Amazing person: Håkon Knappskog

I thought I knew Håkon after coaching him since 1,5 years. We had gone through his deliverables in life, how they could be measured, his full current life situation, his ideal situation, his purposes and goals in life. And he had moved on upward like I’ve never seen before – from a salesman in the company to the sales manager in 1/6th of the time he had planned, and now he was the CEO. Amazing. Like a rocket.

And here I was sitting at his wedding. He was about to marry the beautiful and funny Jessie. The couple had visited us on our boat last year and Håkon and I had spent lots of time together for more than a year. Still – there were plenty of surprises from the speeches at this wedding, although all of them reinforced my impression of him. From stories of a joyful, prankster, fun kid to stories of a fun, prankster and joyful adult.

Let me now clear up the definition of a word I will use in the next paragraph. When I write “unserious”, I mean the opposite of “serious” in this sense: Serious is when things are getting grave, darker, stressed and cramped – like when you think “Shit, this is damn serious!”. Unserious is when it’s light, easy, playful. Like when you were a child. And with this quote from L. Ron Hubbard, you should get the full context: “The more serious you take the game, the less chance there is of winning“.

Håkon is unserious. He is playful, relaxed, chill, fun and easy going. And precisely because of this, he is very productive. He has an intelligent simplicity about him that makes it easy for him to look for and find the really simple and effective solutions. Even when the tide is high and the waves are raging, he is able to keep his composure and be his kid self. And yes, he is like a kid in many respects – complete with pranks and practical jokes. And whimsical and creative and unpredictable. But very professional. ANd he is able to lay effective plans as well.

Håkon is able to really capture the moment and enjoy life fully, even without any plan. When he first contacted me for assistance, he wanted more structure in his life. So, we provided this. But after having known and worked with Håkon on a personal level for a couple of years now, I am a bit wary of the need for more structure. Because here is where a balance should come in. Too much focus, and you may loose out on interesting situations and relations. The kid may suffer, creativity may take a hit. I told him the last time we met that I was thinking about writing a book titled “Less Focus”, inspired by Håkon. I had to explain this by adding that I thought it important that he never loose that kid in himself, that spontaneous, fun boy able to take a different turn. I told him I was a bit fed up with all this serious business talk about focus, focus, focus, structure, form, plan, follow-up, focus, focus. And that he had something to bring to the business world from a different angle. And the success to prove it. He smiled. Perhaps he can write a chapter or two in that book.

I have learned a lot from Håkon. Maybe he thinks that the learning has been more of a one-way street. But no. He has inspired and given more life to that little kid in me. And for that I am very grateful.

2 thoughts on “Amazing person: Håkon Knappskog

  1. OMG, Geir, where do you find these amazing people? What you wrote here about Håkon was both thought provoking and inspiring. Reading about him and his interest in structure although being a very unserious person,
    I had a little epiphany: A person must have enough structure in his/her life to be free enough and relaxed enough to be able to be spontaneous and creative. Seems sort of ironic but true. (Thanks, Håkon :))

    Btw, I have noticed that you are getting better and better as a writer, both technically and artistically. And it seems to be occurring so rapidly that I’ve had a similar sensation to watching time-lapse photography :). The above post, for example, is superb. Maybe Håkon has had an influence on this greater freedom you have that comes through in your writing.

  2. When I was in the university, the automatic control theory professor recruited some of the best students (I was one of them) for a big IT project he was working: the automatization of a storage warehouse of millions cubic meters petroleum. It was a high quality error-free project. Just one critical mistake may cause a disaster.

    The first thing they told me after the hired me: this is a “serious” high quality project, however at every opportunity we have, we’ll have a lot of fun.

    This was the everyday work environment lead by our boss: every day we were doing some pranks or jokes, either among ourselves or to another department. After this job, I always tried to work in this kind of work environment.

    This job was a blessing for me, this is the way I learned to work and to manage my private life (although I don’t do pranks anymore). Marildiv’s epiphany (2012-10-29 at 07:43) is a good summary of this.

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