Top Interviews: Johan Thorell – Harvard Business School Alumni Hero Image

The way up to the top is different for all of us, but what makes it so special is the length, difficulty, and experience. Johan Thorell, today’s Mobiteam guest, thinks that having the chance to learn and work with most talented people in the field you are developing, is a blessing that can speed up the process and stimulate you to achieve your goal.

This is why we invite you to discover Johan Thorell and his story in a new series of Top Interviews at Mobiteam.

Hi Johan,

Thanks for accepting our invitation, please Tell us a little about yourself. Your background and how did you come to this point?

I usually say that I am a mixture of all the people that I have met in my life as I have always tried to learn and adapt the best traits from the people around me. After pursuing a B.Sc. in International Marketing, I have spent most of my professional career within sales working in various roles for Global brands who are market leaders within their industry.

What I value most from my previous experiences is the fact that I have been able to work with some fantastic product portfolios together with a lot of talented people. In the last 3-4 years, I have focused a lot of attention on studying and learning about the Negotiation-field focusing on how businesses can utilize principles, and conceptional frameworks to get the best deals possible. Going forward I aim to take those learnings and support other companies and individuals who are looking to become more effective in their negotiations.

What is your definition of entrepreneurship?

I believe real entrepreneurship is when you have the ability to sustain your likelihood to continuously drive a successful business. To move with strategic flexibility and agility when you are faced with new challenges or under new circumstances.

What would you say are the top 3 skills that are needed to be a successful entrepreneur? Why?

I would say Commitment, being an opportunist, and adopt a growth mindset.
The most important skill I believe is the ability to adopt a growth mindset. And what I mean by that is that you are able to not let your emotions run the show, but instead always observe and be open-minded about what is going on around you and learn from it. That way you can never fail at anything.

What others see as a failure and what would have stopped them, will allow you to learn from and keep ongoing. That way you can see more clearly all the opportunities that surround you, even when facing adversity. And you need the ability to take advantage of those opportunities and commit yourself by putting in the work to create the best possible outcome.

What individual, company, or organization inspires you most? Why?

The world is full of stories about remarkable people and organizations who do inspiring things. And I have always been very inspired by people who go their own way.

A great example is Greta Thunberg, who in a very short time has shed an even bigger light on one of the toughest challenges the world is facing, with her climate and environmental activism, not because it’s on everyone’s mind, but because it’s the right thing to do. She shows, with great integrity, that no one is too small to make a difference and we all play our part to build a better future.

If you had 5 minutes with the above indiv/ company/ org, what would you want to ask or discuss?

Considering the global impact her activism has had, I would like to discuss whether she is more optimistic about the future today than when she started her activism.

What has been your most satisfying or successful moment in business?

It is difficult to look back and identifying one moment in particular. But one thing I’m proud of is the fact that I, at a relatively young age, have had the opportunity to take on senior, or high-level responsibility, together with the fortune of learning from and working with some of the most talented people in the business is a highlight of my career so far.


What is your technique for staying productive throughout the day?

I have always needed to assess a clear structure for myself and my way of working. Starting with the long-term goals and perspectives, I try to break that down into tangible daily actions that keep me going forward and develop. So I usually put together a clear To-Do list every day which derives from my long-term goals, but I also try to make those actions a process, where everything I do, takes me one step further in reaching my goals and often provides another To-Do Action, and then it’s just a matter of doing the work.

How do you define “being successful”?

For me, it is really an ongoing process, and not connected to a monetary or positional destination. I would consider myself successful if I can live my life on my own terms, meaning that I’m, without exceptions, able to focus on the things I want to focus on, choosing my own struggles and challenges, and controlling the things I can control. Like the saying goes “Between Stimuli and Response lies a choice”. And you are successful if you are able to choose your response based on what makes you most happy in the long run.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

Spend time with my family, preferably outside in nature, as it always makes me relax. I also try to get my daily physical activities in and read at least 2 books per month. Preferably biographies or educational literature.

What are your recommendations for someone who is only starting his corporate or business life?

Always be teachable and open-minded. Try to follow people who you can learn from and do what you can to be open to different perspectives and points of view. Listen more than you talk, and most importantly, believe in yourself and your abilities.

Thank you, Johan, I am sure that your experience and best practices will help our readers to reach their goals easier. Your advice and recommendations are useful and based on real-life challenges that not everybody has the chance to tell a story after going through them.

Mobiteam Top Interviews blog aims to help startups and companies to increase their online presence and acquire a new audience. If you think your story is worthy and interesting enough to be told on Mobiteam, don’t hesitate to contact us – It’s free


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