This week, we continue our tour of the LOBBY AWARDS ceremony, with a focus on the Economic Leader our Jury has honored... and its Patron.
As we wrote in previous weeks, this prize was awarded to Thibaud Elzière and Quentin Nickmans who, "with eFounders, help dreamers turn their start-ups into reality", as Thomas de Bergeyck, the ceremony's host, so aptly put it.
With each Award having a Patron, it was essential to find one worthy of this coveted prize. And so Michel Croisé did, with a CV as long as his arm... which speaks for itself. Judge for yourself: Chairman of Sodexo Belgique-Luxembourg, he is also a member of the Actiris Management Committee, the FEB Strategy Committee, and sits on the boards of Partena Professional, BECI and Comeos. He is President of the European and Belgian catering federations and an active member of "2030", a group of leaders committed to sustainability!
In his capacity as Patron of a prestigious LOBBY AWARD, he was given the opportunity to present the award to the aforementioned Laureates, and we took the opportunity to have a little chat with him. A conversation with such a successful man can only be enriching.
Michel Croisé makes it clear from the outset that he did not accept this role lightly:
"In recent years, the foodservices and facilities management sectors have been among the hardest hit. Sodexo, the market leader, has had to face colossal challenges. It was these exceptional circumstances that motivated me to agree to sponsor the LOBBY AWARD for Business Leader.
At this point, what we found particularly interesting was our interviewee's perception of a leader. He is one, and works with others every day: "While this is of course true of all sectors, the economic fabric in particular needs inspirational leaders to recreate itself. Leadership cannot be decreed; leaders are recognized as such. Now more than ever, economic, political and media leadership demands exemplary, uncompromising behavior at every level. The "virtuous", inspiring leaders we so desperately need are those who make us dream, at every level. They're the ones who will make us want to follow their example, if we don't want to become even more disconnected from our institutions. This requires authenticity and humility! Isn't Michel Croisé a little optimistic... not to say... utopian?
If some people think that these awards ceremonies are futile and serve more to flatter the winners' egos than anything else, the head of Sodexo disagrees: "Awards ceremonies are more important than some people might think. They put exceptional people in the spotlight. It's a great way of recognizing a job well done. But more than recognition of merit, it's a reminder of the need to set an example and drive change. In other words, it's a responsibility that requires us to take risks in order to get things moving. These risks are often the source of so much personal satisfaction "when you look back and see that you've had more successes than failures" (to paraphrase Sodexo founder Pierre Bellon). Above all, you have to be the leader of your own life, and do what you love and dream of doing! That's the basis of influence and conviction.
At LOBBY, which cultivates caring and inspiring leadership, we couldn't have said it better ourselves. And that's what drives us, every year, to organize the LOBBY AWARDS. Always with commitment, motivation and passion.
If you'd like to find out more about Michel Croisé and his role as Captain aboard the Sodexo ship, take a look at the page-turner in the latest LOBBY, HERE, on page 89.
And while we're on the subject of doing what we've always dreamed of doing, let's learn this weekend to savour the sensations of these last days of winter, before spring gives us the gift of a radiant and promising renewal!