I love France. When I was 14, I crossed the Channel with friends from Lancaster to Perpignan, a beautiful village close to the Pyrénées, to play rugby. At school I studied the romance languages French and Spanish, as well as Latin of course, inspired by great teachers like Jim Bates and Eric Smith. Then in the mid 1970's, we discovered St. Tropez and we went there every year, finally making a dream come true by buying a house four years ago.
Six years ago, Saatchi & Saatchi merged with the Publicis Groupe. It was one of the most significant choices of my business career, up there with joining Mary Quant in the 1960's, persuading P&G to take a chance on me and following Doug Myers’ dream in New Zealand. Working with Maurice Levy and Publicis takes me to France on business every month and this has given me a great appreciation of the French - their wine, their rugby, French food and the French philosophical intellect. It was, therefore, with much happiness and great relief, that I woke up one morning to find Nicolas Sarkozy elected President.
The French have lost their way politically and economically over the past few years. The danger was that they could slip even farther backwards and become completely out of touch with competitive peak performance. Nicolas Sarkozy is committed to progress, to performance, to execution, and to results. He believes hard work and output is good for you and good for the country. His kind of leadership is needed now in France to get it through a growing “laissez-faire” attitude, deal to its entitlement malaise and inspire minorities to be the best they can be rather than rage against the world.
Allez Les Bleus!