Leadership is taking the time, exercising the decision-making muscle, learning as you lead

Listen to this episode about genuine leadership, slowing down to make decisions,  having a multi-disciplinary approach and learning as you lead.   (23:11)

First a quick introduction: Grégoire Charpe-Civatte is someone I met over 10 years ago, in Paris, on a project with a global industrial company. His path over the last 10 years includes different industries, contexts,  countries, you know, from telecommunications,  governments, start ups,  and luxury retail and hospitality. His expertise is in customer experience and design, marketing and communications and digital transformation.

What follows are key ideas and phrases from our conversation, edited, sometimes adapted, and is not an actual transcript.

New gen organizations in control of where they are heading

As a gig mindsetter, it’s about getting back some level of control. It’s like choosing your job again and again, you keep making that decision to stay with that company and to keep focused on that job.

it’s a way of making sure that there’s synergy between values of the company, your own values, and the topics  you want to be focused on.

It’s more than killing the norms and changing  ways of working.

This is often done in a very caricature way, and is not productive.

Skill set of leaders?

How to recruit or identify  leaders?

Too often, they bring expertise,  legacy knowledge, understanding of the market but not necessarily leadership abilities.

A good leader is someone who doesn’t try to be, as good or better than their team  in terms of the expertise.

Good leaderships is listening and learning.

Being an orchestrator, pointing to the direction chosen based on the intell and the expertise of your team.

Having the back of your team in terms of being accountable.

You need to make the time for your own approach to management to  evolve.

Take the time to read about it, to have a point of view on leadership or management, and also on your area of focus. If you’re a chief marketing officer, you need to take the time to think about what is marketing today, how has it evolved.

You’re not just trying to do the same job as your predecessor.

Taking the time

Organizations need to slow down a little bit.

“In many places there is an extreme level of ambition from a strategy perspective and an extreme eagerness to cut corners,  shorten stuff, fast track it, and inevitably this leads to lower value being delivered.”

This will help you become a better organization, more meaningful for your talent, and more in sync with where the world is headed.

Hiring for the present and the future

Finding talent is less about the track record on the paper and more about the attitudes.

It’s a lot easier to look at a CV and ask questions about past experience but that doesn’t necessarily result in the best approach to dealing with the future or the present.

The risk of using management consultants is atrophy of the decision-making muscle

Management consultancies can clearly either play a positive role or a negative role that is detrimental to organizations.

Decision-making is often times delegated to these external players, because it’s  comfortable, more reassuring.

Leaders need to get back their decision-making muscle.  Many CEOs have given up on this and have atrophy of the decision making muscle,

They are no longer sense-making and have created a gap between themselves, their organization, their own environment and their future

Most have the resources internally to make decisions, and have no need to outsource this.

Future thinking based on multi-lingual and multi-disciplines

Today there is a huge opportunity is to look at things with multilingual and multi-disciplinary approaches.

An example: A engineering company, 130 years old and looking at how to build disruptive, innovation capabilities hired psychologists, architects and designers.  They’ve benefited from that multi-disciplinary approach.


You can reach Grégoire on LinkedIn


  • Leadership is not about having expertise, market knowledge and so on.
  • True leadership is being an orchestrator, able to point to the right direction.
  • A good leader makes time to think about leadership.
  • So-called agility and new ways of working are often a caricature, not productive.
  • Organizations need to slow down and take the time to make choices.
  • Managers have atrophy of the decision-making muscle and rely on outside “experts” because it is reassuring.
  • We need more of a multi-disciplinary approach in our work.

Share this episode

Season 1 Episodes

1 – What is the bold new breed? Why is it important?

2 – The gig mindset and internal civil disobedience

3 – Willful blindness: what and why?

4 – How does Velcro management bring flexibility and readiness? from Blueshore Financial.

5 – How to win a race with no finish line: proactive resilience

6 – How to facilitate diversity and inclusion? Sophie Criquelion from Decathlon.

7 – How can you make learning come alive? Dany De Grave from Sanofi Pasteur

8 – Florence Devouard on a mission for open knowledge

9 – Chris Labonté, believer in the long life of books, F.1

10 – Knowledge management means people management, Raúl Cano, ESO

11 – Surge capacity in our DNA for operations and knowledge, Robin Vincent-Smith

12 – Waysfinding, complexity and opening spaces, Sonja Blignaut

13 – Orchestrating space to create competitive advantage, Guillaume Alvarez

14. Exercising the decision-making muscle, Grégoire Charp-Civatte

15. Leading from the heart, a spiritual journey with a backpack, Marie Reig Florensa

See season 1 episodes