Danish Martin Roll, Senior Advisor for Superson, can be called the guru of global strategy, marketing and branding. Roll has done a breathtakingly long career in marketing and he sees courage as a natural part of successful business. “If you want to succeed in business, you have to be courageous.”

Roll has lived in Singapore for over two decades and he is specialized in the Asian market, and serves clients in over 30 countries globally. Moving to Asia was personally one of the most courageous acts in his life. “All young economists in the early 21st century left to the West, London or New York. I went Wast, to Asia. It was a courageous decision to make but I can now state that it was worth it.”

Roll, who works as a strategic advisor, mentor and transformation consultant for several global Fortune 100 companies and family businesses, summoned five key advice on how courage can be sustained in companies’ actions and spirit.

  1. Hold on to long-term goals
    Good things happen to those who have the patience to wait. Build a clear direction and purpose and find out where you want to go. The core in business is finding a purpose and focusing on that. To achieve the long-term goals the purpose has to be in the core of the strategy and recent research shows that it drives business impact. It requires great courage to have patience to wait for the goals to happen.

  2. Be courageous, bold and distinct
    How do you define you and your company? A strong, clear and distinct strategy is the foundation of everything. It requires courage to define the core of the business and to swipe away everything useless and unnecessary from around it. Dare to focus only on the core of the strategy.

  3. Step out of your comfort zone
    Courageous people and companies dare to come out of their comfort zone. That is never easy. Others will always have opinions about how you or your company should be and what things to strive for. Instead, courageous people don’t mind the views of others. People typically want to hold on to the old, safe and familiar. But only when you really jump out of your comfort zone changes start to happen and you might even find in yourself strength and knowledge you didn’t know about.

  4. Embrace uncertainty
    Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of IKEA, has said that only when sleeping people don’t make mistakes. The nature of business is not static and the constant change and mistakes are part of it. You have to accept not knowing what tomorrow will bring and be able to enjoy the uncertainty. Anticipation helps to stand the uncertainty. 

  5. Be patient
    The Danish company LEGO is at the moment the world’s most valuable toy company and their patience has been tested during the last decades. In the 1990s bankruptcy was just around the corner and an offer of 150 million dollars was made for the company. The company decided to clearly focus on LEGO bricks (the core) and leave the competition of digital games and toys for others. Persistent and patient work were rewarded. Today the value of LEGO Group is almost 40 billion dollars.

Download Martin Roll's presentation:
"Martin Roll – A global perspective on courage"