Alfonso Paradinas story – international and ambitious leader

Get to know Alfonso Paradinas, one of our INSEAD Sweden Alumni member .

Alfonso is an international leader in construction industry passionate about ambitious leadership, sports and travelling


* What has taken you to your current position? Any defining moments? 

My position involves construction and teams management. I would not have reached my current role without the decision to pursue an Insead MBA and without having taken the risk to move to Africa to start a new company from scratch. Both defining moments have shaped my career and have allowed me to be where I am today.

* What do you do in your professional life? 

I am Sika Sweden’s Managing Director. I am leading a team of 105 employees that generates an annual turnover of over 80m EUR. Sika is a world wide leader in the development and production of systems and products for bonding, sealing, damping, reinforcing and protecting in the building sector and motor vehicle industry.

* What do you think we need to develop for the future of work and in our leadership? 

There are two trends that are and will certainly continue shaping the future of work;

  1. Digitalisation, that Covid pandemic has accelerated its development and implementation; companies have had to quickly adapt all their systems and their internal and external communication structure to cope with lockdowns and social distancing.
  2. Sustainability, crucial to change the negative spiral that our planet is facing. From CO2 emission reductions to a radical production and supply chain recycling approach, shareholders and customers are demanding companies to transform the way they interact with nature.

As for leadership, there are three elements that employees are expecting from their top managers;

  1. Flexibility; with such a global and digital world, the younger generation will simply not accept the old way of the daily commute to the office. They are demanding much more flexibility from their employers to work from “anywhere”
  2. Empowerment; old school micromanagement does not work anymore. Younger generations expect to be able to take the lead and to be much more involved in decision making processes
  3. Diversity; much more mixed management both in terms of gender and race is a must for companies to compete and to grow. Not only due to “political reasons”, but diversity allows teams to think much more “outside the box” and to come up with new ideas

* Any particular pointers for books, podcasts or articles you think would be valuable for others to explore?

“To live is to take the risk of deciding who do you want to be” this quote by Ortega y Gasset has been my life motto for many years. I strongly recommend “The Revolt of the Masses” as it is a great critical essay about how human kind behaves around other peers and it fits very well with the world we live in.

I am also extremely passionate about the conquer of Everest history. One of my big life heroes is George Mallory, an English explorer that back in the 1920’s firstly attempted to reach the summit. “Paths of Glory” by Jeffrey Archer tells his story in a compelling way and very much worth reading about Mallory’s determination, life passion and love for his wife and his mountain.

* When you get some spare time, what do you like to do? 

In my spare time, I enjoy playing and practicing all kind of sports; skiing, tennis, paddle, football, swimming, running…it is the way I channel stress and also an great excuse to meet people and to network. My other passion is traveling and learning about new cultures. Given than Sweden is the 10thcountry I live in the last 16th years, living abroad has allowed me to grow both professionally and personally

* What are you particularly good at, that others in the network can contact you about? 

Since a very young age, I have been exposed to different cultures and I have lived in many countries. Thanks to this, I am able to adapt and to lead multi-cultural teams. Since I have quite an outgoing personality, I am a good communicator. I am also able to solve problems under tight deadlines and stressful situations. People can also contact me if they want to learn to play paddle or tennis!

Connect with Alfonso Paradinas here

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