Johann Olav Koss
Right To Play International founder and CEO
2012 Ontario Ernst & Young Entrepreneur
Of The Year recipient for Social Entrepreneurship
Johann Olav Koss created a global humanitarian organization that puts the ball in the court of marginalized, disadvantaged children in more than 20 countries by making sport and play a right, not a privilege. Right To Play’s pragmatic founder was deemed “One of 100 Future Leaders of Tomorrow” by TIME magazine.
You’ve found success in many arenas, first as an Olympic speed skater and now as the CEO of a renowned humanitarian organization. What is your attitude towards achieving your goals, regardless of the realm?
Koss: I believe that in order to achieve your goals you must be willing to work incredibly hard, stick to your vision and be able to see solutions where others see problems. These are the three key areas that helped me to succeed when I was an athlete and have helped me now in my current role at Right To Play.
What is one factor most entrepreneurs overlook but you view as essential?
Koss: I believe that it is important to fail — to occasionally not experience success. These are the opportunities we have in life to learn and to grow as people. I believe that everything you do in life is for a reason and gives you the experience and the knowledge to tackle future problems. Everything that has happened in the past makes you the person you are today. I have learned more from my failures than my successes.
Decades ago, the Bhutanese government developed the concept of Gross National Happiness (GNH), which measures the vitality and well-being of its population and encourages economic growth balanced by other priorities, such as the country’s spiritual values.
The idea of GNH captured my imagination while I was travelling through Bhutan last summer as it’s in such sharp contrast to our traditional Western thinking. We tend to measure success against material goals rather than focusing on what we really value. My own story is a familiar one: I spent years working around the clock in pursuit of “success.” My single-minded pursuit of wealth and power got me what I thought I wanted, but I eventually lost what really mattered to me. I was facing cancer, a failing marriage and barely-there relationships with my kids. That’s why I actively Read more
“I have summarized the 73 best ideas/insights/lessons I’ve learned for winning in business and life below. I hope they help you. And I hope you’ll share them with others who will benefit from them. Again, thanks for supporting my mission to help people in organizations around the world Lead Without a Title. I’m grateful. ” Robin Read more
On Oct. 12, 2011, Audio One blasted its sleek stereos and opened its showroom doors to loyal customers, suppliers and friends that have shown support through 25 years of success in business. Founding brothers Gino D’Ascanio, Carlo D’Ascanio and Anthony D’Ascanio celebrated their silver anniversary with Read more
Remo Ferri has every boy’s dream job. Personifying unyielding passion, Ferri’s fierce drive to end up in the automobile business gave him enough momentum to become owner of one of North America’s leading Ferrari and Maserati dealerships. “We don’t sell cars, we sell a dream; we sell excitement; we sell a moment. I love that I get to do that every single day,” says Ferri, founder of The Remo Ferri Group of Automobiles.
Though he admits that the road to success has its bumps, Ferri chooses to embrace all challenges, as they are essential facets for progress. Catering to a wide range of clientele in Toronto, Vaughan and even Alberta, Ferri’s group furthered its time-honoured reputation by adding BMW, Mini, and most recently, Ford and Lincoln to its distinguished roster of dealerships. “You need to be able to service your customers, not just with one brand, but Read more
In a world filled with chaos, author Robin Sharma reaches into the depths of life’s experiences, engaging his readers to see an inspiring revelation where happiness is an attainable process, not a final destination. Read more
Over the years, my practice as a naturopathic doctor has allowed me to get a glimpse into the lives of many successful people and millionaires. My perception at one time was that all millionaires knew how to take care of themselves and prevent disease, merely because they had money. The more I interviewed this group of patients, the more I realized that their health suffered more than most because they lacked a deeper understanding of it.
Health to me means being happy, physically free from illness and disease, and a sense of purpose and belonging on this planet. Health is comprised of three dimensions: physical, emotional, and spiritual. To be truly healthy, a balance and synergy needs to exist on all three levels. Read more