Once a professional ice hockey player, PY Gerbeau went on to become one of the biggest French business leaders in the UK. He first started with TPS Conseil, then moved to Euro Disney in 1991, becoming Vice-President of Park Operations and Attractions in 1997. At the end of 2000, he became Chief Executive of X-Leisure, the worldwide leisure facilities operator. Gerbeau now lectures at top business schools across Europe.
In his engaging interview with Robin Block, Gerbeau reveals his leadership philosophy, which involves building his life on strong key values. Among them, he loves to be surrounded by very loyal people; respect for the human capital is of crucial significance. He comments: “You have got to define what you stand for. Life is made of concessions. It’s not black or white. It’s grey; but on the key values life is totally white and it’s totally black. And if you give concessions on those values, you will lose yourself and you will not be able to lead.”
He compares his leadership style with conducting an orchestra. Gerbeau candidly admits that each of his players is twice, if not ten times better, than himself. Yet, his role as a leader is to be there and make sure everyone is playing together.
During the interview, Gerbeau’s passion for competition emerges. He speaks of delivering the impossible. Being faced with a challenge he might not be able to deliver is what really drives him. He loves the idea of competing because it brings out the best in him.
Hear more from Gerbeau in the video below: