I Said No!

Super Tuesday! This week, my advice is short and might seem simple. Just say no! Still for many of us, saying no can be very difficult!

If you have checked out my Instagram lately, you know that I’m a fan of quotes. A couple of weeks ago, I posted this one:

“I can’t give you a sure-fire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: try to please everybody all the time.”

The famous quote belongs to Herbert Bayard Swope, the first recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Reporting in 1917 (www.goodreads.com).

Say no with style

The following weeks, I had several episodes where friends asked me for advice. One was afraid to burn bridges, if she spoke out how she really felt about a specific subject. Another friend, said yes to everybody. Now, she was running from one task to the other. The days did not have enough hours.

My reply to both – My recipe for failure, try to please everybody!

Photo: Stian Schioldborg, Magenta Studios
Think it over, before you say no! Photo: Stian Schioldborg

The quote is an important reminder! Sometimes, it is perfectly fine to say no or stand up for your opinions. It is normal to feel uncomfortable, when you say no. You feel guilt, especially if have the competence and your heart says: Yes! We are also afraid to be rejected and not asked again.

Most important, it is so easy to say – Yes! It feels so good and everybody are happy! The only problem is that you have too much on your plate already. Now, you added another task to your long list. The people will just be disappointed, when they realize that nothing is happening.

Don’t say maybe, if you want to say no!

When you say no, you have to do it with style, humility and confident. Do not fall into the maybe trap! Show understanding and explain your situation. Practice loud with a colleague or in front of the mirror.

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Don’t say maybe, say no!

These days, I say no to after work and weekend activities. I get invited to several social gatherings a week. It would be great join, but it jams my schedule. Sorry folks, but this twin mother knows her priorities!

Have a great Tuesday! Speak up or say no! I am sure you will feel relieved!

Hilsen Cecilia :*


How to be Successful on Instagram? My IG Challenge!

Time for an Instagram challenge. The jungel of social media can be difficult to get through! We cannot be everywhere. For my leadership and life blog, Facebook and LinkedIn are my main accounts! Nevertheless, lately I have fallen in love with Instagram.

My Instagram Challenge!

A month ago, I did not have that many followers on Instagram. At a meeting with my agency, they told the tough truth – Your Instagram account sucks! It is a mess! – Argh… I needed to step it up! 

With a  broken Instagram heart, I went home! The tough feedback gave me energy, and I challenged myself! I made a strategy and I am sticking to my plan!

The goal – 1000 followers before the end of May!

My old Instagram look!

This is what it used to look like. I just posted a picture now and then, used different filter, without much thought.

old IG

Top five Instagram advice!

I decided to learn from the best. I googled – How to be successful on Instragram? I read many good advices. I look on other accounts. I loved the advice from Huffington post, the Dailtekk and Forbes!

Finally, I decided to follow these five advices:

  1. Make a strategy and stick to it!  I have decided to present two sides of my life on Instagram, leadership and sports! In addition to pictures, every second post is an inspirational quote.
  2. Instagram is all about about style! The Instagram account should look like a painting! Think about the next picture, when you post one today! All pictures should have the same look and size. If I use filters, I use the same!
  3. Hashtag! Choose hashtags that communicate your post, but not too many!
  4. Interact with others ! Relations are always important, also on social media! Like, comment and give others good accounts a shout out! My good friend Camilla, aka Treningsfrue, gave me a shout out to her 67.000! followers. Thanks! :*
  5. Follow your heart and have fun! 😀 This is my own advice! The moment you are untrue to your heart and posting increases your stress level, reconsider your strategy. One unexpected benefit from my challenge has been the fact that I need to take more pictures! I need to step up my photographer skills!

The new look!

First and most important, I am having a lot of fun. I love testing out new ideas. For Instagram, I am sharing a combination of inspirational quotes and pictures from my world as leader and work-out addict.

Before I started on my new strategy, I tested posting a big «instatile» picture. Nine pieces complete the sunset at Guincho beach, Portugal. Pretty cool!

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Time to go for the new look. This is what it look likes today! A much cleaner look!


Please follow my Instagram (ceciliaflatum)! Help me get to 1000! Only 300 to go!

What is your best Instagram advice? Please, share it!

Have a great Sunday!

With Insta love

Cecilia :*

How my Instagram looks like today!

Best of TEDx Oslo 2016!

I am a big fan for TED talks. During my twin maternity leave, I often listened to TED talks on my many stroller walks. They have given me inspiration, new knowledge and insight. Today, I was in the audience at TEDx Oslo 2016.

TEDx Oslo 2016

The theme for TEDx Oslo 2016 was a new consciousness.

Ben Malley talking about experiences, empathy and making «Murmur»

We live in an era when it is a luxury to disconnect. Technology enables us humans to create and share content to an extent that has never been possible before. We have access to endless information about the world, its challenges and realities of people that are miles away from us (from www.tedxoslo.no).

From the right – Marina Staubo (chief of volunteers YOG 2016), Christian Aass (ICM, lokalii.com) and an enthusiatic friend 🙂

Where ever I turned and whomever I talked to, they all had stars in their eyes. True TED talks lovers. During the breaks, there was hear a constant humming. The participants were making new relations or deepening old relations.


My highlights of the day!

TEDx Oslo did not disappoint us. A variety of good talks and music pieces were presented to us. I have picked these four highlights of the day.

1) Elise By Olsen, the world’s youngest editor-in-chief

Wow! This 16 year old young woman is the world’s youngest editor-in-chief (Recens paper). She represents generation Z. With a strong message, a well prepared performance and a cool attitude, she gave us new insight about how our youngest generation is thinking and their capabilities. Elise, you rocked!

Elise By Olsen at TEDx Oslo

2) Harald Eia, the perfect combination of comedian and  sociologist

I think we all were a bit curious on what our Norwegian star comedian and TV personality, would bring to the table. Harald Eia was no disappointment. The topic was – In which society is it easiest to get rich? His message about how the welfare state creates more winners, than losers was well received. And we all got a good laugh from time to time!

3) Glenn D. Rolfsen, a practical psychotherapist

Glenn D. Rolfsen, a psychotherapist working in corporate health service in Oslo, gave us all some good advice. He presented a clever and easy guide to prevent backbiting at work. Yeah for project #Gossip2016. I will share his advice in an upcoming Super Tuesday post!

4) Sven Mollekleiv, the longstanding President of the Norwegian Red Cross

Mr Mollekleiv was the last speaker. He is the longstanding President of the Norwegian Red Cross. He is a very experienced humanitarian voices and have been on the stage a couple of hundred times. I must admit, that tears were running down my face when he presented the human tragedies in the world. He gave tributes to four Red Cross volunteers. The power for humanity is strong. And his last message was – We cannot care for everybody, but we can all care for someone.

Svein Mollekleiv at TEDx Oslo

A day well spent! I love learning new stuff, get inspiration and meet new people. If you want to develop, you must learn to know people different from yourself!

I already look to next year’s event.

Did you like this post? Please feel free to share it!

Thanks TEDx Oslo!

Cecilia :*

PS – For inspiration 2-3 times pr week, please subscribe to my blog (registration bottom to the right)

Cec og Kath
A great day, and I also met the inspiring Kathrine Aspaas! I cannot wait for her new book!

10 things you should tell your employees!

Super Tuesday! I started off this week with a 12 hours work day! I claim to be super efficient. This does not mean that I always have short days! This Monday was long, but it was great. The main reason for this was my colleagues. You can work as efficiently as you like. But if you don’t have the team with you, it’s useless! Check out the 10 things you should tell your employees.

Every day, I am surrounded with great people. This super Tuesday is dedicated to you guys! <3

10 things you should tell your employees!

  1. If you perform well, I will give you credit in public
  2. If you underperform, I will tell you in private
  3. If you mess up, I will be there for you, and take the punches
  4. If I step on your toes (check out blog post), tell me!
  5. I will give you freedom, when it comes to approach, how and where you work, but I expect you to meet agreed deadlines!
  6. If you have trouble in your life, tell me, if you feel comfortable! This will make it easier for me to adjust your work day!
  7. Don’t be afraid to bother me! I try to be accessible, but sometimes I have too much on my plate. It is perfectly okay, to come to my desk, call, sms, Skype and stalk me, if it is urgent.
  8. If you think I suck at something, tell me!
  9. Let’s laugh together, every day! This is just our work. There are more important things in our lives!
  10. We are a team. Ask yourself: – How can I be a great team member?

Have a great week, folks!

Do you want to be inspired 2-3 times weekly? Please follow my blog and registrer by registering your e-mail (bottom to the right)

cec på sykkel

Cecilia 🙂


Is Life Over At 40?

This week I turned 41. People claim that the 40s are the new 30s. A scant consolation, but the truth is, I am now closer to 50 than 30. Is life over at 40?

Where did the last 365 days go? For a year, I planned to host my 40s party. Suddenly, it was too late. They say that time speeds up, after having kids. I totally agree. But do I panic? Is a mid-life crisis coming my way?

Skjermbilde 2016-04-17 kl. 08.17.24

(Follow me on SnapChat – cecilianorway)

A late bloomer!

At the start of my 20s, I was a student in Trondheim and Glasgow. I had self confidence, when it came to sports and my intellectual skills. I did not have enough self confidence, when it came to be adventurous, travel the world and be a confident woman.

Eventually, I hit 30! I have always called myself a late bloomer. My 30s have, so far, been the best decade in my life. During these ten years, I met Alexander, I became a mother of my dearest twin boys, I traveled the world and I have been successful at work. All these happenings have completed the Cecilia puzzle. Sometimes I fly high, but I will always have my childhood on the potato farm in my backbone.

Is my body falling apart?

Many of us, 40 year olds, feel young in heart and spirit. Great, but our body clocks are ticking. I read an article in the DailyMail. Here are some «fun» facts:

  • My brain started aging already in the 20s. As we speak, I am losing 10.000 brain cells every day.
  • My breasts started aging at 35. And after having twins, they have lost tissue and fat!
  • My heart starts aging these days! Fortunately, women have a lower risk of a heart attack compared to men. 😉
  • My muscles started aging ten years ago. This is why it is very important for women to lift weights!
  • My eyes started aging a year ago! I seriously experienced this. During autumn last year, I had a constant headache. I checked my eyes, and here I am typing with glasses on my nose.
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  • My fertility has plunged over the last five years. I am going fast towards the menopause. Help! I am so lucky to have two great and happy twin boys. I am so grateful for my two blue diamonds! But the window is closing for a third child.
  • Then finally, we have the skin. My skin started aging 16 years ago. Today, when I look in the mirror, my reflection gives the answer. Wrinkles, not only when smiling, twinkle back to me. How my skin ages is very related to my to my genes and what I eat and drink. Water, vegetables, fruit, little alcohol and of course no smoking. Hopefully, I have my mother genes. She is 73 and looks great!

Going through the list, might make me feel doomed. Fortunately, I was born with with a big sun inside my head. I always see things from the positive side. There no point in trying to change things, that cannot be changed. But we can influence the development of our body, by exercising, eating healthy, reduce stress and laugh a lot :).

I have always believed in accepting my age and aging with style! Who cares about bad eye sight? Just buy some nice glasses! Are your love handles growing? Well, that is just natural. Your metabolism is slowing down.

Is your marriage falling to pieces?

I read that more men than women experience a mid-life crisis. Maybe you start questioning your achievements in life. Maybe your career is not where you want it to be? Are your kids growing up, but your marriage is falling to pieces? According to Statistics Norway, most marriages fall apart during our 40s! Do you know this funny fact? Men choose a younger women, because it makes them feel younger. While, women feel that younger men, make them feel older.

Many buy their first sports car during their 40s. I did not get a sports car for my 41st birthday ;), but a slack line for our garden. What a great present!


Am I having a mid life crisis?

So, am I having symptoms of a mid life crisis? Diagnosing myself, I do not feel like it. I feel that my prioritize and values in life have changed over the last year. The main reason for this, is my twin boys. I strive to have a good balance in my life. Time with them is the most important.

Secondly, both Alexander and I are focused on traveling, staying fit and eating healthy! Experiences and health is more important than material goods. Finally, I am more focused on building a long term career and having interesting projects, instead of following short term money.

The truth is, I love being in my 40s! I am very confident about who I am and where I am in my life. I have also learned that life can be fragile and unexpected things can happen. Days come and go, remember that this is your life. Make the most out of it!

How about you? Are you in your 40s? Crisis or contentness?

Finally, I will give you one advice! Do you want to meet the person who can change your life? Go and take a look in the mirror!

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Have a great Sunday!

Cecilia :*

PS – Check out my new instagram look – ceciliaflatum


I am so glad I said Yes!

Being a Yes person pays off! Many people ask me, why I constantly find myself in new situations, in new industries and meet a lot of new people. The truth is, I follow my passion and keep stepping out of my comfort zone. Last weekend, I attended United Influencer’s annual kick-off. I did not win the kick-off diamond challenge by Thune, but I had lots of fun!


My lucky choice!

Before I launched my blog, I had two alternatives. I could establish a stand alone web page or sign a contract with a blog platform. After some meetings with United Influencers, an influencers marketing agency, I decided to follow my gut feeling. I signed, even though I am the only business blogger. My blogger colleagues write about fashion, photography, interiors, fitness, gardening, food and a lot more. And recently they also signed the communication podcast Mediapuls.

I learn so much from all the great people at United Influencers. New adventures come my way, and I jump on the train.

The Kick-off

Strömstad Spa was our destination. These three lovely girls arrived with style! Video shoot with my co-driver Treningsfrue and the inspiring interior experts Franciskas vakre verden and Marianne Haga Kinder in the back seat!


The weekend tasted like a great cocktail. We learned how to improve our writing by text doctor Christine Calvert and got introduced to the future of social media by Noel Tock.


We cycled the small island of Koster and bounced back home in a Rib.


Saturday evening it was time to dress up dinner and concerts. The night reached its climax with a live and intimate concerts by Morgan Sulele and Vinnie!

Cam_Cec_Back drop

But most important, I got to know new friends! No matter, what we are writing about on our blogs, we share the same passion for writing and we have a lot to learn from each other.

After the weekend, I am more inspired than ever to continue developing my blog. Maybe a PodCast or video blog will appear in 2016!

Thanks for following and reading! <3

I am also posting regularly on Instagram, please follow for more inspiration – ceciliaflatum

Cecilia 🙂


I stepped on people’s toes!

Cecilia Flatum – Leadership and Life

Your Content Here

Yeah! It is Super Tuesday.  Thank you for reading one of my weekly posts about how to work more efficient. One of my mantras is that it is not about the number of hours you work. It is all about how you work!

One of the reasons many of us have a too much work, is the fact that we steal our employees’ work. Stop it! You fill up your day and do sabotage their development! I have done it so many times. It feels like I am stepping on someone’s toes!

Photo: Stian Schioldborg

How to go solo all night long!

  1. I ask someone to do a task
  2. I receive a draft a couple of days later
  3. I have LOTS of comments and feedback!
  4. I do not return the work with comments. I start editing and finalize everything myself…and there goes my evening!
  5. The tasks get done, but I stayed up all night and my colleague feels bad! (S)he missed the opportunity to fulfill the task and develop herself/himself

How to trim you workday and develop others!

  1. I ask someone to do a task, and I take time to explain the purpose and the expectations
  2. I receive a draft a couple of days later
  3. I have comments and feedback, and use the Comments function to give my feedback and return it
  4. The next day I get a new draft (which hopefully is close to 100 %)
  5. I do a final quality control and the final changes

In the daily work life, it is not this straight forward. But the key message this Super Tuesday, is – Return work, instead of doing it all yourself!

This is how you trim so workload off your busy day! Time you can transform into more work ;), precious family time or go running!


Have a great Super Tuesday!

Cecilia 🙂


How to network @work? The Coffee Roulette!

At my office, there are hundreds of people. I have been around for 12 years, and I used to know everybody. Their faces and their names! Now, I have lost control! I say – «Hi» in the elevator and introduce myself if we have not been introduced. But still, I need to get to know more of my colleagues and deepen my existing relations!

Deloitte Norway has done many actions to get people more together. I will share one very easy activity! The Coffee Roulette. It must not be confused with the Russian Roulette. 😉

Photo: Chiara Pinna, unsplash

What is the Coffee Roulette?

  1. One employee has an excel sheet with the names of everybody in my departement
  2. Once a month, she splits the list in two and makes random pairs
  3. There we have it, the Coffee roulette dates for this month
  4. She distributes the list to all of us via e-mail
  5. Now, it is up to us! I check the list and I invite for a coffee or lunch (or maybe a walk)
  6. Within the next weeks, I have learned to know one new colleague, and our department has facilitated 150 new or deeper relationships

Spin the roulette, make a great relationship and share happiness!

Please, follow me on Instagram – ceciliaflatum 

Cecilia 🙂


I need help(!!) to find the best female leadership blogs!!

I am on a mission, on a search, and I need your help. Many times, I have googled «best leadership blogs». Many top lists appear, i.e. the 100 best leadership blogs. What do I find? Lists of 90+ men and a few women! All respect to the men, but I do believe there are more good female leadership blogs out there!


Is there a glass ceiling, when it comes to women and leadership blogs? Maybe, but I do not care. I care about finding other female leadership blogs and share more inspiration from different corners of the world!

Check out the blog post, where I present 50 female leadership blogs!


How can you help in one minute? So easy!

  • Comment below! Write a web address or two to your favorite female leadership blog(s) in the comment field below! If you have an extra minute, tell us why you like this particular blog!
  • Yes! You can nominate yourself! (Men do ;))
  • Share this blog post in your social media and engage others
  • Use my SoMe! Check out my Facebook (Leadership & Life), Instagram or Twitter account (both ceciliaflatum)! I will make a post there as well. Tag a friend!

What type of female leadership blogs?

Are you wondering – I am not sure if this is a leadership blog!? I am thinking about two categories.

  • Professional female bloggers, where the blog is a part of their company. One example is SheTakesOnTheWorld by Natalie MacNeil. They are authors, key note speakers and/or coaches.
  • Female CXOs, writing a leadership blog, in co-operation with their employer or have personal blog. My best example here is the Norwegian blog Tinteguri, written by Anita Krohn-Traaseth, CEO at Innovation Norway.
  • Any language! I will make to lists – English and non English. Hopefully, google translate will come in handy.

Together, we can create a good list of female leadership bloggers! I wish I had a big prize to hand out, but the only thing I can offer is shared inspiration.

Please, share this blog post in your social media! Spread the word! 🙂

Cecilia :***


Be super efficient – step 6 Shorter meetings

Why do all meetings have to be one hour? My calendar is often packed from 8am-5pm, back-to-back with meetings. No lunch time and no transit time for get from one meeting to another. At every meeting people arrive late. Why? Because, they also have a back-to-back calendar.


It is super efficient Tuesday! My advice today is one that I have not fully implemented myself. But I am trying. It work best if your firm set this a general rule.

My statement!

There are:

  • too many meetings
  • too many inefficient meetings
  • too long meetings
  • often – too many people in the meetings!

Have you ever been to a meeting, where the conclusion is to have a new meeting?

Ouch, a tough truth to handle. You cannot handle it alone. This is cultural issue. But there is one thing you can do yourself.

Take control over the meetings you are responsible of! 

Shorter meetings!

If you want to create some space in your daily calendar, you need more efficient and shorter and less meetings. For me, the simplest way to start is to make a general rule the normal one-hour meetings are 45 minutes.

Foto: Ingar Steinholt
Foto: Ingar Steinholt

If you want to be successful, you should consider these 10 steps:

  1. Set the length of meetings to 30, 45 or 75 minutes, instead of the normal 60 and 90 minutes!
  2. Have an agenda and proposals, that have been distributed, at least 24 hours, before the meeting
  3. Start on time!
  4. Communicate the purpose of the meeting, when you start the meeting
  5. Make sure everybody put away their phone and laptop!
  6. If people arrive late, do not waste time on updating them!
  7. Stop «war stories» or people who continously talk about issues off topic. I know, you feel rude interrupting people who talk off topic. It is easier if you all agree on the purpose of the meeting.
  8. Keep an eye on your watch. If you realize that you will not get through the agenda, prioritize and finalize the most important topic.
  9. Stop the discussions a few minutes before the end of the meeting. Sum up and communicate agreements from the meeting and next steps!
  10. Make to the point minutes with clear action points, that are distributed within the next 24 hours! Follow my advice from last week, use OneNote!

Remember! Not all meeting fit into a strict agenda and speakers list. Arrange brain storming meeting and / or meetings to share war stories. I would combine these kind of meetings with lunch or a walk outside 😉

Have a great week!


Cecilia 🙂