Christian Lanng

What are you most trying to accomplish in your work? 

Ultimately, I’m working to connect every business on the planet on one, open shared platform so that businesses can work together more easily and efficiently. I’m working to eliminate the endless exchange of inefficient email and paper and replace it with the focused purposeful connection of data.
This is extremely important to all of us for many reasons, but I believe the most important are:

What do you think sets your work apart from the work of others in your field?

The global reach of Tradeshift is certainly a differentiator. We’re working to connect businesses on a global scale and that has never been done before.

What or who inspired you to get into your field? Do you have any individuals or groups of people that you credit with helping you achieve the goals you set out to accomplish?

For as long as I can remember I’ve been inspired by entrepreneurs from all over the world - Elon Musk to name just one. As far as my inspiration for getting into my field, it all started when I worked to create PEPPOL - a cross border e-business framework, which today is used by more than 14 European governments. Seeing the success of PEPPOL inspired me to create a global solution. 

What role has serendipity played in the turning points in your career? 

It has played a big one. For example, meeting both Mikkel and Gert in the early days and the fact that we are still working side-by-side building Tradeshift is remarkable. That’s just incredible for me to think about sometimes. 

What have been the greatest challenges that you have encountered in your career?

As an entrepreneur I’ve faced many challenges. Tradeshift has grown so quickly and to do so we’ve had to make tough strategic decisions and occasionally that has meant letting people go. It’s never easy - especially in a familial company like Tradeshift. But I did it. As the leader and CEO, those tough challenges are mine to face and I’ve had to face them head on. 

Do you believe leaders and innovators have certain qualities that they all share? If so, what?

Yes and no. I believe innovators are often leaders. They want to drive change and are often looking to solve problems in new, interesting ways. However, some leaders simply lead the old fashioned way and don’t innovate along the way. I’d say good leaders and innovators have many qualities in common. 

How would you most like to change the world through your work?

I want the global economy to be more sustainable and for the world to realize that business does not have to be a zero-sum game. Meaning in order to win, someone does not have to lose. We can all win together: large enterprises and small suppliers. We are doing this at Tradeshift by digitizing business transactions, which unlocks valuable data to improve decision making. I want to continue on this path and help the world embrace healthy, sustainable economic growth.

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