Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Entrepreneurs Bjørn Kjos and Hans Ole Bergby

Recently I've had one-on-one conversations with a couple of people I really admire. Let me share some brief insights about them, and then I'm guessing you may feel the same way..?!

While preparing for the breakfast seminar we are hosting at Ernst & Young on Thursday the 16th of June in Porsgrunn, I met with among others Bjørn Kjos and Hans Ole Bergby. You may know who they are. Bjørn Kjos is the CEO and front figure of Norwegian, the second largest airline of Scandinavia. Hans Ole Bergby is head of Bergbys Familierestaurant and the man behind, or rather inventor of, the well-known Bergbys sennep ("sennep" means mustard in Norwegian).

Bjørn Kjos
I find that Bjørn Kjos is a person that stands out in the crowd, and not because he's become somewhat of a celebrity. When I met him, there was a big smile on his face, and that's how he's known in the market place, too.

Of course, there are many good reasons why his airline is so successful as a company, as we will uncover in greater detail at the seminar next week. But for one, the CEO is a people's person. Anyone can relate to him. He cares. He's down to earth. I believe his type of "leadership charisma" is greatly needed - possibly more than ever - in today's business environment.

I made three quick video recordings of our conversation and will be sharing them at the breakfast seminar. You will get a first-hand feel for what Bjørn Kjos is like, as well as experience some of his insights when it comes to strategy and execution.

Hans Ole Bergby
Hans Ole Bergby stands out in the crowd, and not because he's boastful and outgoing per se. On the contrary, among his colleagues and associates Hans Ole is known as a hard worker, but also as a careful and almost shy individual.

The last time I met him, as we were asking him pointed questions about strategy and tough business issues, he spent several minutes in silence thinking them through. Hans Ole Bergby may not strike you as a charismatic leader at first sight, but once you get to know him, his business acumen gradually surfaces. You'll find there's ample reason why his mustard is in great demand all over Norway.

Hans Ole will be in attendance at the seminar this upcoming Thursday, so if you'd like to meet him in person just sign up by calling our switchboard (tel +47 35564200).

Great People
In closing, let me say this: I know some of their colleagues. It is said that great leaders surround themselves with great people. As such, Bjørn Kjos and Hans Ole Bergby are no exception. That's why they're both on my "official list of great people".

See Vidar Top's list of GREAT PEOPLE!

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