3 Minutes to read
Ambroise Collon, Executive Director at X-HEC Entrepreneurs
Learning Inspiration 🌈 #63
Ambroise Collon is Executive Director at X-HEC Entrepreneurs, from the prestigious Business School of HEC Paris. Ambroise graduated from Les Mines de Paris and HEC Entrepreneurs. He is passionate about games, entrepreneurship, and tech! Ambroise wrote his first book in 2016 about the power of gamification.
Who are the persons who inspire you the most?
This is a difficult question, I am not inspired by one person but by a group of people. In general, when I read an author, I am interested in his background, that is already a lot of people. I am currently interested in Rebecca Anderson who has written on rethinking capitalism in the age of ecology and of course Simon Sinek and Yuval Noah Harrari.
What are your favorite books and why?
I loved Reinventing Organzations Frédéric Laloux’s, a lot of people around me had read it and I finally took the time to read it. I absolutely do not regret the time spent reading it, it’s incredible.
This book explains how you can work differently, trying to separate yourself from what makes things complicated at work. There is a power relationship at work, some people are stuck performing tasks because they are not trusted and that’s a shame. This book takes everything from hiring to salary, to budgeting to organizing meetings. Frédéric Laloux really inspires me, he leads a hermit’s life and has little topicality. This perhaps helps to cultivate its mystery. I particularly appreciate Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harrari, I read it in digital and paper version.
What are your favorite podcast episodes and why?
I don’t listen to much. I like Ask Big Questions with Bill Gates and Rachida Jones. I also listen to many audiobooks too, I got passionate about the secret life of trees. I’m very interested in ecology, it’s a way of looking at nature in a different way.
How do you remember what you learn?
I learn by doing. For example, I use the concepts learned in Reinventing Organization. I have highlighted the important passages and I force myself to apply them. I could be even more organized but this method is fine for me for now.
What would you tell the 18 years old version of yourself?
Listen to yourself a little more and trust yourself. When we do that, we go faster and we have better times. When you reach this stage you don’t try to prove something to others about which you are not suited and interested.
What is the most important thing you learn over the last 12 months?
This is a big question. I think I’ve learned that you have to invest your time and energy in projects that fascinate us and that you have to know how to be patient to build them. It does not matter to wait 10 years to embark on a project that is close to our heart. Everything is to patiently build towards this goal.
What is the biggest challenge you had to overcome this year and how did you do that?
It is a real challenge to move a program of 120 students with the central experience of physical meeting and informal exchanges to an online version without losing value. We must find ways to help students stay motivated and maintain human contact.
One last word?
The first thing to learn is that you can learn everything. I take great pride in running a program that teaches students to meet any challenge. They’re kind of taught a super power, resilience is emerging as a key skill. I am very happy every year to welcome exceptional students and to see them evolve.
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