Sunday World (South Africa)

Democracy greases the wheels for Alexanders­on

Businessma­n revels in leading an inspired team

- By Kabelo Khumalo kabelo@sundayworl­

This week we had a sit-down with Sebastien Alexanders­on, theb group director at Financial Wealth Holdings.

What is your leadership style/ how do you manage to get the best out of people?

My leadership style is a democratic one, concerned with ensuring that the people in charge influence and inspire their teams to perform at an optimum level, while also encouragin­g the latter to be proactive in the direction that they would like their careers and the business to go. I, together with upper management all equally share in the responsibi­lities, the victories, and failures, all the while continuous­ly working to empower the staff with the right tools to that enable them to succeed.

Which book has had the most impact on you and why?

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t by Jim Collins. I was first introduced to Good to Great maybe about 10 years ago, before moving to South Africa. It was during a transition­al time in my business where I was the sole shareholde­r on my way to developing my business partnershi­ps and growing the business. And that book taught me the impor

tance of adopting a collaborat­ive leadership style within your organisati­on, ensuring that everyone has a voice and actively contribute­s to the company’s decision-making process.

Which music is currently on your play list?

I’m a Spotify guy. My discover weekly knows me very well. I love everything from classical music, opera, to funky house. So, my playlist varies depending on my mood, and what I need to do, but Spotify gets me 99% of the time. In terms of favourite artists, I’m listening to a lot of Lane

8 now, and my favourite band of all time is definitely The Kleptones.

Which sport do you follow and what is your favourite team/athlete?

My favourite sport in the world is ice hockey. As a Canadian born, I am an avid Montreal Canadians fan, currently playing in the NHL… although I am no longer able to follow it as much anymore because of the time difference.

How do you balance work and home life?

Breaking away from work for a while helps you focus and apply yourself to your work with even more vigour and gusto when you return. Therefore, for me, it is important to be able to climb those mountains, go sailing, and participat­e in whole host of other outside-ofwork activities with loved ones whenever I can.

What is your most valuable possession in life?

Time. There was a time when I was on my way to becoming, I suppose, successful, where I thought a car, or a house, or something shiny would give me happiness. However, at the age of 42, I am at a stage where I am getting rid of all my material possession­s and moving towards living a minimalist­ic life. I don’t believe that I have a materialis­tic possession that offers me any real value.

If there is one thing you would change about South Africa, what would it be?

The education system. I would make education a priority. I would pay the teachers more to ensure elevated success. I would try my best to improve and adapt the next generation so that they don’t have to face the problems that we are currently facing as a country, which is unemployme­nt and lack of skills.

I don’t believe I have a materialis­tic possession that offers me real value

 ?? ?? Sebastien Alexanders­on, is the group director at Financial Wealth Holdings.
Sebastien Alexanders­on, is the group director at Financial Wealth Holdings.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa