Virtual News (En)

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Being the boss

By Sophie Januel

Being the boss is not obvious, and according to a study published in the February 2006 issue of French magazine, L’Entreprise, profiles of European bosses in all sectors oscillate between autocrat, democrat and meritocrat.

La Tribune of 5 December 2005 published an article by Sandrine L’Herminier entitled “What will be the profile of tomorrow’s CEO?”, which provides the following definition: “The CEO of the 21st century will be ephemeral or not at all…” Not everyone can relate to this answer. In fact, the requirements of a microcosm that combines elitism and globalisation do not necessarily correspond to the reality of hundreds of thousands of ‘small bosses’ whose businesses constitute the actual economic fibre of Europe.

Aspiring too much to standardised profiles such as the “standard management aptitudes of global conglomerates with the goal of achieving great figures for the next quarter” type, we forget all about the SME bosses running the show, with ethics and values, and who have the daily task of squaring the circle.

Therefore, let us put these ‘world leader’ profiles aside, and look closer at the bosses who can serve as role models or at least as sources of inspiration and comprehension in matters of living and know-how as a boss.

In this view, the creed that French author Jacques Benoît develops notably in his book Graine d’Ethique takes on all its significance: “Being the boss means doing management, but also doing it with heart”.

This creed relies on the sharp sense of responsibility of a boss or entrepreneur towards his employees and on his pragmatism favouring actually working in serenity and efficiency, which gives meaning to decisions and actions.

According to Jacques Benoît, “the finality of the company is above all human and social”. Besides attempts at commercial and communicative takeovers, ethics are above all a fundamental element, a common denominator of the adhesion and construction of identity of an individual as well as within a group. It is the source of motivation and involvement of people in the company’s ecosystem.

To this day, this theory is still considered out of touch with reality by some, but at least it offers an alternative to the attitude favouring purely financial management.

About the author:
Sophie Januel manages Arcseo Office Management, a company that handles the organisation and external management of SMEs.
First published on 6 February: and

English Translation by Virtual Words


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