.. and I am the CEO at Bolia International A/S. I have a history that involves a long and inspiring career in international retail and E-tail, working across Europe, the Middle East and Asia before picking up the mantle at Bolia and taking part in our global expansion and creative journey since 2005. Besides a strong passion for Nordic design, creativity and happy customers, I am a music producer, mountaineer and self-proclaimed familianaire, enjoying life together with my wife our three children and two dogs.
I simply love my work and my colleagues at Bolia.com, and although I have been CEO in Bolia for more than a decade, every new day is still just as exciting as the first day I stepped into the office.
If you would like to read more about our company seen through the eyes of a CEO, you can check out my recent talk with a journalist below.
My most prominent character traits?
"Ever since I was a child, I've had a high level of energy, a good imagination and been open to high jinx and adventures, so this naturally also characterises my adult life, both at work and in my free time. It has therefore been natural for me to be attracted to the energy from the retail business and the creativity from design – boosted with a passion for development and international expansion. I’ve discovered all these wonderful things in my position as CEO of Bolia.com, and I can't deny the fact that they also permeate my leadership style – with a focus on positive energy, progress, creativity, development and globalisation, both on a business and human level."
The most important qualities I've brought from my homelife?
"My parents have always been very decent, educated, disciplined and respectful people, and these are some of the qualities that I do my best to live up to every day."
My greatest business heroes?
'I admire leaders who don't choose the easy, familiar or most populistic path. I'm inspired by leaders who think in bigger contexts and deeper times and who have a solution-oriented and positive approach. I have personally had the honour of meeting Hans Rosling in my previous job and both he and Tor Nørretranders have influenced my perception of the universe, the earth, cohesion, the future and the present. My list of inspirational people also includes Poul Schlütter, Grand Master Flash, Rene Redzepi, Jakob Urth, Bjørn Lomborg, Martin Lindstrøm, Albert Einstein and Coco Chanel – and many more.'
My last impulse buy?
'My guilty pleasure is good red wine, and as I unfortunately have two thirsty wine cellars, which always have room for one more box, I am guilty of having bought another couple of boxes of wine online the other day. Completely spontaneously and without the need for any more. I try to convince both myself and my wife that this is a good investment.'
My relationship to time?
'This is a rather dangerous question to ask me, because I love to analyse and debate time as an abstract term. During a trip to India several years ago, I learned that where we in the West often say 'time passes' as a reference to the fact that time is something we lose like sand between our fingers, they say in the East 'time comes'. As a reference to the fact that time is something that brings benefits and happiness. Everything in our reality is perception, including time. Everything we have right now. Why not just enjoy it? '
My biggest flaw?
'Hahaha, can I only mention one? My biggest flaw is probably the shadow side of the things I mentioned as traits in the first question, so I can often be annoyingly impatient, relentlessly optimistic and dangerously risky. I tackle this by being aware of my energy and impact on the people around me, and by owning both good and bad sides one hundred per cent. '
My greatest nature experience
'I have always used and created energy by playing different types of sports, but when I climbed my first mountain in 2009, I was immediately hooked. Mountaineering gives me the most amazing natural and human experiences – and it also satisfies my hunger for adventure and risk. My wife has said that I always return home from my mountain trips a slightly better person, so I am deeply grateful that she gives me the space to do this foolish sport that is expensive, selfish, dangerous, uncomfortable, time-consuming, cold and tough – but so fantastic. My most intense mountain experience was my ascent to Mt. Aconcagua in Argentina some years ago, but it was also incredible to try a father-son winter climb on Mt. Fuji in Japan with my son, Marco.
I also have many wonderful mountain quotes, which I often refer to in my daily business. Like this, for example, which is one of my favourites:
“I knew I was on the right path when things stopped being easy.”'
My biggest business ambition
'During the financial crisis in 2009, we dreamed of developing Bolia into a global superbrand that could compete with the world’s largest and most respected design brands. Back then, we were in a completely different – and much smaller – place than where we are today, 13 years later.
Our collections, our concept and our brand have reached a world-class level and can now be enjoyed in more than 60 countries around the world, so we feel that we are now close to realising our superbrand ambition.
It’s so fascinating that it all starts with thinking, “I wonder if it’s possible?”. And then we find out that the only thing that actually prevents us from realising our ambitions is often just ourselves.
It is quite beautiful and is yet another hidden mountain reference to the reader.
I believe that you should never stop dreaming, no matter how old you are or where you are in life. I’ve had many crazy ambitions throughout my life, and every time I’ve reached them, my dreams and ambitions have automatically shifted to another place. It’s actually quite annoying when you think about it, but I thrive on it, and it makes me leap out of bed every morning, make an extra effort, treat people around me with respect and enjoy the journey.'
My relationship with authorities?
'I’ve had many different managers from different cultures throughout my career, and I’ve learned a lot from both the amazing and the less good. I respect people in authority, but if they don't administer their influence in a respectful and constructive way, I'll express my opinion and make better suggestions. Just as I hope my colleagues and partners will do when they meet me.'
My most important way to unwind?
'I have a great need for balance and to find what I call breathing spaces in my packed calendar, so I unwind in several ways; through my family, my music, my sport and nature. First of all, I find lots of peace and happiness with my immediate family, my fantastic wife Christina and our lovely adult children Maja Malou, Camilla and Marco.
I was a DJ when I was younger, so electronic music is still a big part of my everyday life. Therefore, I regularly meet up with my old DJ friends to fire up the decks and enjoy some decent red wine together. I go running and do strength training to keep my basic shape in place for my next mountain adventure, and the physical aspect also gives me a good mental balance. In addition, we have a wonderfully idyllic and private country house in Falsled, which we have designed and furnished as a 'silent retreat'. I often go there with my wife, and sometimes just on my own with our two cheeky French bull dogs, Conrad and Bowie. Here I can enjoy the silence and recharge my mental batteries by exercising, swimming, meditating, eating healthily or just listening to nature’s soundtrack. Wonderful!'