The key points of “The Art of Managing” at Montpellier Business School by Olivier Lajous! Thank you Admiral.

This starts with a video: pictures of the sea, waves, a ship pitching... key messages made from values and strength! The Admiral, who has become a regular at Montpellier Business School, begins his presentation live and without any support materials, with the story of his premature birth in a square in the 50s! “Remember that uncertainty is part of life, that life is about action and movement, that this life, this chance, this means daring to exist!”. He illustrates his point with a quote from Jean Guéhenno: “True betrayal is to follow the world as it is and to use the mind to justify it”. Not really, as the Admiral does not mix his words.

In front of a captivated auditorium, he uses humour and philosophy. He refutes our world in crisis and prefers to speak of change as something that history has given us so much of. “The smartphone, with which I was not born, unlike you, has brought us into the plural instantaneous... and has changed our relationship with time and others... And yet, certain principles remain unchanged”.

And so off we go for a 7-leg illustrated crossing to explain the Art of Managing! Rules or rather a philosophy treated with humour, humility and slices of life from a past as a cabin boy up to the rank of Admiral! And it starts with authority!

“Authority is anything but power! Authority is the recognition that makes other people want to follow you; it is a posture, to not doubt, especially to never show that you are afraid, even if that is the case, and to never become angry. You should know how to laugh when they insult you! Like a buoy of happiness, he ceaselessly confronts, with free will!”Happiness is our ability to love ourselves”. The Admiral, an egoist? Not at all.

He refers to Khalil Gibran, then Saint Exupéry, to illustrate courage. ”Courage is about daring to be yourself and patience”. At the point of no return, it connects the manager with the position, the decision about happiness and courage as the first foundation of their success. But alone we are nothing; we are part of diversity, in a creative nature and with other humans.

So, how do we do that with others? And now he deals with trust. “Trust is daring something else. There are two attitudes with trust: giving it and withdrawing it firmly without hesitation if betrayed. There are no half-measures; it is about putting one’s trust in the right place”. The journey continues amid anecdotes, among Buddhist monks and their little omen papers to evoke discipline in relation to the universe, to others, to organisations. ”If you seek freedom you will become a slave to your desires; if you look for discipline, you will find freedom”. “Discipline means living together, the rule of the game”. And after that, it only remains to know why one should commit. “Between concrete beliefs that make you go into dogmas and the sand of emotions that saps your energy... where is the fulcrum?”. Commitment is certainly a question of balance! The Admiral ends with humour. ”We are all resolutely equal in humanity. There are no weak links in an organisation; we need everyone! And there is no point developing one’s ego too much or too little. Humour, laughing at yourself, remains the essential quality, a combination of humility and love”.

Admiral, thank you for your visit! And we have made an appointment next year with “l’Art du Temps”!