Jules Lajola

About me
and my life

I suppose few words of my origin

I was born in Kerava, Finland in 1975 to a working-class family. My alcoholic father first worked as a UN peacekeeper and at later age served the Finnish penitentiary system, while my mother was a maid and a cleaner. We were not poor, but definitely not rich. Thanks to the Finnish societal system, basic education was free, and everyone got a fair chance in life, even though life did not always seem worth living.

Hard school years that paved the road to early adulthood

I had very hard years at elementary school: I was bullied and had an eating disorder. At young age, school was never interesting for me, so I started working at a store at sixth grade and basically have been in work life ever since. I spent my free time making architectural drawings, wandering outdoors and reading. At school, I was always the kid in the last row of the class – afraid to talk, afraid to be noticed. How I hated school and loved working.

Life changes from expected outcome to possibilities

I turned 18 while being an exchange student at Upland High School in California. It was the end of the school year that truly changed my life. Having already worked for five years while also going to school, I had accepted that you are what you make of yourself in life and that it is not always an easy road to walk. However, the Californian spirit at all levels of life, freedom, entrepreneurial spirit, giving back and sharing, combined with the melting pot of LA culture, changed me to my core. I decided to make something out of myself.

I ended up at the age of 22 to lead a very challenging business segment of over 200 employees

A change that leads to a profession

By being a hard worker and being at the right place at the right time, I ended up at the age of 22 to lead a very challenging business segment of over 200 employees at a global leading service company with a global staff of over 300,000. Many have asked why I got this opportunity. The segment was supposed to be closed due to financial losses and customer dissatisfaction, and I was given the burial job. However, I was able to turn it around in six months and won the customer trust back. My burial job extended into a journey for a decade or so, building business units under my management, having a staff of over 700 both in Finland and Sweden and working on business development and closing segments. I enjoyed working for a large global company: it was educational and rewarding and I got to build my knowledge and knowhow inside a truly mega company. Upstairs learned to trust I was good at crises and opportunities, so those tasks were often given to me as extras. Unfortunately, working around the clock took its toll and affected weight control, so I took physical exercise as part of my life and still do so actively. While working I also completed my MBA at Henley Business School in United Kingdom.

Growing up to international business and leadership

At my early forties, I was invited to join a new opportunity by few investors who wanted me to come and start developing and growing their start-up businesses and going from local presence to global reach. At the same time, I was given the opportunity to build my own business and to work as an advisor and interim manager for other ventures. These years were educational, rewarding and, to say the least, sometimes challenging with the 2008 financial crisis, wars and conflicts then and now, the pandemic, inflation, supply chain issues and the world’s political climate being what it is. Being part of various corporate life cycle events from fundraising and initial public offering to going from local to global has been a great learning experience. While travelling and working around the world, I decided to use my time at airports and hotels to reading and completed a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) from the University of Reding in United Kingdom.

Jules Lajola

Coaching and advisory

The older I get, the more serious I feel about coaching and advisory. It is my passion in life, and I believe we all need good advice and benefit from great coaching. Therefore, my DBA focused on executive coaching with special focus on relationship building, cultures, generations and trust. During my doctorate program, I also obtained a coaching certificate from Berkeley Executive Coaching Institution. Having a solid background in leadership, business development, crisis management and leading people, I find satisfaction and pleasure in advising and coaching others. As an advisor, I believe it is vital to know how to listen and to know how to share advice that is embedded in a lifetime of knowledge and experience. In coaching, I believe we must build for the coachee an open relationship that is based on trust. Finally, as a leader: leadership matters, taking responsibility matters, and people are the key.

Jules

Partnered for almost 30 years. Sharing time between Barcelona, Helsinki and the world. People believer.

And, I have two books coming out in 2024:

Jules Lajola