learn to empower our teams, engage our stakeholders and look for solutions together, instead of imposing our solutions on others. This, to me, is not a bad thing. The evolution from autocratic leadership to more inclusive, authentic, and empowering next-gen leadership was long overdue.
The pandemic seems to keep on disrupting the economy, what should businesses focus on in 2023? What advice would you share?
Marjo Hellman: Communication is the key to getting everything you want in life – whether it’s a meaningful career or deeper personal relationships. Communication is also the most valuable leadership tool and therefore the one skill you should be investing in in 2023.
According to studies, great communication and social skills are the most valued skills for leaders. It should be your top priority to learn to communicate effectively, from the heart, and with impact.
As a global executive communications coach, I witness the benefits of magnetic communication daily. When you become a magnetic communicator, you are more confident, you have clarity in your message – and this results in a positive outcome in your company culture as well as in your bottom line.
I have a coaching program called Magnetic Executive for this particular reason; to help executives and companies become the number 1 leaders in their field. You can go from anxious to confident in 12 weeks.
How has the pandemic changed your industry and how have you adapted?
Marjo Hellman: The pandemic has increased the speed of digitalization which is good news for my industry. As a global communications coach, it’s now easier for me to work with clients regardless of where they are based. Before the pandemic, Zoom coaching wasn’t always an option. Now it’s often a preferred choice.
What advice do you wish you received when the pandemic started, and what do you intend on improving in 2023?
Marjo Hellman: Don’t expect things to return to “normal” and start thinking ahead. There are many opportunities to expand business globally as we are now used to digital communication tools.
It’s okay not to know what’s coming, so start accepting “not knowing” as the new normal. Not knowing it all makes us more adaptable and forces us to tune-in a bit more. When you can’t find the answers externally, you can turn inwards.
Online business surged higher than ever, B2B, B2C, online shopping, virtual meetings, remote work, Zoom medical consultations, what are your expectations for 2023?
Marjo Hellman: We are not going back to not having these digital tools. They are now essential for business and for our everyday lives. I’m expecting people to start appreciating our time together more.
Before, we would go to the office out of habit, to spend time, not really conversing with each other but just working, mostly on our own, or hanging out in the same space for 8 hours.
Now, we work on the assignments at home and go to the office for valuable meetings and to connect with each other. This means that our time together becomes valued again – we are not taking each other’s time for granted.
How many hours a day do you spend in front of a screen?
Marjo Hellman: Around 5 hours in front of my laptop and 1 hour on social media and maybe around 45 minutes watching a good series on Netflix.
The majority of executives use stories to persuade and communicate in the workplace. Can you share with our readers examples of how you implement that in your business to communicate effectively with your team?
Marjo Hellman: The best leaders are great communicators and great storytellers. If you want to sell anything, you need stories. I often say, “Facts tell, but stories sell” as it’s great advice for my clients.
The reason why stories work so well is because, through the stories, we get to identify with and know the speaker on a more personal level. The audience starts feeling like they “know” the speaker.
So if I told you that one of the reasons you have a blackout while presenting is that you are too much “in your head”, this wouldn’t necessarily be a useful tip for you. But if I told you a true story about when I had a terrible blackout on stage during a theater performance and what caused the blackout, and how I survived it, you would immediately recognise these similar habits in yourself.
Through my experience, you would be able to identify with my experience and learn what not to do next time you are speaking in front of an audience.
Business is all about overcoming obstacles and creating opportunities for growth. What do you see as the real challenge right now?
Marjo Hellman: Right now, the global, unstable economy, climate crisis, and political unrest are the biggest challenges. When I speak with other entrepreneurs anywhere in the world, we all share common ground, as these challenges aren’t local but global.
In a way, it’s comforting to know that you are not alone. And of course, there are always opportunities in crises – you just have to keep your eyes and ears open to spot them.
For me, this has meant creating new future-focused training and workshops that help my clients deal with the current challenges. I aim to answer “what’s coming next” for my clients as they don’t often have the time to be on the pulse with how the world is changing.
As an example, I train clients to spot new opportunities in the metaverse. Our “Towards The Metaverse, Towards New Business Opportunities” – training is always selling out and it’s a great example of the new ways we help clients innovate and recognize new business opportunities during challenging times.
In 2023, what are you most interested in learning about? Crypto, NFTs, online marketing, or any other skill sets? Please share your motivations.
Marjo Hellman: The metaverse is the future of the internet. I believe it’s going to be crucial for executives and companies to be interested and aware of this huge shift. According to the World Economic Forum, more than 1 billion jobs worldwide will likely be transformed by technology by 2030.
It’s also been estimated that the metaverse market opportunity will be $8 billion by 2024 (Bloomberg Intelligence), and $13 trillion by 2030. This huge opportunity shouldn’t be ignored, and I’ve been studying the metaverse and Web3 in every way I can.
Last spring I was invited to join Mission Impact Academy, which is a trailblazing initiative and a re-skilling and upskilling education platform for women in Web3, as a Guest Speaker and coach.
This opportunity led me to create the metaverse training for “metaverse-curious” companies and executives who’d like to know more about the metaverse but don’t know where to start.
We offer the “Towards The Metaverse, Towards New Business Opportunities” training online as well as in-person, so that companies can join the tech-revolution wherever they are in the world. If you don’t want to miss the boat and want to get a head start in the metaverse, this training is a great place to start.
A record 4.4 million Americans left their jobs in September in 2021, accelerating a trend that has become known as the Great Resignation. 47% of people planned to leave their job during 2022. Most are leaving because of their boss or their company culture. 82% of people feel unheard, undervalued and misunderstood in the workplace. Do you think leaders see the data and think “that’s not me – I’m not that boss they don’t want to work for? What changes do you think need to happen?
Marjo Hellman: If you look at the underlying reasons why people don’t like their bosses or their company culture, it’s because of poor communication. “87 % feel unheard, undervalued, and misunderstood”- this is all communication!
The cost of poor communication is huge: The Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) reports that small businesses (100 employees) lose an average of $420,000 per year, and large businesses (100.000 employees) lose $62.4 million per year because of poor communication. On average, the cost of poor communication per employee is $5.000 per year.
When you look at these numbers, the solution is a no-brainer: invest in your communication skills. If you want to keep your star performers, you have to fix your communication first. When your executives become better communicators, it will save the company a huge amount of money, headaches, and resources.
Clear, magnetic, and authentic communication is your key to success and happiness. Better communication is the key to solving problems and getting everything you want in life.
On a lighter note, if you had the ability to pick any business superpower, what would it be and how would you put it into practice?
Marjo Hellman: Communication is my superpower. I will use my superpower even more in 2023 as I’ll prepare for more international speaking engagements – I’m loving all the opportunities to inspire people and help them become more magnetic.
What does “success” in 2023 mean to you? It could be on a personal or business level, please share your vision.
Marjo Hellman: Success to me is joy and freedom. When I feel joy in my work and joy in whatever I do, then that’s success to me. I select the projects I get involved in based on my evaluation of joy and freedom.
Does it give me joy? Will I have freedom? If yes, it’s a go. But ultimately, seeing my family and children happy and joyful is the biggest sign of success.
Jerome Knyszewski, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Marjo Hellman for taking the time to do this interview and share her knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Marjo Hellman or her company, you can do it through her – Linkedin Page
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