nurturing small businesses

3 beliefs Macron champions that can benefit small businesses

Posted by on Jun 19, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

His meeting with May last week reminded me how beliefs much associated with small business success appeared to help fuel Emmanuel Macron’s rise to President of France.

Macron meets May (credit Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images)

Beliefs are interesting things because there’s no absolute certainty that they can be right, or bring you success! We often form them to help us connect with, and understand, our world, but it sometimes requires active thought and exploration of what we hold as important to know what our beliefs are. However, it’s also perfectly possible to challenge and re-evaluate them. Knowing what your beliefs are can be a powerful motivation to decided how to go about achieving your ambitions. As such, our beliefs can guide what we do…or don’t do – our actions.

In all honesty, though, I can’t say if these are Macron’s beliefs. I didn’t interview him, nor have I done an in-depth character analysis. I literally mapped my observations from what I saw of the coverage of his election to what resonated with the small business world I inhabit. The three beliefs I homed in on are likely informed by the stories told, and conversations had, with my clients during my time working at The Business Greenhouse.

It’s possible, though, that Macron also swallowed a book of commandments for entrepreneurs – I’ve sat in the audience of many talks given by leading business people all giving the same advice.

So what can we, as small business owners, glean from Emmanuel Macron’s rise to President of France? This is what I saw as crucial to the success of small businesses:


1. Barriers need not be barriers

It’s rather obvious to state that there are a seemingly infinite number of hurdles to jump when starting, running or growing your business. We know, too, that hurdles can escalate into brick walls. They come in various guises from red tape to discrimination, from knowledge to finding confidence. They can suck up an enormous amount of time, energy and effort as we endeavour to fight our way over them. This really does go without saying. However, not all barriers are actually barriers. Sometimes it is the perception that these hurdles and brick walls exist that deters progress.

Macron refused to let age and experience stand in his way

Macron elegantly demonstrates the point. He’s 39 (making him the youngest ever President of France) and has zero experience at MP or local political level, nor on the campaign trail. Age and lack of experience are oft quoted reasons for why people feel they can’t achieve their goals. Have you heard it? “I’m too old,” “I’m too young,” “I won’t be taken seriously as I don’t have a background in what I’m trying to do”.

Sometimes, I’m sure, there is truth in their convictions. We know ‘ageism’ is an understood concept in today’s society, and ‘lack of experience’ isn’t commonly the key to securing a job, a meeting, or a sale. Macron has not escaped the critical views. There were many references to his being young to run as a Presidential candidate and to him lacking the political experience needed to run the country (see: cbc newsthe spectator, cnn, Business Insider, The Guardian, and more). Plus Macron only launched his En Marche! party on 6th April 2016, a little over a year before the French elections began. Further, he announced his candidacy for the Presidency in November 2016, still as an unknown politician. Yet on his first bid to become President of France, he stuck with his convictions and became President of France.


2. A strong support network has a massive impact on your success

Putting the assertions that Macron’s election could have been the result of an undercover operation, or simply due to luck, aside, one cannot have failed to notice the attention the media has given his wife. Dig beneath the obvious (that she’s his former teacher, and 24 years his senior), and you find that Brigitte Trogneux is strongly woven into the reason Macron does so well. His wife is mentor, coach, and advisor to Macron and he claims he will govern better with her beside him. Macron often refers to Trogneux as his intellectual soulmate and confidante. As business owners, it’s likely you’ll know that to have someone you can bounce ideas off of, support you as you plan your journey, and appreciates the path you walk to achieving your goals, can be like gold dust.

It helped too, I’m sure, that Trogneux has some very well-positioned friends. Paris’ best celebrity media agent being one (handy when you’re trying to win a Presidential election). It’s a great example of when friends of friends and of those in your close network can be of enormous value when their particular skills and experience could help you realise your ambitions.

Think beyond family and friends when nurturing your support network

Then there’s the influencers, people that support Macron and have the ear and confidence of wide audience of others who trust what they say. Amongst the influencers Macron can count as having encouraged people to support his presidential bid is Ségolène Royal. Then Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, she was also defeated in 2007’s presidential race. Royal told her Socialist party to ignore their own candidate and vote for Macron instead. Another such voice, backing Macron, happened to be Barack Obama. As small business owners it’s worth considering who your influencers could be and cultivate your relationship with them.


3. Timing can be everything

Well almost – we already know that there are many factors at play. However, have you had an amazing idea, but, despite all your efforts, it’s just not worked when you put it into action? It could be that it’s just the wrong time to execute it. Macron certainly seemed to appreciate that a balance of timing, need, and luck amongst other factors combine to show you when the opportunity to launch your ambitious plan is there.

Macron cultivated his plans over years

Let’s look at this in a bit more detail. Macron ‘didn’t just one day just arrive at this idea‘ that he would be President of France. Fifteen years ago, Macron was asked the question ‘what will you be in 20 years from now’. He replied, ‘I’ll be president’. That’s fifteen years of researching, absorbing, and experiencing the environment in which he lived and worked, studying and iterating his plans that would enable him to become French President. His awareness and understanding was honed to the extent that he had the strength of personal belief and conviction to brush off the convictions of French businessman and advisor Alain Minc. Minc argued Macron should run in 2022, Macron replied, ‘You are wrong, there is an opportunity [now].’

What told Macron the time was right? He must have seen the mood of country suggested that it’s people were ready for something different. Not that this guaranteed Macron the election success – Marine Le Pen would have been ‘different’ too. He’d studied his competitors well, and was able to capitalise on his rivals’ controversies, running as ‘Mr Clean’ and someone who will challenge the current system with which many were unhappy.


What are your beliefs?

Actually, there’s plenty more to talk about, when it comes to identifying what likely helped Macron in achieving his ambition. I could name Macron’s clearly articulated his vision; how he found many ways to connect to his target audience; his apparently contagious energy and probably more without thinking. However, we’d then wonder into discussing his strategy and tactics. I wanted to focus on his beliefs.

What do you think? Do these 3 beliefs resonate with you? Or are there others that you hold as more important to your success? Perhaps you don’t yet know what beliefs you hold, or how to use them to achieve your business ambitions?


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