We had author and lawyer Kim Bjørnstrup over for a podcast and we have made a summary of Kim’s rules of life and business.
1984 Master in Law from Copenhagen University.
1984 Passed the bar at Oluf Lind & Partners.
1986 Head of legal, Lundbeck.
1991 Head of legal, Coloplast.
1992-2010 Multiple leadership positions culminating in 10 years as top boss in Octapharma.
2010 Partner in Xeltis.
2013 CEO for BPL in England.
2015 CEO Assistance HR Partners.
Personality: Kim thinks that things are easy. Put in another way he doesn’t seem to believe in difficult things. He believes that things can get solved. It shows on his face and the youthfulness and vigour of his body and mind. When he was partner and head of 4000 people he tells us that the first thing he would say to people coming to him with problems was: “What will you do to solve it?” Actions are solutions.
Kim’s motto could be: Take fate head on and it won’t stand a chance against you.
Kim has a strong sense of internal locus of control. Kim has a string of successes behind him including a turn around for Bane Capital and the success of Octapharma.
Somehow things just work out for these kinds of people.
People like Kim remind me of the scene from the Gary Larson cartoon with the guy whistling away carrying a wheelbarrow in hell two devils talking amongst themselves “you know we’re just not reaching that guy.”
Staying in the analogy he’d probably be able to make a turn around in hell making people want to go there.
Whatever the case there is a lot of “I can do” about him, and that’s probably why he is sat in Radio studio now being interviewed concerning three books he has written about an imagined terror attack in Copenhagen. Because – of course you can write books, right?
He is smiling over a cup of coffee and his English is impeccable but his accent is a bit peculiar. He says “no” a lot when finishing his sentences revealing that he has spent a number of years in Switzerland where that apparently is a thing. Considering that the classical Danish accent when speaking English sounds like somebody falling out of bed it’s just refreshing.
In the following you can read a summary of the podcast boiled down to rules of live and business success according to Kim:
Hang out with ambitious people
Be an ambitious person as you grow older
Even when leading people in the army, shape your orders around the specific person’s personality
Take chances. All the accomplished people I know have taken big chances
Be forthright: Say it as you see it
Give people a decent chance
Be specific and concrete on the criteria for success
Pick fights over important things in business but don’t swear at each other
Ride the tiger: Don’t be scared
Be action oriented rather than just relying complex plans
When negotiating: Be aligned on all relevant issues in the team. Be prepared to leave the negotiation at certain points.
Anger is something to be transcended
Let colleagues blow off steam. Intermittently gently ask people as to the purpose of their anger.
Don’t be overwhelmed by other people’s status
Enjoy hard work
Never sell out in relation to time spend with children
Be more afraid of losing out on opportunities than making a wrong choice
Hire big egos, and manage them: At meetings let everyone speak uninterrupted for 10-15 minutes, before debating certain action points
Downplay your own ego. Think: “They know you are the boss”. That way you don’t have to spend energy defending something.
Seek out flow activities
Stay in shape