When you talk to Sofie Sörelind, development, improvement and process alignment is the red thread. Learning new things is the main reason she gets out of bed in the morning.
Sofie has always had an interest in technology, math and business development, which shows in her choices of education. She studied Industrial Economics with a focus on Business Engineering and has a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Economics.
Sofie started out in strategic purchasing at Atlas Copco’s mining business area in 2004, which today is the separate company Epiroc. Already from the start she felt she was part of a big family, with good managers who have continued to support her personal development over the years.
Since 2016, Sofie has worked as a Process and Customer Support Manager within the Power Technique Nordic Customer Center. She likes being close to the market and manages a team of service-minded people who keep track of customers’ orders, machine availability, inventory management, logistics, and process and system development. Sofie is also a SHEQ Manager (Safety, Health, Environment and Quality) which includes ISO certification, the management system, legal compliance, internal and external audits, and more.
“It is the variety of the tasks and the interaction with colleagues around the world which makes the job at Atlas Copco so great,” Sofie says. “And of course, the challenge to always improve and develop the way we do things.”
Becoming a manager was a great challenge, but also fun, Sofie says. To focus on the team members’ individual strengths and performance, and encourage them to develop while having fun at work are some of the things Sofie points out as important in her leadership.
When it comes to diversity Sofie strives to acknowledge people who might not get the attention they deserve. “It’s important that everyone feels included,” she says. She also points out the importance of recruiting managers for their ability to lead, inspire and drive results, instead of promoting people solely based on their skills in performing their job tasks.
“To get great managers you need people who are skilled in leadership, no matter who they are or where they come from,” Sofie explains.
Sofie mentions that one of her biggest challenges right now, when most people are working from home due to COVID-19 recommendations, is to know how the team is doing and coping. “Therefore, I have introduced regular online meetings where we share our present job situation and where well-being is in focus,” she says.
She also shares one of her early insights as a manager: “When I started as a manager I had so much focus on my team, so I almost forgot my own work and well-being. I learned fast to change my mindset and to separate my own role as an employee and my role as a manager. It is the same rule as on aircrafts when you need to give oxygen. First you must look after yourself, then you can become a good manager.”
The main reason she has stayed with Atlas Copco since 2004 is the global interaction. Sofie has had the opportunity to travel, meet and work with people from all over the world. Another aspect is the company’s focus on continuous personal development and availability of new opportunities.
Sofie has taken part in both international and national development programs and in connection to becoming a manager she also participated in one of Atlas Copco’s leadership development programs. “The company did indeed prepare me for my manager role, she comments. “Taking on a new challenge is a fantastic way to explore skills you didn’t know you had, Atlas Copco brings out the best in you,” Sofie concludes.
Motivation: Continuous development and process improvement.
Role model: Her parents. “Might sound cliché, but it’s the truth,” Sofie says. She also finds the successful Swedish entrepreneur Gunilla Von Platen a very interesting and talented person and always reads her posts.
Family: Husband, daughter, son and an American Bully dog.
Unknown skill: She worked in Norway (Ålesund) cleaning fish for a year, and amongst her colleagues Sofie is known for her big and contagious laugh.