Having belief and purpose, a conversation with Mercedes Alonso, Executive Vice President Renewable Polymers and Chemicals at Neste

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Having belief and purpose

“It is extremely powerful… just simply to have the courage of saying, you know your stuff go and do it”.

In this episode of The Leadership Sessions, Tom Van Dyck and Mercedes Alonso discuss the challenges and benefits of diversity, the meaning of authentic leadership and the opportunity of having the patience to let different opinions and different experiences influence decision making.

The Leadership Sessions is a podcast series of captivating conversations with exceptional leaders from around the world sharing their insights, experiences, thoughts, and personal opinions about what leadership means and what it takes to be effective.

Tom Van Dyck, Senior Partner at TPC Leadership

Mercedes Alonso, Executive Vice President Renewable Polymers and Chemical s at Neste.

TPC Leadership is a dynamic global partnership specialising in leadership solutions that deliver cultural transformation and financial impact. With offices around the world, covering 100+ countries, a network of 350+ partners, consultants and associates from diverse professional and cultural backgrounds, TPC Leadership delivers transformational leadership solutions in service of people and business results.

Neste, based in Finland, is the world’s leading producer of sustainable aviation fuel and renewable diesel, and works on solutions for the chemicals and polymers industry to address global issues, such as plastic waste, pollution and climate change.

On your personal take on leadership:

  • ”leadership is truly about people about the teams that you have”
  • “It is extremely powerful… just simply to have the courage of saying, you know your stuff go and do it, if you need something, I’m here to help”

On authentic leadership:

  • “…if I, as a leader, have that belief and the purpose and you take it seriously, and everything we do is guided by that purpose… that’s showing authentic leadership.”
  • “the people, when they are so engaged, when they see that they are doing something with meaning and purpose that their leadership also see them as people and not just as employees, then they give the best…”

On diversity:

  • “when you have so much diversity, what you have is as well as an enormous richness of different opinions and different experiences. And they do not always converge… so it requires a much more active style of leadership…”
  • “we want to hire a balanced approach but what we see is that then we attract a lot more of different talent. People that do believe in diversity people, that see that they don’t need to fight for equality because it’s obvious”
  • “we have a lot of fun working together, we cherish these kinds of different ideas and hearing what the others have seen in their careers or what they think”
  • “using that diverse team to understand where we’re going in the business, I truly think that that’s what is making the difference”

On what you would say to your 25 year-old self:

  • “enjoy what you have, exploit it, and then just listen to yourself”

If you wish to share comments or a specific topic that you would like us to cover in a podcast, drop us a line on podcast@tpcleadership.com

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