If you had an instant with the President Emmanuel Macron, what would you say?
Tricky question I asked myself and everyone I met during the weeks prior his visit to Denmark. How to pick one message among the many? How to keep it short without falling into a banal “Hi”, a fruitless comment or a simple selfie? How to make this one instant matter?
Only one thing kept popping in my mind: challenging him to switch the word ‘croissance’ (growth) into ‘resilience’ for a week in all that he thinks, says, and does.
One thing is to have a plan. Another is to make it happen.
When the time came, I had stepped back a bit from the front line, almost giving up. But our eyes met and after greeting the two persons standing between us, he opened the way and reached out towards me…
Oops! Blank! What was I suppose to say? I babbled my name and surprised myself saying: “I am a fan… euhhh.. no! That’s not what I wanted to say!” We laughed. And then it came back.
“I have a challenge”
“What is it?”
“Replacing for a week the word ‘growth’ with ‘resilience’ and observing how solutions emerge. It might help with making the ‘arbitrages’.” I said.
“Interesting. Resilience you say.” Replied Macron. I nodded. Feeling emotions rising to my eyes, I added. “I was touched by Nicolas yesterday”.
“Me too, I was touched.” He said noticing I was moved. It was like connecting beyond words.
“I have been a leader myself, and I know it is complicated to be the one responsible to decide. I made plenty of mistakes at my small scale, so I can’t imagine at yours.” Smiling at my animated hand movements and facial expression, he replied: “I make mistakes everyday.” It was another human being standing in front of me. A very talented, driven and influential one. Nevertheless sharing our human conditions that we sometimes forgot in the rush of our modern society. A rush calling us back to the agitation of the surrounding crowd.
The instant was over. One last “Bon courage”. One last glance. He is on his way to the next greeting. I stepped back shaking and wondering: “Will it matter?”