Michel is an accomplished djembe player, an actor in improvisational theater, and he loves to bake salty pies, listen to Pink Floyd, and explore nature as a hiker. Not only is he an avid reader, but he is also the author of fifteen short novels.
His main drivers are helping people and learning, preferably a combination of both. Human interactions are a principal source of knowledge. Curious by nature, asking many questions enables Michel to see the filters people use and understand why people do the things they do. Empathy is the core word here.
"You don't fix the past" is Michel's Leitmotiv. Do not look back to dwell on what you might have done. Think constructively about the reasons and causes and what you can do better next time. Life's severe adversities have not impacted Michel's optimism and positivism. French professor Philippe Gabilliet who writes about learning to seize life's opportunities, inspired Michel to adopt chance as a life discipline. "Still alive and kicking," adds Michel laughingly.
Three very different mentors taught Michel about professionalism, continuous improvement, and the importance of quality. In hindsight, young Michael would have also fared well with the advice to be more assertive and not to avoid conflict to the point of causing trouble.
Michel ends with a musing about safe relationships. His three children, due to their very different characters, did not receive exactly the same education. Yet, they share the same values and are very close. Their cohesion Michel explains by a parenting style of setting clear lines, engraining mutual respect. Sharing the same values and respecting each other's boundaries are ingredients of a secure relationship, so much so in a mentor-mentee relationship.
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