June 25, 2024


The business lovers

Lessons in leadership for rugby legend Thierry Dusautoir

Even at the starting of his rugby union vocation, former France captain Thierry Dusautoir was wondering about the conclude. “Being a professional rugby participant is terrific — it is the greatest issue that has took place in my existence,” he states. But it can cease at any minute, he adds, regardless of whether for the reason that of damage or anyone better coming up, so you “need more weapons, like learning, to have more options”.

It may possibly now seem to be shocking that anyone so acclaimed at any time fearful about potential vocation chances — or had time to. Whilst Dusautoir, 39, did not perform rugby until his mid teenagers, to begin with preferring judo, he turned professional in 2001 at 19, going on to enjoy a successful vocation with French golf equipment this kind of as Biarritz and Toulouse.

In 2006, he was termed up to the French countrywide crew, earning 80 caps in an intercontinental vocation that included some legendary moments. In 2010, he captained the French side to Grand Slam victory before major them to the 2011 Earth Cup last, which they misplaced to New Zealand’s All Blacks. He was also named Player of the Year in 2011, the second Frenchman to get the intercontinental title.

But Dusautoir also noticed pals wrestle for a pair of many years after leaving the sport though they worked out what to do upcoming. “I just preferred to be the learn of my existence,” he states. With an eye on ensuring he would indeed have “options”, in 2008 he invested in his very first enterprise, All My SMS, a text and voice messaging company. He now operates in enterprise progress and technique for the platform, along with investing in other, mostly tech, corporations with a spouse.

A conversation with former intercontinental teammates Frédéric Michalak and Sébastien Chabal — the famously hirsute “caveman” — opened up the upcoming selection. Michalak and Chabal both equally started off EMLyon’s government MBA in 2019. Just after listening to what they were being up to, Dusautoir was captivated by the strategy that an EMBA could aid him analyse the corporations to commit in, and better aid his own.

“I went to EMLyon for the reason that I preferred educational instruments to aid me acquire choices and have more self-self-confidence when [I was] going to offer with anyone, talk about enterprise or do hazard investigation of a enterprise,” he states. “I made use of to commit with my guts. Now I want to commit with my brain.”

Thierry Dusautoir: ‘I just preferred to be the learn of my life’ © Magali Delporte

A chemical engineering graduate, Dusautoir states it was “weird” going back again to school in September after fifteen many years. But he is previously experiencing the networking and peer learning that appear with an EMBA. “It is genuinely satisfying to satisfy people from different backgrounds who are starting a thing with you,” he states.

The sense of cohesion struck a common note early on for the duration of the program. Throughout the very first a few-working day analyze block, his bike was stolen though he was out with program mates for an evening. He was astonished that anyone preferred to aid.

Thierry Dusautoir and his Toulouse team with the Heineken Cup in 2010
Thierry Dusautoir and his Toulouse crew with the Heineken Cup in 2010

“I was like, ‘Wow, I have recognised you for one working day and it genuinely felt like a thing that I experienced in rugby — the solidarity,” he states. “I felt that a thing was starting concerning [us]. I would not say thank you to the thief, but it was a minute that confirmed me that probably I was having into a new crew.”

Dusautoir is previously learning and reflecting on the classes and his outdated existence. The very first block was on administration, a issue he is common with. He states he doesn’t know that significantly about finance but “quite a bit” about administration as the captain of a crew. It has been exciting to take into account regardless of whether major a rugby crew would have been a lot easier with the knowledge received from the programme, he adds.

For illustration, there was a challenging minute in the 2011 Earth Cup when the French side was virtually knocked out. Although the way the crew bounced back again collectively is one of the proudest moments of his rugby vocation, Dusautoir states getting the chief came at a own expense. “I was wondering that probably if I had recognised this [about administration] at this time, would it have been a lot easier? Would I have had more strength for getting a better participant on the pitch? Mainly because I misplaced a lot of strength running the guys,” he states.

Although his administration scientific tests manufactured him mirror on his rugby vocation, he intends to use his encounter as an elite athlete to satisfy the requires of his EMBA. “I am going to use the identical recipe as when I was a participant — so work tough and check out to discover better organisation with the relatives,” he states. “My wife is with me: it is not my option, it is a pair option and a relatives option. I imagine that is going to aid me a lot in this, for the reason that you are not able to do something by yourself.”

Screening instances: Frédéric Michalak

Frédéric Michalak started a sport tech venture after finishing playing
Frédéric Michalak started off a sport tech enterprise after ending participating in

“I do not have any regrets, so that is a fantastic issue,” states Frédéric Michalak, Thierry Dusautoir’s former teammate, reflecting on a rugby vocation that spanned virtually 20 many years. It is effortless to see why: in 2015, he completed his intercontinental run as France’s major points scorer, with seventy seven caps, a few Grand Slam victories and participation in a few Earth Cups.

But in 2019 Michalak switched to costing, compliance and macroeconomics on an government MBA at EMLyon. The prior calendar year he co-established a new enterprise, Activity Unlimitech, an initiative to bridge investigate, sport and entrepreneurship to establish sport tech, and started to take into account enterprise school. Moreover getting “curious”, he states he needed new instruments to development.

All those competencies are previously getting put to the examination. As properly as learning a lot from fellow students, Michalak is placing his official classes to fantastic use. Just as the program coated disruption, Covid-19 struck. Even if your enterprise objective was a few to five many years forward, he states, you had to act now.

“I was lucky to be in school at the time,” he states, introducing that he needed to respond and create a new enterprise model for Activity Unlimitech.

But his suggestions is to thoroughly dedicate to the EMBA. “Do it for the reason that you want to do it and put one hundred for every cent on that. It is going to be tough,” he states, introducing that placing some cash absent is a fantastic strategy as it is expensive.

An open up head is also practical. “Travel, be curious, talk with people, check out issues, do incorrect, understand about that,” Michalak states. “You can understand a lot when you are losing.”