CEO Ragnar Horn of Taconic AS Discusses Leadership Traits and Work Process

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Ragnar Horn made a name for himself in the investment industry under the banner of Norwegian’s Taconic AS. Horn himself was born and raised in Norway before leaving the country to move to America to pursue higher education. After landing his B.A. from Williams College, Ragnar would go on to attend the Harvard Business School where he would complete his MBA. Now a leader in the investment industry, Ragnar Horn is taking some time out of his day to discuss the traits, processes, and routines that keep him successful in an industry that is always threatening to leave people behind.

While Ragnar Horn is not a mythical figure like his namesake would imply, he certainly carries a Viking-like approach to the way he works. Ragnar claims that his competitive spirit is among the “biggest factors” in his ascent through the industry to his leadership position as a CEO. Ragnar pointed to his youth athletic career as a precursor for the competitive spirit that he would bring to investing. In his youth, Ragnar competed as a Division 1 skier while in college before competing in cross-country races upon graduation. Ragnar still cross-country skis to this day, completing more than three races in the past year alone. This kind of drive and willingness to embrace physical adversity is one of the reasons Horn believes that he can overcome any challenge in the business sector.

While competition gives Ragnar Horn motivation, it is far from the only reason that he continues to build a name for himself with his work s Chairman of Taconic AS, a family-owned investment company that works within Norwegian’s real estate, offshore, and shipping markets as well as a variety of other equity firms. Horn points to his abilities as a listener with an open mind as another driving factor for his success. Horn points to negotiations with stakeholders as an example where being open-minded, flexible, and willing to listen can have an astounding and positive impact. Horn points out that it isn’t very useful to look at the world in black and whites, rather instead keeping an open mind to explore new ideas as they appear.

Even though Ragnar Horn has enjoyed a monumentally successful career, failure is something that must always be tended to. Horn thinks that many great CEOS and leaders-in-the-making have fallen short of their goals due largely to cognitive bias or thinking errors. Acting emotionally and working off of ideas rather than objective realities can cause errors within a business, at least from the perspective of Ragnar Horn. Ragnar’s suggestion for up-and-coming CEOs is to take your time, think clearly, and act objectively while leaving your emotions out of the equation. When you prioritize colder facts and logic, it becomes easier to distinguish great business decisions from biased ones.

Finally, Ragnar Horn knows that the business world is rapidly changing and evolving. Despite his own success as an investor, Horn thinks that staying humble, keeping an open mind, and being willing to listen are the traits and processes that allow him to succeed. Rather than grow with pride, like many successful entrepreneurs do, keeping a focus and pointed attitude on the task at hand can have better results.

Outside of his work in investing, Ragnar Horn has worked with a variety of private and public boards. Horn is currently operating on the Board for the Norwegian business Eindomsspar AS as well as Victoria Eindom AS, a pair of leading real estate firms. Horn is also working for a variety of non-profit organizations including the Oslo International School in Norway for more than 14 years before stepping aside in 2016.