The story of Christian Salez

“Who inspires who? Or: how young leaders can inspire their mentors. It is the second time in a row that I participated in the program. First with a young film producer, now with a food-brands entrepreneur. Always wanting to be relevant, to make a difference in society, and not just to practice a profession.”

Leaders are vulnerable

“Young leaders nowadays are facing crossroads. Many have experienced more severe situations than I have. Yet they do not hide, they look for solutions, for insights, are prepared to fully open up, in all vulnerability. “

“Young leaders of today are unaware of the fact that they are right in the middle of one of the most impactful economic and societal revolutions: digitization. They do not carry a weight on their shoulders. No backpack. How inspiring for a mentor to be able to skip that chapter, to be able to immediately take the current situation as a starting point.”

The hipetty-hopping from professional to deeper personal conversational topics came naturally.

“What is also striking, is how prominently the personal context of my mentees took the upper hand during our sessions. With one young leader, the difficulties of a complicated birth of his first child filled our conversations very quickly. With another young leader, the wounds stuck with a first bankruptcy and how to handle it responsibly, were an important topic. How do you respond to an environment that assesses this as a failure not as a chance to learn important lessons and move on? The hipetty-hopping from professional to deeper personal conversational topics came naturally. But it inspired me in my ongoing striving to be a better human.”

“The interactions with my mentees necessitated modesty, motivation, enthusiasm. They brought depth. They led to their intention of leaving nothing to chance and to their willingness to reinvent proven business models. My mentees were not afraid to discard matters that did not match their highest expectations. In both cases the young leaders have taken new steps, one even started a new company. In both cases, I also made fundamental decisions, strengthened by the conviction that I have a long professional life in front of me.”