Meet Sofie Sandell, Change Maker Extraordinaire

Many people who are climbing the career ladder are waiting to say what they think until they reach the top. They wait for that “moment” when you are allowed to do start influencing. I don’t think it works this way at all.

I’ve interviewed Sofie Sandell, Film Producer and Change Maker Extraordinaire. Every time I meet Sofie she reminds me to stay on track and be ambitious. 

Hi Sofie, can you tell us a bit about yourself? 

My name is Sofie Sandell and I live in West London. I’m originally from Göteborg, Sweden.

Since I moved to London I’ve been active in JCI London and I was the local president 2008.

In my day job I am the manger for a digital marketing team and I am also a film producer. I am working on a new TV-series about leadership and how people can make an impact.

I start my days with bootcamp in Chiswick three days per week and I try to go to some cultural events and shows in London every now and then.

Sofie, you are one of the most impactful people I’ve ever met, how do you do it, what’s your secrets?

To create an impact is to change something, drive something forward, and to do this you need people to work with you. Most people want to work with enthusiastic people so I try to work with things that I know I am enthusiastic about and then the people I need to help me will join in.

When I have been involved in a project which has made an impact I have always spent a lot of time doing research for the needs; why we need to do it? what will happen if we don’t do something about it? etc. When you have these facts on the table and the why? is very clear, then you have enough behind you to move it forward. It becomes very difficult for people who are very risk-averse to say no when you have a lot of facts on the table.

You only get what you ask for, nothing else

I also have very high expectations, and this often helps me to get what I want in return. If I have very high expectations it is contagious and the people I need are jumping onboard. You only get what you ask for, nothing else unfortunately. In the end I believe I have a mix of good sales skills and enthusiasm and then it all starts to flow automatically.

What kind of people make an impact on you? 

I like to work with consistent people who are honest and driven by their own values. When you know why they are doing what they are doing and there is no hidden agenda then it becomes a pleasure to work together. This kind of people make most impact on me.

What do you think stand in the way for some people making an impact? 

Fear of doing something wrong that other people can criticise is probably what stand in they way for many people. To make an impact often includes to “become the blue monkey”, to stick out from the crowd. And this can be very uncomfortable in the beginning and some people (and maybe yourself) will try to hold you back.

To make an impact often includes to “become the blue monkey”, to stick out from the crowd

Many people who are climbing the career ladder are waiting to say what they think until they reach the top. They wait for that “moment” when you are allowed to do start influencing. I don’t think it works this way at all. People on the top who challenge what is going on around them has done this on many occasions in their career and lives. They started early. The higher you climb the more conflicts, change and turbulence you need to be able to handle.

To become a person who makes an impact you have to get your fingers burned a few times, it will hurt a bit, but if you would like to take the lead and make an impact you have to give it a go a few times. You’ll improve your impact skills over time. Try not to spent too much time listen to people who says: What was it I said.. They are all people who never done something differently and they are just trying to make themselves feel good.

It takes practice to become an impactful person. And you have to take some risks to do it too.

Do you have a life mission or vision you live your life by? 

Yes and no. I often think about who I would like to be remembered as; a person who was quiet and didn’t do something about what is happening in the world; or a person who influenced and improved the world. Most days I choose to be the latter person. I take my life seriously and I try to do things that are good for me as often as I can, this gives me energy to do things for others around me.

What book(s) are on your bed stand table just now? 

I am reading ‘First break all the rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently’ by Marcus Buckingham & Curt Coffman and a book by Sven-Göran Eriksson about the psychology in football ‘On Football’.

Anything else you’d like to share with us? 

Impact starts in your mind. So to stretch your mind and be creative is a good start. People’s limited beliefs are probably what stops many from creating an impact.

Thank you Sofie!

Sofie blogs her thoughts about the world and leadership on Sofie Sandell’s Blog.

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