Jukka was invited by Esther. She says: Jukka has boundless curiosity about how people and organizations tick. What I wonderfull way to describe someone. Interesting is the least you can say of Jukka. When you look at Jukka’s Linkedin profile, you see he was
- principle coach Of Reaktor ( one of the coolest agile companies in Finland.) What a wonderfull diverse carreer.
What is something people usually don’t know about you but has influenced you in who you are?
I went to Helsinki Upper Secondary School of Visual Arts for high school. The school had a strong emphasis on visual arts (maybe 1/4 of the classes was something related to arts and creativity ) and it had a big impact on me. The atmosphere at school was quite unconventional as high schools go (at least so I think) and we were provided a quite a lot of freedom (/w responsibility) on choosing our studies and where to spend our time.
If you would not have been in IT, what would have become of you?
Most likely an architect or engineer, but possibly a mathematician or physicist. Before high school I was striving to become an architect due my interest in arts. It would have been quite natural job selection as our family has a background in construction and engineering.
The employment situation at the time for architects wasn’t too good in Finland so I decided to pursue my childhood passion – computers and information science at the Helsinki University of Technology.
What is your biggest challenge and why is it a good thing for you?
I become absorbed in new interesting things very easily. When I find something interesting, other things that I have been focusing on all fall to the background.
I get a huge boost of energy when I learn or do something new, whether that is doing gymnastics, a new book, playing chess or giving effective feedback to colleagues. Because of that good feeling and energy I get a lot of done in a short amount of time.
The drawback is of course the lack of attention to other things – for instance I might realize after a month that I have not finished some other things I had picked up earlier (read a book, create a new training module). This makes me sad as it means at times I have a lot of WIP or loose ends. For example I have a huge (and I mean huge!) pile of books that I’ve started with enthusiasm but haven’t finished.
Overall I think this habit is good for me, because I love learning and making associations. Reading and trying a lot of different things I get new insights about how things relate to each other; and I can help others by pointing out to sources of information on different subjects.
What drives you?
The thing that has always driven me is challenge. If there’s a challenge it is highly likely that I will be very motivated on what ever the challenge is about. Learning is another big thing for me, I love learning new things and I have almost endless curiosity :). Having a new insights is so big a boost for me, that I’m almost addicted...
Something that I’ve found more and more motivating during the last couple of years is helping other people.
When I see someone become more motivated, satisfied, happy and energetic, I get a huge boost of energy for myself. I don’t know whether this is the cause or effect of my focus from coding and solving technical challenges to helping people and coaching people.
What is your biggest achievement?
Tough question. When thinking of my life, no specific one achievement jump to my mind. What I do recall, is the many many hours spent on pondering and working on some challenges or doing something else I enjoy.
For me, the destination is not that important, it’s how I got there that I remember and value.
One the my journeys that I treasure is my personal transformation from an expert to a coach – the biggest achievement is that I decided to start this transformation. There’s many great learnings and insights I’ve had during the years on this road – and still learning!
What is the last book you have read?
The last book I read fully was The Anatomy of Peace by Arbinger Institute. It is an outstanding novel that helped me understand how I am not only responsible of my actions, but also of my feelings and how this revelation affects the relationships with people. It had a huge impact on my outlook on life.
After The Anatomy of Peace I’ve started about half a dozen books. Here’s the one’s that I am multi-reading and almost finished with:
- Quiet Leadership by David Rock
- Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Gunaratana
- Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths & Total Nonsense by Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert I. Sutton.
What question do you think I should also ask and what is the answer?
What’s your last significant insight related to your work?
I got big insight from David Rocks’ school of coaching which is based on latest brain science; When coaching, stay away from details, concentrate on the other coachee’s thinking.
Questions about details like "What happened next? What are the different factors of that problem?" are usually not too useful in helping the coachee go forward. They lead to information exchange between the coach and coachee, rather than create insights or momentum.
As a coach I don’t need to know the details of the dilemma, the coachee knows all of that already. In fact, my goal is not to know about coachee’s problem, but help that person go forward. For that I need to help that person come up with new insights about the situation. For example asking questions related to the coachee’s thinking has much higher probability on creating an insight for the coachee ("Where is your thinking right now on this issue? What have you learned? What else?").
The insight was not really while hearing or reading about this, but as I started trying this out. I’ve have great results trying this approach. You can read more about this from Quiet Leadership or Coaching with the Brain in Mind by David Rock.
Who do you think I should ask next?