The Leadership Problem Formula: Time, People, and Power

In the TEDxUtopia event, Lars Sudmann explores the concept of leadership in an ideal society. He discusses the qualities that make a great leader and how they can be developed. Sudmann shares three strategies for self-leadership, emphasizing the importance of self-awareness, self-reflection, and self-regulation. With a background in leadership advising and management, Sudmann provides insights into the past, present, and future of excellent leadership in an ultra-networked world.

Leadership in Utopia may seem unnecessary, but Sudmann argues that human nature and social beings coming together in organizations will always create a need for leadership. While different leadership models exist, Sudmann challenges the traditional hero model and encourages individuals to strive to become “Utopia leaders.” The leadership problem formula, consisting of too little time, dealing with people, and the influence of power, serves as the basis for Sudmann’s discussion on self-leadership and its role in creating the best leaders.

The Leadership Problem Formula: Time, People, and Power

The Leadership Problem Formula: Time, People, and Power

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Introduction to the Leadership Problem Formula

In a utopian society, one might question the need for leadership. After all, wouldn’t a perfect world be free of the need for leaders? However, even in utopia, there will still be humans who are social beings that come together and form organizations. And where there are organizations, there will be natural occurrences of friction, confusion, and underperformance. These challenges require leadership to address them. Thus, it is essential to explore the concept of leadership in utopia, understand its importance, and strive for excellence in leadership.

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Importance of Leadership in Utopia

In a TEDxUtopia event, the question of leadership in utopia was raised. While some may argue that in a perfect world, leadership would no longer be necessary, the reality is that human nature and social beings necessitate leadership even in utopia. Organizations inherently face challenges such as friction, confusion, and underperformance. Without leadership, these issues would persist and hinder progress and harmony. Therefore, addressing the leadership problem formula is crucial in creating and maintaining a utopian society.

Qualities of a Great Leader

To understand and embody great leadership, it is essential to explore the qualities that make a leader truly exceptional. Lars Sudmann, a renowned leadership advisor and lecturer, shares insights from the TEDxUtopia event. Sudmann emphasizes the personal journey of great leaders and the lessons learned from the golden age of leadership. He highlights the importance of developing oneself as a leader and offers three strategies for self-leadership to become a “Utopia leader.” Sudmann’s background in leadership advising, lecturing, management, and finance adds credibility to his expertise and insights.

Strategies for Self-Leadership

Self-leadership plays a crucial role in becoming an effective leader. Lars Sudmann provides valuable strategies for developing self-leadership. He emphasizes the significance of self-awareness, self-reflection, and self-regulation. By understanding oneself, reflecting on experiences, and regulating emotions and behaviors, individuals can cultivate their leadership abilities. Sudmann’s strategies serve as practical tools for personal growth and leadership development.

The Leadership Problem Formula: Time, People, and Power

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Different Types of Leadership Models

Leadership models come in various forms, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. The hero model, where one person is seen as the ideal leader, is just one example. There are alternative models that suit different contexts and organizational cultures. Exploring these models helps individuals understand the diverse approaches to leadership and determine which one aligns best with their personal leadership style.

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The Three Challenges in the Leadership Problem Formula

The leadership problem formula consists of three challenges: too little time, dealing with people, and the influence of power. Time constraints often lead to the headless chicken syndrome, where leaders frantically assign tasks without a strategic approach. Dealing with people, while a critical aspect of leadership, can present its own set of challenges, including conflicts and the need for effective communication. Finally, power can have both positive and negative effects on leaders. Understanding and navigating these challenges are essential for effective leadership.

The Leadership Problem Formula: Time, People, and Power

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Marcus Aurelius: A Beacon of Enlightened Leadership

Drawing inspiration from history, Marcus Aurelius stands as a beacon of enlightened leadership. As an ancient Roman emperor and philosopher, Aurelius was renowned for his focus on self-leadership. He believed that the quality of one’s thoughts directly impacted the happiness of their life. By prioritizing self-leadership before leading others, Aurelius demonstrated the effectiveness of this approach. Leaders today can learn valuable lessons from Aurelius and strive to emulate his enlightened leadership style.

Strategies for Self-Leadership (continued)

Continuing the exploration of self-leadership strategies, it becomes evident that self-awareness serves as the foundation of effective leadership. Understanding one’s strengths, weaknesses, values, and emotions allows leaders to make informed decisions and connect with their team. Additionally, self-reflection plays a vital role in personal growth and leadership development. Evaluating past experiences, challenges, and successes empowers leaders to learn and improve continuously. Lastly, practicing self-regulation techniques enables leaders to manage their thoughts, emotions, and actions for optimal leadership outcomes.

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The Leadership Problem Formula: Time, People, and Power

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Reframing and Evaluating Issues

One way to master self-regulation is through reframing and evaluating issues. By reframing, leaders can shift their perspective and see challenges as opportunities for growth and learning. Evaluating the importance of issues allows leaders to prioritize and allocate resources effectively. Both reframing and evaluating are key elements of self-regulation that leaders must practice to overcome the challenges they face.

Investing Time in Self-Leadership

According to leadership expert Founder Visiter Hawk, investing at least 40% of one’s time in leading oneself is crucial before leading others. Time is a precious resource, and effective leaders understand the importance of allocating it wisely. Investing time in self-leadership involves continuous learning, personal development, and introspection. By dedicating resources to self-leadership, individuals can strive to become the best leaders they can be.


In conclusion, the leadership problem formula consisting of time, people, and power is a challenge that all leaders face. Understanding the importance of leadership in utopia and addressing the leadership problem formula is crucial for building harmonious and thriving societies. Lars Sudmann’s insights, strategies for self-leadership, and exploration of leadership models provide valuable tools for aspiring leaders. Drawing inspiration from historical leaders like Marcus Aurelius further reinforces the importance of focusing on self-leadership before leading others. By investing time in self-leadership, individuals can strive for leadership excellence and contribute to creating a utopian society.

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