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ESG AND Profitable Investing with Nicolai Tangen

AND is the Future podcast

Season 3, episode 1

The new Syensqo 'And is the Future' podcasts hosted by CEO Ilham Kadri will be a continuation of the former Solvay editions that concluded after the spin off of Syensqo in December 2023.

How sustainability and investing go hand in hand 

According to CEO of Norges Bank Investment Management, Nicolai Tangen, ESG and investing go hand in hand. Ilham sits down with Nicolai to discuss the importance of achieving the power of AND for investors, the journey of Norges Bank Investment Management under his leadership, his leadership lessons and advice for young leaders and investors, as well as his favorite books, paintings and more! 

1:25 - Upbringing in Kristiansand, Norway
2:43 - Commitment to philanthropy
5:16 - Journey of NBIM under his leadership
9:12 - Sustainable AND profitable investing
12:43 - Criteria for NBIM investments
14:08 - Importance of transparency
15:41 - Podcast: In Good Company

17:28 - Leadership lessons
23:26 - Diversity, equity and inclusion
26:16 - Favorite books
27:34 - Favorite artists and paintings
29:00 - Advice to young leaders
31:29 - Favorite things to cook

Podcast available on   Apple podcasts     Spotify     Google podcasts

Meet Nicolai Tangai


Nicolai Tangen is the CEO of Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM). In that role he is responsible for managing the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund, which owns approximately 1.4% of the world’s listed companies. On top of running one of the largest funds in the world, he is also a podcast host, a lifelong learner, an avid reader, and an art and cooking enthusiast. He holds masters degrees in Art History and Social Psychology. 


Ilham Kadri: Today I'm excited to welcome Nicolai Tangan to the AND is the Future podcast. Nicolai is the CEO of Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM). In that role he is responsible for managing the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund, which owns approximately 1.4% of the world’s listed companies. Nicolai is truly one of the most well rounded business leaders I’ve ever met. On top of running one of the largest funds in the world, he is also a podcast host, a lifelong learner and an avid reader. He has a masters degree in Art History and Social Psychology, and I hear he’s a brilliant cook. Nicolai, thank you so much for being here today. 

Nicolai Tangen: Thank you for inviting me. It's a pleasure. 

Upbringing in Kristiansand, Norway

Ilham Kadri: So like you, Nicolai, I am, I'm very interested in what motivates people. So you can start off by maybe telling us a bit about your background, your upbringing in Norway, and if there was a moment in your life that really put you on the path to your career. From what I hear, when you were a child growing up in Kristiansand if I say it well, you already started investing your money, the money you earned, selling newspapers or recycling bottles. Is that right? 

Nicolai Tangen: Yeah, that's correct, actually. So I grew up in a small town in Southern Norway. And, I just thought it was fun to make money So I, you know, distributed newspapers, I recycled bottles. I sold flowers at restaurants, that kind of thing, you know, and my dream was to work in finance from when I was probably 13 years old and it was working in London that was kind of my goal. And then I started to study business. I went to America, ended up working in London. And then the motivation, I guess, is learning. I think the whole thing is about learning. That's the purpose of life.

Commitment to philanthropy 

Ilham Kadri: Yeah. And I love it. You know, that's and thank you for having me in your own podcast about this learning and learning and relearning, which I grew up with. So I have that passion, like you. As you know, I was in Oslo for the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise conference last week, which was really good. Amazing. And, I did a bit of my TED talk about sustainability and profitability. And everyone, everyone, right, was still talking about how you had to take a drastic pay cut to take this job. I cannot not ask you about that. I mean, I was looking around, they didn't know that I know you and they were talking about you and it sounds like it was well worth it for you, right. And you called it even in one newspaper, I read it was your childhood dream. And I, I read as well that you and your wife joined the giving pledge, committing at least half of your wealth. Is there a moment in your life where you say, I don't need more, I can take less and pay more taxes, fine. And give back, impact more. What, how did it, you know, how did it happen? What's your thinking or philosophy? Can you tell us more? 

Nicolai Tangen: Well, it happened gradually over time and I got to a stage where I thought, you know what? I don't need this. And I also felt that, you know, in my previous company I was investing on behalf of a lot of the big endowments in the world, you know, the big university endowments, museums, research organizations, and so on. And I, in a way, didn't think that the profit that I made belonged to me. And so we set up a foundation. I started by, you know, the stuff they tell you in the Bible give away 10%. So we started with it with 10%, then he went to 20, and then he went to 50. And then, I just thought I've got what I need. And so, yeah, so set up the foundation and when it comes to this pay cut I mean, you know what? I don't think I've taken a pay cut I think I've just got the most incredible job in the world, and so I just feel so privileged. 

Ilham Kadri: No, it's, it's fabulous and it's a role model, role modeling what should happen…

Nicolai Tangen: But you know, the interesting thing is, so I've heard some people say, you know what? The person who's got the most money when he dies, when he or she dies, he's the winner. He or she's the winner. and I just said, you know what? He or she is the biggest loser. 

Ilham Kadri: exactly. It's too late. 

Nicolai Tangen: do you wanna, why do you wanna die with all the money? Imagine what you can achieve, and the changes you can make in other people's life. 

Journey of NBIM under his leadership

Ilham Kadri: Let's finish with the NBIM. You took the reins, I think at the same time, almost like me at Solv in September, 2020 in the middle of the pandemic. Can you tell us about the journey of the Fund under your leadership?

Nicolai Tangen: Yeah, absolutely. So, when you take a new job, the most important thing is to sit down and talk to as many people as you can. And I think ideally you wanna do it before you start the job because when you start on day one, there is so much stuff going on, you have no time to sit down and listen. So you wanna do it beforehand. And why do you do that? Well, you show respect to the people who work there. You get a lot of data. So that when you make decisions, they're better. And it's easier to anchor your decisions and your changes when you know, all these people have had input. And then you sit down, you make a leadership group, you don't hire from outside the company. You distill the DNA you have. And this was something I learned from a guy called Albert Berney. He's chairperson for two companies in Switzerland, and you don't wanna hire from outside the company because then you basically show all that you don't trust the expertise you have. So, and then you set three targets. And you execute and don't do it too quickly because the people who fail, it's people who try to do too much too quickly. So what we did here was we, I sat down, talked to 140 people, figured out we have three priorities. One is performance, because performance always has to be a priority, number one for an asset manager. Then we wanted to have better communication internally and externally and really open up the fund to the outside world. And then it was the people, you know, focusing on, the people on the talent develop, you know, people really, really care for them. So that's what we've done

Ilham Kadri:So very simple. Um, but listening, it's important. Makingyour due diligence, giving people the opportunity to impact you say don't hire from outside. What's about managing underperformance? I guess you still bring some fresh blood from the outside or not?

Nicolai Tangen: Well, so what I think, you know, so-called and a performance, I mean, most likely it is people who are just not in the right place because, we all, you know, everybody has got abilities. And one of the things that make me the most happy is when you find somebody who is not thriving. You move him or her to a different role and wow, sometimes you release this energy and it's just really lovely to see

Ilham Kadri: Absolutely. Absolutely. And, and when, and I will finish with this on the NBIM current, you know, adventure when I was, um, at the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise conference, I got a lot of insights about you. Someone in the crowd told me….

Nicolai Tangen: Sounds so, so, sounds scary, this.

Ilham Kadri: No, it was actually all positive. You know, they said that you restore some pride around the fund, right? Because Norway is still seen as a fossil fuel, you know, country. Right. Relying on that and in a transition, and that you built a lot about the purpose, mission of the fund and restore the pride. Do, do you feel so? 

Nicolai Tangen: Well, I think people were already very proud of the fund. You know, it's one of the big success stories of this country. It was started 26 years ago with, you know, by some clever politicians, basically. It's been really well, anchored amongst all the political parties. And there's been two CEOs before me who have done a tremendous job and who've really built this organization. So it's not really me. And the Norwegian people are just so proud of this fund. You know, when I walk around, sit at the restaurant or go skiing or whatever, people stop me and wanna talk about the fund, and they're just so happy about it. It's just really wonderful, you know.

Sustainable AND profitable investing

Ilham Kadri: It's great to hear. Yeah. So, let us switch gears and, and you, as you know, Nicolai, this podcast is about the power of the AND, and how companies can achieve that power of the AND, and be, for example, sustainable AND profitable. And we all know that investors are increasingly calling for companies to do just that. And you've been at the heart of this discussion for most of your career with companies like ours, right around how to achieve both. Can you tell our listeners how you've seen it evolving? 

Nicolai Tangen: Yeah. You know, I think, 10 years ago or so, ESG and these types of considerations were separate from investing and it was, you know, different people who were doing it in the organization. Now, I think it really goes hand in hand because if you don't have a sustainable business, you will have nobody wanting to work for you. You know, if you pollute, nobody will join our company. Nobody will buy your products. You won't get a bank loan, you won't get insurance. You have just no future. So it's not, you don't have any choice. It goes hand in hand.

Ilham Kadri: Yeah. And you were recently quoted, Nicolai, in the FT, I was reading on the warning of the danger of, if the environment falls down the agenda because of the inflation and geopolitical challenges we are facing. You know, it can be really dangerous. And I often say that we are witnessing another crisis, but like every crisis it presents an opportunity. And it's painful, but teaching us how to live with less gas, how to better evaluate our investments in each region of the world, depending on their dependence on other fuels, how to decarbonize and build an ecosystem or renewable. So how does that weigh in your investment decision and how do you balance the growing importance of sustainability, carbon neutrality, which has a cost specifically for, you know, hard to abate sectors like, the chemicals, with your more traditional financial metrics, in this economically challenging environment?

Nicolai Tangen: Yeah. Well there, I know two different things there. Well, there are many things, uh, in your question there, but, first of all, the backlash against ESG I think is really, really worrisome. And, I just don't get it because for me, ESG has nothing to do with politics. It's just about common sense and creating a place which is sustainable and where we can live. And we don't really have a choice. I mean, taken to the extreme, a planet, which is inhabitable, you know, our investment fund is worthless, so we have to, we have to look at this. Now in terms of how we navigate the world. Now, we've launched last year a very strong climate action plan where we work on various levels. We work with the standard centers because we need better disclosure and better reporting. We work with the portfolio and then we work with the companies and with the companies we work through dialogue. We have, you know, roughly 3000 meetings every year. And, you know, because you have two different ways you can cope with a company where there are problems, you can, you can just sell it. Now, what do you achieve then? Well, the only thing you achieve is that those companies end up enhanced with people who don't care. Or you can go into a dialogue and I'm just a huge believer in a dialogue and being a constructive kind of driver and helper in making companies change.

Criteria for NBIM investments

Ilham Kadri: Yeah. and it's brilliant because for our Solvay audience, when I joined the company, they told me to sell one of our businesses called Soda Ash, which is the largest emitting, you know, business. We have just sell it. So I said if I sell it, it doesn't solve the problem for humanity. Right. It's just not anymore the problem of Solvay, and I believe we're probably the best owner to fix the problem. So I think it resonates a lot with what we heard at Solvay about this. I know you have a strong criteria for the companies you invest in, and of course we are happy that you own, you know, shares at Solvay. Can you tell our listeners about your selection process?

Nicolai Tangen: Yeah, the selection process is decentralized. We have 50, we’ve got more than 50, people who run portfolios, we have sector specialists, but they make their own selection, right? So that's not something that I do. I'm not sitting here and saying, listen, we should buy more Solvay. We should, you know, buy more or less of this and that. So we have, it's really decentralized and a huge amount of accountability, which I really believe in. So, that's how we do it. Now. They invest of course, to make returns, but all it needs to be done in a sustainable way and in a responsible way. And so that's a big focus for us. 

Importance of transparency

Ilham Kadri: And you said this, Nicolai, that transparency is important right? To, you know, in your fund. And when with your investors and society. You said recently that you aim to be the most open and transparent investment fund in the world. Have you succeeded to do that? And how are you doing this? 
Nicolai Tangen: Well, you probably wouldn't believe it, but there is actually a world championship and we came number two. Now we, we think it's okay to 
Ilham Kadri: Who's number one story? 

Nicolai Tangen: Well, I'll tell you. So, so we, we think it's okay to be beaten by the Canadians on ice hockey.

Ilham Kadri: Okay.

Nicolai Tangen: But we don't think it's okay to be beaten in transparency. So we are working hard on that. We are going to go for gold now. Transparency is key. You know, transparency is absolutely, I love transparency and, within the firm, if there is not a good reason to keep something, you know, secret, it's being shared with everybody. And we even share the minutes from our leader group meetings so that, and it's on the intranet. Everybody can see what we discuss and they can see what's coming. You know, 3, 6, 12 months down the road, we have just absolutely no secrets. And I'll tell you one thing, it's the most read thing that we publish internally. It’s really cool. Now what we also do is that we are transparent in how we vote, right? So if we vote against you at the AGM, we will explain why we do it. And we are also announcing five days ahead of the AGM how we are going to vote. So we are the only big institution I think in the world who does that, and I think it's very, very powerful.

Podcast: In Good Company 

Ilham Kadri: Yeah. and this is appreciated. I think many investors now, they engage because when you get the votes and sometimes it's anonymous, I think feedback is a gift. You know, if you share with us, you know openly what's going on, but I found, you know, posting your executive committees minutes onto the internet, this is something I've ever never heard. So this is, it's a learning for me as well. So thank you for that. In your own podcast In Good Company, which is fantastic, and I recommend to everyone to listen to. I was honored to be your guest last year, and as a fellow podcast host, you and I can relate. For me, it's been inspiring to talk to so many great leaders and hear their wisdom. Why are you doing a podcast and how has that experience been for you? What do you want to achieve with your podcast?

Nicolai Tangen: Well, of course I'm doing the podcast so I can speak with you, but, you know, all the likes are you. You know, my thinking was basically that it was an extension of the thinking on transparency. You know, the ultimate level of transparency is that the Norwegian people who own the fund can meet and learn from the people who run the best companies in the world. And since we owned so much of these companies, hopefully they would be willing to talk to us. And so, we have now released 20 episodes with, you know, the best leaders in the world. We have a tremendous lineup, for the, you know, for the spring. Just incredible. And, you know, I learn, people who listen to it, hopefully will learn. There is a lot of advice for students, so we have a huge amount of students who listen to this. We've had now, you know, roughly half a million downloads. It's been, it's been just tremendous and it's good for recruitment. It's good for everything.

Leadership lessons

Ilham Kadri: Yeah. Amazing, amazing. So, let's switch gears to, you know, characteristics of good or great leadership. And as a successful CEO, I know you are able to inspire a lot of young people, a lot of employees, the community, as I said last week there was a lot of wisdom about you. And I heard you say that developing young leaders is one of your favorite things to do. We have that in common. And on that point, I really like what you often say about the four characteristics of a good leader. Can you share more with our listeners? 

Nicolai Tangen: Yeah, I'm, you see, the thing is that I'm not sure it's only four because there are so many things, you know, that I think characterize good leaders and I'm not talking about myself. I'm just looking at what I see in other great people, right? And, I think listening skills are really, really important. You need to set, you need to set goals, and as part of that goal setting, you need to be able to tell stories. I think the world now is about storytelling. You need to crystallize some kind of vision and make it into a coherent story. Then of course, you need to motivate people, and you do that in a lot of different ways. But every time you get some positive feedback, you make sure to deflect that onto some other people, right? So when I get criticism, I try to keep it to myself. If I get praise or good feedback, I try to deflect it onto other people. And you also try to talk up people and give them recognition and make sure that you see them. And then one of the most important things, leave people alone. Leave them alone. Don't interview

Ilham Kadri: Get away from, from their way, right? 

Nicolai Tangen: No, don't interfere in details, you know, very, very, very important. So I think it's a combination of all these kind of things, but you know, I think I spent some time with the head of the Navy Seals in Norway, weeks ago now Navy Seals, they are the toughest of the toughest, okay.

Ilham Kadri: yeah, 

Nicolai Tangen: And I said, so what what is your main value. And they said, well, it's the community. It's to create this sense of community. Well, how do you create a sense of community? Well, you care. You care for each other. And it's through that caring that you build that community. And that's what we try to do in the fund as well. Really care for each other. Bring in some good old-fashioned love, you know, and that we've done over the last few years. We see that employment engagement surveys are improving, they are getting better and better. More people are thriving. People feel more fulfilled. It's really powerful.

Ilham Kadri: There is another one I loved actually you were one of the few, you know, put in it, in my vocabulary. You talk a lot about how grit is more important than talent, and you have a lot of stories about grit. You know, and I mean, for me, I put this on courage, resolve, and the strength. Right. Is it still in your top four? 

Nicolai Tangen: Well, grit is, I mean, grit is so important. And you look at what, why are some people successful? And it's not about, it's not about intelligence or that kind of thing. It's of course about hard work, but grit is so important and it's to take, you know, it is to take some hits and move on, you know? And it is probably something that we have a bit less of these days than what people had in the past, and there are many reasons for that. I did a podcast with Angela Duckworth on grit. She's the world leading expert on it, and I think it's just really, really fascinating.

Ilham Kadri: Yeah, I need to listen to it. You told me that last time. So you have a great reputation also, and, and you said that of a lifelong learner. And I've heard you tell a great story about what you call this, uh, mistakes machine, if I remember correctly, which is an investment simulator that warns you of past mistakes so you don't make them again. Tell, tell me more. Where, where can I find it, Nicolai, because we all need one of these. So tell us more. 

Nicolai Tangen: Yeah, no, I'm afraid you can't find our mistake machine because that's pretty proprietary. But, the idea is that we don't particularly like to look at our mistakes, right? Mistakes it's something you don't particularly wanna spend time on, right? We don't like to be reminded of our weaknesses. And so that's why we have to put it into a system because we make so many decisions in the investment world, and if you make, if you get 50% right, you are as good as everybody else. If you get 51% right, you are very good. And if you are 50, if you get 52% right, you are kind of a genius, right? And so, the margins are very small here. And so what we do is that, let's say now, Ilham, you wanna buy some shares now you wanna buy, oh, you'll wanna buy, apple. 

Ilham Kadri: Yeah. 

Nicolai Tangen: So then on the screen, before you put on the order, it says, well, but Ilham, you are not very good in technology. You have never made money in America. You are quite stressed because now you lost money in nine months in a row. And so historically that's been bad for you. Everybody else likes Apple, and you do better if you are more contrarian. You know, the trading size is too small compared to your sweet spot, et cetera, et cetera. So it takes all the information that we can read from all your previous behavior and feeds it back to you with the kind of analysis of what your weaknesses and strengths are. It's really powerful and we have had 30 people working on this now for nearly two years, and it's starting to become really good.

Ilham Kadri: So it's homemade, right? It's homemade 

Nicolai Tangen: We have developed ourselves. 

Ilham Kadri: Wow. This is fabulous. So turning data into smart data to equip you with, to make a smarter decision, better decision, I love it. 

Nicolai Tangen: That's the idea. 

Diversity, equity and inclusion

Ilham Kadri: Yeah. So let's switch gears to DEI, very close to our hearts at Solvay, very complicated space, you know, as probably, we discuss it, uh, together around diversity, equity, and inclusion. And I heard that you make a point of breaking down the silos, bringing in people with completely different backgrounds  to your accounts, and that has made all the difference. Tell us about your magic here. Do you have a recipe and how successful, how far you are down the road in that space? 

Nicolai Tangen: I'm not so sure we have any magic recipe, the thing is that the more different things, you know, and you combine, the better the decisions become, and very many of the big innovations in the world is basically combining things in a new way. And for instance, personally, one of the most valuable things I've done is to combine soldier psychology with finance is to understand, you know, how do people take risks? How do they make the decisions, how can you de-bias decision making and so on. So the more, the more different things you have into a decision making process, the better it is. Now that goes for the work situation. We now hire from many, many more backgrounds. We are very vocal about companies, boards. We think they need to be more diverse. And, what we see that the more kind of extreme views you get early into a decision making process, the better the outcome tend to be. 
Ilham Kadri: Yeah. And this is more than gender, Nicolai, right? It's diversity of thought, of background, all of this, right? 

Nicolai Tangen: Absolutely. So, you know, hey, we'd love to have you, for instance, involved because you are from Casablanca. You have a different kind of view because, you know, you grew up there. You know, it's just phenomenal to be with different people. 

Ilham Kadri: Yeah. And it's more fun not to be in such an environment. How do you do it within your team, your close executive committee or teams around you? Do you have complimentary profiles? How do you manage to get the diversity of thoughts? 

Nicolai Tangen: So I don't think we are there yet. We are, uh, you know, uh, still too male. We are, you know, 71% men in the fund. We are too white. We are too, you know, European, too much business backgrounds, and so on. So there is a lot more we can do. 

Ilham Kadri: There is a lot more, and it's like….

Nicolai Tangen: But, but you know, at the same time, at the same time, having said all that, there's nothing wrong being a you know, a white, white man.

Favorite books 

Ilham Kadri: Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. No, you need it all. You just need the rights, you know, mix, as you said, to impact more rights and the complementarities is helping the decision making and the company. Now some questions to finish with more for fun. Speaking of lifelong learning, you are a prolific reader, both of business books and fiction, which I like as well. And you often post about the books you are reading. What is your best or the last book you read this year and or last year? 2022. And what work of fiction has most impacted you?

Nicolai Tangen: The most surprising book last year that I read, which I just thought, wow, I mean, it was just like a complete revelation. It's called An Immense World by Ad Young, and it is about sensory biology.  You might be saying, Jesus, Nicolai, what is sensory biology? It's just unbelievable. It's just how different animals sense the world and kind of relate to the world. And it was just like a revelation. It was super interesting, you know? 

Ilham Kadri: Yeah. 

Nicolai Tangen: So that would, that would be strongly recommended. And then of course, you know, I think we probably don't read enough of the old classics, you know, the kind of Anna Karinina, some of the old, you know, we forget about, and I guess people, I mean, Russia is not, you know, the place to be these days, but gee, did they produce a lot of great literature in the old days.

Ilham Kadri: Yeah. Yeah. 

Nicolai Tangen: So revisit some of the old classics.

Favorite artists and paintings 

Ilham Kadri: Yeah. And the art is universal. So I agree. You've gone back to college to earn degrees in art history, social psychology, and even cooking. I love this. Let's start with art. I often say this businesses, you know, can learn so much from the arts. And we even had Claudy Jongstra, she's Dutch, a sustainable artist on the podcast recently, and you are an advocate of Norwegian art and a big fan of Edward Munch. What is your favorite painting by Norwegian artists and what can inspired our leaders our audience?

Nicolai Tangen: Okay, so what you have to do now is you have to travel to Oslo and you have to visit the two new museums we have. We have two unbelievable museums. We have the Munch Museum and the National Museum. They are just incredible. And the Munch Museum is so powerful because Munch was painting, you know, the really, really, deep feelings in a new way. You know, the angst, the love, you know, melancholy, loneliness, love all these things. It's so incredible. So, you know, his images are, they kind of transcend time and, you know, geographies and everything. 

Ilham Kadri: Yeah. So do you go often to the museum? Are you a member? Probably.

Nicolai Tangen: I am a member of a few museums. Yeah. But you know, very, very powerful images. 

Advice to young leaders

Ilham Kadri: So, and you stated that your knowledge of social psychology has come in handy in investing a lead in the company, right? So what would be your advice to the young listeners, right? Or the youth who wanna make a career in financing company like Solvay, what would be your advice to the youth.

Nicolai Tangen: Well, you have to you have to do what you love because there will be so many setbacks in life that if you don't love it, it's going to be meaningless. You have to work for somebody who is a good teacher and who takes care of you. That's much more important than salary. I mean, salary doesn't matter because it will come. If you do a good job, salary will come, but it is to learn from somebody. And then it is to do as many interesting things as you can. Read widely. Take the opportunities and the challenges when you get them. Always try to do the most difficult thing, never turn down a challenge, and then work hard and have fun. 

Ilham Kadri: Have fun. Yeah. Wow. So when, before last, can you tell us about one failure, one sobering moment where you learned so much from it. Nicolai, who shaped the leader? The, the, the parent, the spouse you are today.

Nicolai Tangen: I mean, I do so many mistakes. I make so many 

Ilham Kadri: One. just one.

Nicolai Tangen: But, you know, but you know what, but you know what? I'll tell you one thing. So when, so I came, I studied at a business school called Wharton, you know, in America. And, what they're pretty good at American Business Schools is to kind of send you out of there with massive self-confidence. I mean, way too much self-confidence. So I go into my first job, I kind of thought I did a good job, but after a few months, I was taken down and this kind of deep cellar, to be given some feedback on my first, period and the guy pulls out, you know, and a piece of paper, it was kind of as long as a toilet roll, you know, with mistakes I had made. I was just devastated and I went home for Christmas and had the worst Christmas holiday ever, but decided to get my act together and you know, and I thought, gee, I have to improve and I have worked ever since. Trying to improve. Now that's probably the worst type of leadership and feedback you can ever get. But gee, I mean, some of these straight bucks, you know, some of these straight feedbacks, they, they can do wonders and it certainly changed my, it got me, got me into gear, you know.

Favorite things to cook 

Ilham Kadri: Yeah. Well, thank you. Thank you for sharing this sincere and authentic experience. We all, we all had that, and it's, it helps if it's done constructively. Feedback is a gift and we need to fight against our ego, right? Which doesn't allow us just to, to welcome it. So, yeah. Thank you that's a big one. One last one. What do you like to cook? 

Nicolai Tangen: Oh my. There is, you know, cooking is a language of love. It's so wonderful. It's the way to. connect with people. But if you want, if you were to do something,  kind of nice and simple and on a budget, cuz we probably have some students here, you know, you kick off with, you chop up a red onion, put in a garlic, some chili, tomatoes and white wine and you just simmer it down and then you cook some pasta. The best is this air pasta, this, or jette, whatever it's called. You mix it up together and then you have some chorizo sausage, in there as well, and you layer it with rocket salad and manchego cheese and it's just like unbelievably good. Doesn't cost much. It's so nice and you know some good red wine. 

Ilham Kadri:Oh my. God. This is the chili pasta for tonight. So thank you. Thank you. 

Nicolai Tangen: I'll cook that for you. next time you visit. 

Ilham Kadri: Absolutely. And I promise to cook something Moroccan for you. So thank you. Thank you so much, Nicolai, for joining me. This was very inspiring. Your passion for lifelong learning is inspiring and brings the power of AND to new levels. That's all levels at your level. You tell us that you can learn and impact it. That we can be sustainable and profitable and never stop learning, right? So thank you for this fascinating discussion.

Nicolai Tangen: Thank you very much.