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Episode Info: "In a world when a lot of things are hard and tough, art is leading the way to beauty and some of the best things that we can achieve in our humanity, I love art." Jean-Michel Ledru.Much is written and said about effective management. But sometimes actions don't follow words. So it was wonderful to hear from Jean-Michel Ledru, CEO of Merci Maman, a five million-turnover personalised jewellery company.Ledru's passion for people and mission as a manager and in business to contribute to their happiness and growth is clearly underpinned by actions. How do you nurture a culture where people are joyful to work and empowered to try new things? A business where "magic" thrives? What does effective management mean in practice? Can it be learned? Ledru gives a thorough insight into his management and leadership philosophy in this interview.Now 58, he has worked in more than 25 countries in Europe and Africa holding varied CEO roles, running a business selling musical instruments online, then creating the startup incubator in one of the top business schools in Europe. He took up the role at Merci Maman three months ago and I hope you'll enjoy his thoughtful and frank answers in this episode. Here are the timings:0 - 2:36 Introduction.2:36 Jean-Michel Ledru's career: 14 years at Burger King, traveling widely; CEO of a food business in South Africa, then CEO of a chain of seafood restaurants in France; launching his own business; then 10 years at EDHEC Business School.6:30 How Jean-Michel became CEO of Merci Maman and why he was so excited to take up the role.8:40 Merci Maman and the message on Ledru's own personalised jewelry.10:40 If you want the customers to feel something magical, you need something magical in the business itself. How Ledru nurtures an environment in which magic can thrive.12:46 Why "try" is one of Merci Maman's values, and what happens if it doesn't work.13:30 The impact of "Analysing Performance Problems" – a management book by Robert F. Mager and Peter Pipe published in 1991.14:40 "As a manager, when people don't succeed you fail."16:20 Jean-Michel also recommends "The Mind Illuminated" by John Yates, covering meditation (which he has practiced for 25 years) and neuroscience.18:30 We are all different, and need to find our own paths to health and well-being: whatever makes us happy and joyful, says Jean-Michel, who runs because he likes it.22:15 Painting, art, and all forms of creation.23:07 How and why did Merci Maman's sales grow so much recently? Jean-Michel explains.26:40 Working internationally: experiences and advice.30:00 The crucial importance of diversity, listening, and letting people try things.32:20 Why I think you should read Figuring by Maria Popova.33:17 How to put yourself forward to be on the show.34:01 Countdown to Art in the Gardens in Sheffield's Botanical Gardens.36:26 Wrapping up....
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