First steps towards business with a purpose

Right after graduating from one of the top French business schools (ESSEC), I decided to join a social entreprise that had been set up to provide work to people who are far from the job market. As a student, I had volunteered as a teacher at a prison, and this experience had a deep impact on me.

Passionate about the outdoors, I then managed a non-profit organization that taught rock-climbing and mountaineering values to young delinquents. This organization, through partnerships with the French Ministry of Justice and a network of specialized educators, also laid the foundations for another social enterprise that was formed to help the most engaged of these youngsters find jobs.

…followed by a management experience in Asia

In order to meet my aspiration for even more rigor and performance, I then joined a more traditional form of business (Lafuma, a French outdoor company).

As I spoke Japanese, I was quickly sent to Asia where I took charge of sales and marketing in Asia, learned Mandarin, and managed the subsidiaries in Hong Kong and Mainland China.

…and a thrilling experience as an entrepreneur in Asia

I then resumed my journey as an entrepreneur by joining with a German partner to set up a leadership development firm (leadership training and coaching) in Hong Kong. The human dimension of management was – and still is – the most attractive one to me since I studied philosophy and psychology in parallel to my business studies.

Although fully immersed in my role as a leader of this new business and busy spurring its rapid growth (opening of branches in Shanghai, Tokyo and Singapore), I still accumulated thousands of hours of assisting leaders from Global 500 companies on their leadership paths.

Making a difficult decision, which I never had to regret

Despite encountering all the success I was looking for, a longing for more meaning started to emerge and became ever stronger during my daily meditation sessions and while I was on my regular retreats. I progressively realized that I had left aside some of my core values, first among them my contribution to society.

My associate’s views about the contribution we were already making were different from mine, and so I decided in 2011 to sell all my shares and to focus my energy on building a bridge between wisdom and business.

Building a bridge between wisdom and business

Such a bridge should make it easier for business leaders to tap into the wealth of the heritage of wisdom that was transmitted to us. With this in mind, I work with leaders (individually or in teams) who want to combine their search for performance with their aspiration for more meaning and serenity, namely by using their business skills to make positive contributions to society.

I am also actively working on creating a network of Places of Consciousness, sorts of “monasteries for modern times” that will be located next to the business quarters of the world’s biggest cities.

 

Still on a journey…

This endeavor to build a bridge between wisdom and business is also a personal matter: I still feel that with my writing (four books already published) and more importantly my daily practice of meditation, I am also on a personal journey.

These moments of getting back to myself – which are hard to preserve in the midst of action – help me tremendously to remain grounded, keep my focus on what is truly essential, and fuel my commitment to a business world reconciled with our heritage of wisdom and in service to the common good.

CREDENTIALS

  • Graduate from ESSEC Business School (Top French business school)
  • BA in Psychology & BA in Philosophy (Sorbonne University – Paris)
  • Certified Professional Coach (Coach U + ICC)
  • Graduate of the Organization and Relationship System Coaching (ORSC-USA)
  • NLP Practitioner, NLP Master Practitioner and NLP Trainer (NLPU – USA)
  • More than 1,200 hours of personal development work over 15 years
  • Daily practice of meditation for 12 years

Corporate experience

15 years leadership experience, including regional positions in Asia (sales/marketing, general management) and management of teams in China and Japan 

International exposure

Lived in France, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Japan. 10 years leadership experience in Asia (focus on Greater China and Japan).

Languages

Services offered in English, Japanese, Mandarin, French (native). Spanish and German spoken at a conversational level. Presently learning Arabic.