Reaching new limits

I’m married and father of two. Before working as a WEP project manager I was with Oulu unit of the Finnish Association of People with Physical Disabilities for 23 years.

I have had several confidential posts and at the moment I am the board vice chairman of Oulu Palvelusäätiö, the chairman of the senior citizen and disability task force of greater Höyhtyä and the board chairman of the Lintulampi Palloseura.

Read more by choosing section below

My philosophy

I’m perpetually young, humane mind. I believe in breaking down barriers, in the positive sense. There is no one thing that one cannot put into action if one wants to – you just have to find a way. I apply the same principle in my work; working with disability and age is not a ”profession” that can be done inside the four walls. My own experiences when I was young have led me to fight for those who are weaker.

Successful leadership in the future demands a different way of thinking which will change the entire organisational culture. Army style leadership will soon be history.

Through the WEP project (improving the life of the seriously disabled) I have wanted to bring out so called fresh management culture and leadership. According to the old fashioned leadership thinking there exists the need to control employees as if they are children or prisoners.

“The future in leadership is here, but we don’t know how to deal with it yet”, says Sudhanshu Palsule, a leading thinker in the field of transformative leadership. According to research, many employees are motivated when they have room to work, they enjoy what they are doing and when they genuinely feel that they are good at what they do. We must get rid off too much control and managers must be able to inspire their subordinates. This requires not only new kind of thinking, but also support and recognition to employees as well as transparency in all actions.

Personal experiences

When I was five years old, my father was disabled and suffered brain damage. This led to my parents’ divorce and I was moved to live in Lappi with my grandparents. This way I acquired three uncles and aunts, all of us living under the same roof. I spent five years in the house until my father recovered so that he was able to look after me again. During the five years in the house my grandfather died of cancer and one of the aunts, who was like a mother to me, was severely disabled for the rest of her life. I felt immense grief, but all these experiences also made me stronger in a way. Then came a time when I had to leave the familiar surroundings, friends and family as well as my little school of thirty children and I had to move to Lahti to live with my father. That was a huge change to a small boy who was used to living in Lappi.

At work and off work

My father wasn’t able to work ever again so he mostly focused on my upbringing. Due to the brain damage that he had suffered my father did not always act in the most logical or rational way. You could not really see the disability from the outside, but his behavior was not “stereotypical” like most people’s behavior is. Due to this I was bullied at school. I was bullied because my father was “stupid and disabled”, according the other children at school. At that age it all felt really bad as I would always look up to my father when the rest would just laugh at him. It was then that I decided that this is not something that people should laugh at and so I dedicated my life to helping others, both at work and off work.

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Strength for life

For 25 years I have worked with disabled and elderly people. During that time I have also educated myself in the field and updated my training along the way, for example in Kajaani University of Applied Sciences and in University of Oulu. My enthusiasm for the field led me to enroll for open university studies in Oulu in 2008 in order for me to learn more about the education field. The studies are still to be completed, however, I have learned many things that I apply in my day-to-day work. With my story and thoughts I wish you a wonderful fall and amazing strength for life for all.