Idea's space

This blog is dedicaded to share ideas coming randomly from my experiences

Posts Tagged ‘capabilities

Culture is good for morale

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img_2572Few weeks ago, I was listening to a podcast on the web talking about culture. According to the chronicler, referring to the book “Sauver la culture” (Save the culture) from Patrick Béziers, culture is an efficient antidepressant. How to reach this conclusion?

Culture is in the books, in the museums, theater, photography, in the painting, in languages and many other things. All these forms of culture express emotions, ideas, are sources of inspiration and an excellent way to stimulate serendipity. Just to remind you, serendipity is the fact to discover or invent something unexpectedly as a result of a fortuitous combination of circumstances, and often as part of a search of another subject.  In other words, it’s finding something other than what you’re looking for.

Culture can make us discover new horizons, and discover new center of interest or hide talents. For instance, you take your children to see a photo exhibition, and after, they would like to try to take photos too. It will be probably an opportunity to discover a new passion, to visit places to make a small photo trip and to learn things about these places. A kind of virtuous circle feeding your culture and knowledge.

Another example, as member of a non-profit association, you are asked to be the community manager and to take care about the blog or the website of the association. You discover the pleasure to write, to relate events or news from the association, or to develop a topic related to the object of the association. With the time, you develop the talents of chronicler or writer, you learn about social media world. On other words, you develop transversal skills.

img_2573Based on these two examples, we can say that culture allows you to find your potential of creativity. In the example of the chronicler for the non-profit association, you start first by writing editorials or articles, then you improve your writing style, you try to develop original ideas you will communicate about. Based on that acquired experience, you can think about opportunities to develop your passion to write. If you build a good reputation thanks to the quality of your writing style, why not to develop a commercial activity as writer or content provider?  What is important and we will see why, is to define a goal that will motivate you to improve your skills, to push your limit ever higher, in order to catch new possibilities.

Why is it important to push your limit higher? Because it is a good way to reinvent yourself, to be more creative and to imagine to start a new activity, a new life. You are not afraid of the future, and you are enough self-confident to move to unknown territories, to new experiences. Looking back, you will find that your life did not go as you thought, and that the fear of the future is a bit irrational. Only self-confidence will help you to face the future, and your capabilities will be a good way to empower your self-confidence.  The famous quote, “The best way to predict the future is to create it”, credited to both Abraham Lincoln and Peter Drucker, make sense.  The self-confidence has a positive impact on your moral. That is why culture that is part of knowledge, is the basic element to build future projects, to develop happiness. That is why culture is good for moral.


Written by Eric Saint-Guillain

January 9, 2019 at 19:42

Build your own way.

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Build your own way

I was recently asking a question on LinkedIn, about the best advice you ever received, related to your career or business. I received of course a lot of interesting answers. The only one who did not answer to that question was me, of course, but it is an opportunity to share my experience about that question.

When I finished my studies in finance and accounting, I remember my mother giving me a good advice. She was owner of a small metalworks factory, founded by my grand father after the second word war. She told me that “If I wanted to join the company, we have first to talk each other about this. A family business is not always an easy things, and I don’t want to have difficult work relationship with you as I had time to time with your grand father. First, do your experience somewhere else.” I remember, when I was still student, people saying to me that I had not worries as I had already the family business and I should never to have to look for a job. This remarks make me laugh today. I would say that the only thing which is an evidence is that I am the son of my mother and that’s all. I never join the family business and today, when I see the way I did, I learned a lot of things by having done it, and that is what I would like to share here.

By remembering my mother’s advice, I would translate it in another way: “Build your own way.” Nevertheless, is it a bad idea if you decide to join the family business and if you take it over later? Not necessarily, but I would says that it is important to let your footprint in it, to drive it following your goals. It is obvious that time are changing, we are leaving in a fast moving environment, and in these conditions, you will not do the same things than your parents did. In my case, I never joined the family business. I just became administrator of the company and assisted in some tasks related to the accounting and finance, but I was never part of the daily operations.

The way I did my career until now, and by not choosing to join the family business, made me think about interesting thoughts and statements.

  • It is first important to build your own way. What do you want to do as a job, what  are your goals in your life. You have only the answer to that question. And sometimes, it is not always easy to determine, because people are used to put labels on you. They are not necessarily seeing you as you are, but as they want to see you.
  • Motivation is a major key of success, in your personal as in your professional life. Choose a job you like to do, a job where you can find interest and motivation. You need to be convinced yourself, in order to convince the others, and to maximize your chance of success.
  • Avoid to live in the comparison. By choosing your job, by building your own career, you decide to be the own actor of your life, to be you and not another. If you want to be so successful than somebody else, you will be probably disappointed. Each person is different, and it is useless to try to copy somebody else. The original is always better than the copy. Be the original, not the copy.
  • Work with inspiring people: I had the chance to meet people who brought me a lot of significant things, contributing to improve my work. This is only possible if you develop harmonious relationships with people. I think it is probably more difficult as member of the family business. You will be more seen as a family member of the boss, and not as a normal collaborator.
  • Learn from your own experience. By building your own way, you will meet success and failures. Take successes as rewards, and failures as opportunities, and you will probably learn much more from your failures. Each experience will improve your know-how and is an asset to face new challenges. Your own experience will improve the way to do things, to face issues and challenges on a different way.
  • Develop your capabilities and curiosity. By setting your own goals, by building your own projects, you expand your capabilities. You discover each day who you are. And with curiosity, you will maybe discover new interests, hide talents.
  • We have not only one life. By taking over a family business, you realize maybe something you want, but you subscribe also to maintain a tradition, and maybe to do the same activity during all your life. You are always free to change, to sell your business if you want. But by choosing to take over the family business, you are more in a spirit of continuity.

You are the only one who knows what you want to do. You can always ask advices to other people, but don’t loose your critical mind. It is always important to confront the given advice and ideas to yours. What seems to be positive for somebody else, can not be seen as positive by you. Each of us, we have our own expectations, our own ambitions. These expectations and ambitions are the result of different components. It is related to our temper, to our education, but also to our own life experiences. Each of us, we have different tempers, we received different educations. We are unique, we are ourself and not somebody else. The decision to take a way or another has to be ours, and not the one of somebody else. This decision is the result of several experiences, of a brainstorming process, determining goals and expectations. It is the only way to be ourself, to be the actors of our own life, to learn and discover who we are, but also to enjoy life as we are expecting. Build your own way.

Written by Eric Saint-Guillain

July 18, 2011 at 21:40

Why to do this job ?

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Michel Kacenelenbogen, founder of the theater "Le Public"

Last week, I was dining in a restaurant with my family, and I heard from another table a woman talking about a member of her family. She was telling that the person found a job in the administration, and that it was the best professional situation, because he will get a better pension when he will be retired. It is a fact that in Belgium, the people working in the public administration will have a better pension when they will be retired, compared to the pension gained by people from the private sector and the independents, which are lower. By hearing such opinion, I was thinking about this “strategy” of career.

I can understand easily that people could be concerned about their future, and it is always interesting to think on a long term basis. But if you think only on a long term basis, if you think only about the future, you will probably miss the present. Is it reasonable to choose a job in function of future benefit you will gain, and, in this case, when you will be retired? I have doubt about it. In my mind, the only reason to do a job is because you like to do it. I know that everybody has not the chance every time to get the opportunity or the chance to do the job of his dreams, but in this matter, we have to start by thinking on another way.

To do a boring job you do not like, because you are expecting a better pension, make me think that you are waiting for the week end, the end of the month to be paid, the holiday, your retirement, …..the death !! Personally, I do not find this as an exciting perspective, and I want to say too that unfortunately, some people never reached the age of retirement because accidental circumstances of life. Let us think about the consequence of not enjoying a job, particularly when you are teacher, doctor,…This could have consequences for you but also for other people, because the motivation is not there.

Not only for people, there are also consequences for the economy. I agree that a country need to have a performing administration, and of course need people to fill functions, but if everybody was choosing a job only for pension level reason, it is obvious that our economy would not be competitive, and the public finance should not be on the top.

I mention here a problem of incentive, but the problem is not only a question of incentive, but more a question of how we consider the success. Is the only way of success material, by having a high position in an administration or in a company, by having a bigger house than the one of your neighbors? Or is the success the fact to realize your projects, by measuring concrete results and achievement, by gaining expertise and knowledge, expanding your capabilities …and good memories! Let me tell you the story about a Belgian guy, Michel Kacenelenbogen, a Belgian theater actor, and fonder of the theater “Le Public”. When he was young, he was dreaming to become an actor, and to found a theater. In order to realize his dream, he founded a marketing agency, KI Partners, in 1993. The goal was to earn money to be able to concretize his dream. Eleven years later, in 1994, he founded his theater, “Le Public”, which is one of the most popular and innovative theater in Brussels. He finally met the success, in accordance with his dreams, his vision of life.

By telling this, I want to underline also the importance of interest for things. We are living in a society where we are more considering things as useful or not. But by having curiosity, interest for culture, to learn languages, we are giving us the tools to develop our own career, to discover ourselves. By increasing our potential, our capabilities, we are giving us the chance to have choices, to realize our dreams, to conquer our freedom.

Do you think that by choosing the job you like you will have a good pension later, I do not know, but you will be happy now,..and for a long time!

Picture from :

Written by Eric Saint-Guillain

April 21, 2010 at 22:11