Out of Office: Alfredo José Assumpção

Alfredo José Assumpção, chairman of FESA Holdings, has enjoyed a decorated career, including launching FESA in 1995. In addition he is a writer, poet and musician, having released 11 books and five CDs.

How long have you been practicing your various hobbies?

I composed my first song when I was 16 years old as soon as I learned to play my very first chord (E7), but, before that I had already some poems written. I was born in a small village called Anta in the country part of Rio de Janeiro State. The place was so out of date that I saw TV for the first time when I was a teenager. We were used to using our spare time for acting in theater, learning music, writing poems and other activities related to art. So I dare say that I was born practicing my present hobbies.

What do you find so attractive about having creative activities outside of work?

I have one book called Happiness, Our Everyday God and another called Fearless Management – How To Become Happy In The Corporate World. In these two books say that for a person to be happy they must use the utmost of their potential. Not below, not above. I try to use my total capacity – whether that is related to my art or in my professional work – in order to be happy. I design my own challenges and work to overcome them. It does not matter to me if they are related to my art, my entrepreneurism or my consulting activities.

How do you find the time to pursue all of these activities?

Life is like a pizza divided in many pieces, each one representing a kind of activity, with an amount of time you devote to it. Sometimes I need to stop one activity to dedicate myself to other activities, selected as more important at that specific moment. This way the size of the piece of the pizza will depend on the moment I am living and the interest I am showing for a specific matter.

Are there any achievements that you are particularly proud of around your hobbies?

One of the greatest was to initiate FESA (at that time as Financial Executive Search Associates) in 1995 in Brazil. I initiated a business to have fun and so it is also a kind of hobby. But I adore each one of my 11 books and each of the 5 CDs I have created.

In what ways have your hobbies enhanced your career/enjoyment of life?

All my hobbies have a close relation to my professional activities. Since I do not make money with my hobbies I try to divide the results of these hobbies (music, poems, books and shows) with my clients and close friends in the corporate world. For instance, when I turned 60 I threw a party where I played bass guitar with my band. We rehearsed 25 rock and roll songs from the Sixties. A whole range of people attended – from ministers, entrepreneurs, bankers and good friends.   

This article was originally published in Issue 3 of Search Magazine, now renamed Executive Talent Magazine.