Peter Jakobsen is a self-taught leader. His latest activities include building Dr Smood in New York and Miami. Dr Smood is a healthy and organic boutique cafe concept founded upon a modern business concept and run on solid principles. Through is work, Peter holds the newest insights about the young and future work force.

What is most important to focus on for future leaders?

– You must understand yourself to be able to understand others. To have self-insight and self-control is vital. You can’t change who you are, but you can change how you behave.

– You can’t rely on a ‘one model fits all’. Leadership is always context based. Leaders should be able to navigate amongst different settings, different cultures and different people which is only possible if you have self-insight. If you cannot differentiate between settings, you are one-dimensional and you can be damn successful in that dimension – in one place – but in that place only.

– Be careful when it comes to the present buzz about “authenticity”. I had Japanese visitors last week, and of course I could not be entirely “authentic” around them. Japanese etiquette is all about being polite and sensitive. If I had been as excited and eager as I usually am, they would run for the exits. Self-control and self-discipline is of far better value.

– I believe in three main components within leadership that are equally needed; “the health”, “the love”, and “the vibe”. The health is all about sustainability and about ensuring your employees’ mental and physical well-being. The love is about creating a sense of family feel, trust, respect, and sense of belonging – here we call it togetherness. The vibe is a more undefinable, it should be the magic sweet spot, the anti-corporate attraction that set you and your leadership aside from the grey suited mass!

What characterizes the future work force?

– Millennials are not turned on by hierarchy and they are used to getting answers, preferably fast, with no middle men and “online”. Human Resources and internal communication might as well close down if run in current format.

– As a leader, you can be sure that the work force of the future will let you know when you do anything wrong. You must learn to accept resistance and criticism and embrace the fact that some are smarter, faster and better than yourself.

– If you want long-term, trustful relationships, you must recreate the family concept in a company context.

– You used to be able to live of being a leader, then you could live with being a leader, now you must live for being a leader. People are smart and see right through you.