Growth is about trust
When I was still an associate, my engagement manager (EM) trusted me to present a very important proposal for an international bank merger. A great many McKinsey people had been working on this—maybe 400 consultants—but the EM only took me with him to do the presentation to the man who was managing the merger. That was a huge responsibility for an associate, and an equally huge expression of trust on the EM’s part. It really made an impression on me. As an EM, and now as a partner in the firm, I’ve always tried to work with my associates the same way—giving them the trust I was given and a lot of room to progress.
"At McKinsey, the horizon of what you can do with your professional life is very broad. You can see different business sectors from the top, and so you have a much better view of what you can do and what you want to do."
Changing my career path
I’m from France, and my wife and I lived in Paris when I joined McKinsey. But with three children and our combined schedules, working there was tough. We wanted to live in a place outside a city, with sun, outdoor life, close to the sea—and not too far from France. So there was this very, very small office in Dubai, with about 12 consultants. Perfect! It was a very entrepreneurial opportunity. This was just before the huge Dubai and Middle East boom. Now, five years later, my wife and I have five children, and the office has 15 partners and a little less than 200 consultants.
Many clients are my friends, too
Over time, the clients I have had the best counseling relationships with have always become close friends. Even though I’m in Dubai, there are maybe five top executives in France that I met through work who are friends for life. I know their families, I know their children, and we help each other out on many fronts outside of work.
My family comes first
We have five young children, so you can’t really afford not to spend time with them. The children need both of their parents. And my wife, who’s a lawyer, recently went back to work. That means some tough trade-offs for me so I can be with my children—less social time with my team, for example. But we all have different constraints, and my teams understand that.
Tennis is my big thing. I tried to play golf. I used to do skiing a lot, but Dubai is not the right place. Since I have been in Dubai, mostly all of my time is with the family. We have traveled around the region, as well. We have visited all the neighboring countries multiple times.
|Ecole Superieure d'Electricite
||MSc, Electronics, Energy Engineering