The Scandinavian Tomte helps reflection and planning for the year ahead

The year 2022 has really challenged our trust experience with the agression war on Ukraine by Russia, the outrageous acts against women in Iran and Afghanistan, the climate challenges that both governments and businesses need to act on, and the sometimes-unethical actions of technical platforms. Edelman has surveyed our world and they call it – The fight for our future.

We need to get back to the culture of the Scandinavian Tomte – Taking care of each other, care for nature and all living – and add a smile to the world. Tomten or Tomtenissen in Scandinavia (the original Santa from the Viking age) is a trusted, servant and humorous leader. This post provides some more insights to the Scandinavian Tomte, characteristics of a trustful leader, insights into systems change made up of peoples actions, and offers you a way to make a closure of the year 2022 and plan for 2023.

AI Assistant about the Tomte

This year we were curious to understand if our new AI Assistant ( as it prefers to be called, the ChatGPT) knew about Tomten, so we asked it to write a poem about the Scandinavian Tomten ;

The tomte is a creature small and neat,
With a pointed hat and twinkling feet. 
He lives amongst the fields and farms,
Protector of the animals and crops.

With a beard of snow and a heart full of cheer, 
The tomte brings joy to those living near.
He’s a mischievous one, full of tricks and play, 
But his kind heart guides him every day.

He watches over the home with care and love, 
Ensuring all is well and nothing goes awry. 
He may hide and play pranks, but his intentions are pure, 
And he brings blessings to those who are sure.

So if you see a tomte, don’t be afraid, 
For he is a creature kind and good. 
He’ll bring you luck and joy all year through, 
This magical being, the Scandinavian tomte

Quite amazing insights and performance…

What could you learn by asking some questions to the OpenAI ChatGPT ?

Additional facts about the trusted Scandinavian Tomten can be found in this earlier blogpost The trusted Santa background check


Trusted Leader Characteristics 

Ultimately trust is a complex and multifaceted concept that is influenced by a variety of factors, and the specific characteristics that contribute to trustworthiness will vary depending on the context and the specific needs and expectations of the team or followers. Some of the more common key characteristic of a trusted leader is

  • Integrity: A trusted leader is honest, ethical, and transparent in their actions and decisions. They follow through on their commitments and hold themselves accountable for their actions.
  • Consistency: Trusted leaders consistently behave in a way that aligns with their values and principles. They are reliable and predictable, which helps build trust with their team or followers.
  • Communication: Trusted leaders communicate openly and transparently, sharing information and listening to the perspectives and concerns of others. They are approachable and responsive, which helps build trust and credibility.
  • Empathy: Trusted leaders are able to understand and relate to the experiences and emotions of others. They show compassion and care for the well-being of their team or followers, which helps build trust and loyalty.
  • Competence: Trusted leaders are skilled and knowledgeable in their field and are able to make informed and effective decisions. They demonstrate their expertise and ability to lead, which helps build confidence and trust in their abilities.

Systems Change are made up of Peoples Actions  

Sometimes we lose sight of the simple fact that systems change are made up of peoples actions. Relationships are the essence and fabric of collective impact. Stanford Social Innovations most read article for 2022 was about “The Relational Work for Systems Change” and includes interesting examples of how systems change involves broader group of people. The approach is structured around

  • Deep Relational Work: Relationships are core to any system. The system that needs change, needs to take part of the change. So the change is facilitated when there is a space created for the work that is viewed by all. As a safe environment where participants can express themselves, connect with others, and experience their common humanity.
  • Cultivating Space for Healing: Experienced traumas are present and needs to be acknowledged and handled. Mediated conversations depends empathy.
  • Serendipity and the Sacred: When working together, serendipity is welcomed and help progress the agenda. Bringing sacred beliefs and rituals, event for non spiritual, establishes common agendas and trust.
  • Inner and Outer Change: Change must alsways include that it comes from within. The individual shifts the collective, the collective shifts the individual.
  • Transforming Power Dynamics: Power imbalances needs to be handled and power distributed to more participants to change the system.

And concludes with the importance of Accessing deep wisdom. We do know, as did Tomten, that as leaders we sometimes need to move us out of our comfort zones. We must remind ourselves that the process is part of the solution, and we must remain open to exploring new and difficult questions to include.


Reflect on the year 2022 and Plan for 2023

To kick-off the reflection and to ensure learning is built into future plans we recommend to explore the Year Compass approach. It can be done on your own, or in groups you relate with.

The Year Compass, originated 2012 and has been used by more than a million people. The Year Compass provides a great way to learn from mistakes, celebrate victories and set out a plan for yourself.

The process is supported by a free booklet with selected questions and exercises. You find the booklet >> HERE

And as a final new year promise, give yourself new passwords for your most critical services!


We need to get back to the culture of the Scandinavian Tomte

We need to ensure we act with integrity, consistency, open communication, empathy and competence. To put relationships in focus. And take care of each other, care for nature and all living – and add a smile to the world.

We simply need to get back to the culture of the Scandinavian Tomte.

This blog post was originally shared at the blog of Digoshen,  and the blog of the Digoshen founder

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