Friday, July 3, 2009

Mandatory inspiration

To most French people who have a career and are independant in their professional choices, observing and learning from the Americans' way of doing things is "the next step" in their professional evolution. I'm talking about business men, designers, actors, writers, CEOs...

Yes, Americans have a reputation of doers, a proved one.

And I think that what makes them work better or faster or bigger, is their great sense of community. Teams.

Of course, everyone has personal interests but the important understanding from Americans is that it's only through the community, the strengths put together, that their own interests are satisfied and that the results they get can go beyond their expectations because no one should underestimate the power of people working together with the same goal.

There's also the notion of being part of something...

Makes me remember of the making of the movie "The Lord of the Rings". I was so amazed by all these people working so hard on a specific domain, so accurately, being perfectionists because they're part of it, because without one of them, it can collapse, because it's worth it. And all that with so much enthusiasm even though they almost had no sleep or the day was stormy and the shooting schedule had changed.

Americans believe more than us French in challenge and in what it brings to them and to the group. To surpass oneself.

Besides, it's interesting to notice that in French when we want to motivate people or ourselves to start doing something, we always use "Let's go", "Let's do it", because it gives us the extra-energy we miss, sometimes the illusion of it, but it can push people to take action now, to generate that mood, to see challenges as opportunities to do better and strengthen their team.

And yes, I definitely think that this difference has something to do with the notion of individual and his place. In France, we cultivate individualism because we don't see the value and power of being part of a group to achieve things. We don't want to be the cog in the wheel. Of course if it's of someone else's mechanism, it's normal to want more. But to me, Americans know how worthy it is to add quality people to your team and feel that you're at the right place at the right moment because you're working on something important for you and the people with you.

It's a great lesson. Every French people who ever went to the US to work or watch people work say so. There are some here who have adopted that way of doing things but because they don't find many people like them they do something I would do...

...They move to the United States to live not a dream but an effective reality.


  1. Hi Louise! Good post.You french people are rather similar to us swedes and we have a lot to learn from each other.At the same time we have a lot to learn from the american team-thinking of course.

  2. I'm glad you think that way and I agree with you. We need to keep our mind open to cultural differences, even more if it brings much to our life.

    Thanks for your comment !

  3. I don’t know how should I give you thanks! I am totally stunned by your article. You saved my time. Thanks a million for sharing this article.

  4. I really appreciate your professional approach. These are pieces of very useful information that will be of great use for me in future.