Name: Fredrik Asche Kaada
Title: Chief Visionary Officer (CVO)
Organisation: Net Expert Hub
I am an outgoing personality who hike, bike and runs quite a lot, training for the next adventure. Also, before age 25, I've run two startups in the marketing and solar tech space. Thankful for pursuing a BSc in Marketing and brand management and an MSc in Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Society at NTNU. Part of the UNCTAD Youth Network and the United Nations SDG youth advocates.
Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!
I hope Fredrik's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
As a leader, my experience as a tour guide with The Norwegian Trekking Association for 8 years presents a unique set of challenges compared to being a CVO at Net Expert Hub. While both roles require leadership and management skills, they differ significantly in terms of terrain, team dynamics, and objectives.
As a tour guide in the Norwegian wilderness, I faced the challenges of managing groups in diverse and unpredictable terrains. Norway's landscapes are known for their rugged mountains, fjords, and unpredictable weather conditions. Ensuring the safety and well-being of tourists in such environments demands exceptional risk assessment and crisis management skills.
Unlike the corporate setting at Net Expert Hub, where risks are more likely to be associated with market fluctuations or business strategies, the wilderness presents physical challenges that demand immediate decision-making to protect the tour group. Communication skills were equally essential in both roles but manifested differently. As a tour guide, clear and concise instructions were vital for ensuring the group's safety and preventing accidents.
In contrast, as a CVO, effective communication would revolve around articulating the company's vision, strategy, and goals to diverse stakeholders, including employees, investors, and customers. The dynamics of the teams also differ significantly between the two roles. As a tour guide, I worked closely with a small team of fellow guides and support staff.
Building camaraderie and teamwork were crucial for providing a memorable experience to the tourists. In contrast, as a CVO at Net Expert Hub, I would be leading a more extensive and diverse team, requiring a broader range of leadership skills to foster collaboration and drive innovation. Another notable contrast lies in the objectives of each role. As a tour guide, my primary goal was to offer a safe, enjoyable, and informative experience to tourists, showcasing the natural beauty of Norway.
In contrast, as a CVO, my focus would be on developing and implementing strategies to drive business growth, market expansion, and technological advancements. In summary, my experience as a tour guide with The Norwegian Trekking Association has provided me with valuable leadership skills, particularly in crisis management, risk assessment, and effective communication.
While there are similarities in leadership requirements between the two roles, they also present unique challenges due to the completely different terrains, team dynamics, and objectives involved.
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
It is surprisingly quite straightforward. Being a YES person and ambivert person, with a mix of traits and dedication helps a lot.
Personally, I have always focused on becoming 1% better and eliminating stuttering after 10 years of frustration, was a great milestone. Along the way, I have calibrated my network skills and attended numerous business and non-formal events. From there, my passion for marketing and sustainability drove me to kickstart Net Expert Hub and Kitos Light AS.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
As Fredrik, a 28-year-old youth enthusiast and entrepreneur at Net Expert Hub, my work days are typically dynamic and filled with exciting challenges.
Here's how I structure my day:
6:30 AM: Wake up and start the day with a healthy breakfast and some light exercise to get energized for the day ahead.
7:30 AM: Check my emails and review any important updates or messages from the team. Prioritize tasks for the day and set goals.
8:00 AM: Head to the office or co-working space, where I can collaborate with other team members and brainstorm new ideas for our projects.
9:00 AM: Conduct a quick team meeting to discuss the day's agenda, share progress, and address any roadblocks. Encourage a positive and creative atmosphere.
10:00 AM: Dive into project work, whether it's developing new features for our platform, strategizing marketing campaigns, or exploring potential partnerships.
1:00 PM: Take a break for lunch and engage in informal discussions with team members to foster a sense of camaraderie and bond.
2:00 PM: Continue working on tasks, ensuring we stay on track with our timelines and meet project milestones.
4:00 PM: If possible, I like to allocate time for learning and personal growth. This could involve reading articles, attending webinars, or exploring new technologies to stay ahead in the industry.
6:00 PM: Conduct a progress review meeting with the team, discussing accomplishments, challenges, and potential adjustments to our strategies.
7:00 PM: Wind down the workday by wrapping up any pending tasks, responding to essential emails, and making sure everything is in order for the next day.
8:00 PM: Take some time to relax and unwind. This could involve going for a walk, spending time with friends, or pursuing hobbies.
10:00 PM: Prepare for bedtime by disconnecting from work-related activities and engaging in some calming activities to ensure a good night's rest.
As a young entrepreneur at Net Expert Hub, my days are a balance of hard work, collaboration, and personal growth, all with a strong focus on driving innovation and success for our company.
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
The importance of active listening as a leader. Truly hearing and understanding team members' perspectives fosters trust, enhances communication, and enables better decision-making. By being attentive and empathetic, I can build stronger connections with my team and address their needs effectively.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
I can share a book that has had a profound impact on me and many leaders: "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen R. Covey.
This influential book outlines seven principles that promote personal and interpersonal effectiveness, helping individuals become better leaders and achieve their goals. It emphasizes the importance of proactive behaviour, setting clear goals, prioritizing tasks, and cultivating empathetic communication. Many leaders have found value in applying these principles to their decision-making, team management, and overall leadership style, resulting in more impactful and successful leadership journeys.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
Embrace continuous learning and growth. Stay curious, seek feedback, and be open to new ideas. Adaptable leaders thrive in a rapidly changing world.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
Sarah, a compassionate and empathetic member of my team noticed a team member, Alex, facing personal challenges and offered support. Inspired by this experience, she shared the idea with me, and I was equally enthusiastic about making a difference, and wholeheartedly supported the initiative.
Together, Sarah and I collaborated with local organizations to provide remote internship opportunities to refugees who had escaped war-torn regions. They believed that these resilient individuals could enrich their team's work culture with their unique skills and perspectives.
The response from the refugees was heartwarming, as several eagerly accepted the opportunity, grateful for the chance to contribute and learn despite their challenging circumstances. As remote interns, they brought fresh ideas and global perspectives to the team, fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion.
The experience was transformative for both the refugees and the entire team at Net Expert Hub. The refugees found a supportive environment to grow and develop their skills, while the team gained a deeper appreciation for resilience and the strength of the human spirit.
Through their collective act of empathy and compassion, Sarah and Fredrik's leadership had a meaningful impact on the lives of these individuals, demonstrating that leaders can create a more inclusive and compassionate society by embracing diversity and giving opportunities to those in need.