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From the ski slope to the office chair

by Sara Vogt 04 Jun, 2018

A professional skiing career, 5 world championships and 2 Olympic games, a sports shop, a retail agency and board member of the legendary Swedish cross country race Vasaloppet. Meet Martin Hansson, 43, a man of many trades.

“I am not a leader”, the former professional alpine skier says. Dalskidan, the sports shop in Sälen, Sweden, is a family business and Martin Hansson sees himself as the person bringing in ideas.

After 13 years of Alpine World Cup, Martin Hansson decided to dedicate his full attention to his business Dalskidan, situated in his hometown Sälen. It’s a sunny spring day and we are sat at a small coffee table in his shop. The Swedish ski town is just ending the winter season and it is quiet in the bright and open spaced retail area. Although the snow is still covering the mountains, Sälen town is slowly welcoming spring.

Martin Hansson is not slowing down, though. What you cannot see in the shop itself is all the equipment he provides hotels and ski areas with. This part of the business is expanding and taking up a lot of Martin Hansson’s time at the moment.

His passion for sports also inspired him to become a part of the board of the Vasaloppet, most famous for it’s legendary 90 km cross-country run from Sälen to Mora. “I am not a board professional, but I have the drive”, he says with a smile. As a board member he first got to hear about LOTS® and he had a great learning experience working with the board and senior Lotscoach® Hans Akerblom, planning the way forward for the world known race. (Or rather races. What started with a story about a future king in 1521 is today a row of winter and summer events, attracting around 100 000 people every year.)

“LOTS® brought a structure to our work that we really need”, he says.  “A board like this brings a lot of people with different ideas together and then it is so important to find a common view and also a common language.”

Martin Hansson will also implement what he has learned for his own business. “I just need to find the time”, he says, almost apologizing. And pinpoints the problem most leaders and non-leaders struggle with these days; the time to reflect and the time to learn and progress. “What I really liked though is that LOTS® is so easy to take in and understand, it’s great to see how everyone can learn this and develop.”

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