A patient negotiator succeeds as a supervisor

Jussi Kauppi gained paving experience through summer jobs and moved from Finland to Denmark.

Name, position and age           

Jussi Kauppi, supervisor, Paving, Denmark, 40 years 

What kind of training and education do you have?

Youth and leisure instructor (Youth Institute of Finland, Mikkeli)

How did you end up in your position?

I started my career in paving at the Forssa asphalt plant in 1991 in Finland. My father had agreed on a summer job for me there. That was followed by many summers of working all around the country during school holidays. In 1995, between upper secondary school and military service, this boy from countryside got an opportunity to experience the great wide world and more specifically Denmark. The posting lasted about six months. I got another chance to work there in 1999, this time for four months. In 2000, I moved permanently to Denmark. Yes, there was this special lady - and the Danish culture is not that different than in Finland, and only 1.5 hours fly to travel between countries.

What is your typical working day like?

My typical working day consists of reviewing and overseeing conditions. I order asphalt and coordinate orders with asphalt plants and transport companies. I do all those things that others don’t do.

What do you like most about your job?

No two days are alike.

What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

The most challenging aspect is finding myself between two demanding groups of people. On the one hand, there are employees, that is, my own team. On the other hand, there are site managers, administration and management. If I pay too much attention to one, I inevitably don’t pay enough attention to the other, which makes work considerably harder. In addition, it is difficult to find time for family and recreation during the busiest months.

What kind of a person achieves success in your position?

A patient negotiator who is soft as a kitten but can also turn into a lion king when necessary. Egoists or persons with bloated egos do not peacock around for long — alone you are nothing.