A Virtuous Leader: A Story of Heart and More…

I wanted to tell you about a book that has helped me to gain insight into the nature of humanity within the beautiful toolkit that comprises leadership.

I’ll tell you more about it a little later, but before that, let me share the story from the book…

Michelin, originally a small family business established in 1881, is now a globally renowned group that has always emphasized a “good family father” management approach to its industrial tool and the people who help it grow.

We will delve into what leadership meant for one of the founders of the Michelin family, like François Michelin, for whom leadership and serving people is simply a matter of common sense.


To be a leader for others, one must know how to serve and listen to them.

It was a self-taught worker, Marius Mignol, who later became an engineer, who developed the first prototype of the radial tire. Its uniqueness lies in the steel belts on the sidewalls that significantly reduce heat build-up.

The 2CV was the first car to be equipped with radial tires as standard in 1948.

François Michelin and Edouard Michelin’s primary concern was the well-being of individuals.

It was thanks to this approach that a simple typesetter could unleash his creativity. Overcoming challenges, he became an engineer capable of launching a major innovation in Michelin’s value proposition.

In 1941, the radial tire was born from Marius Mignol’s pencil strokes.


GOWeeZ - François Michelin un leader vertueux - photo de ye-massa-unsplash


Edouard Michelin: “Remember that it is necessary to break the stone to find the diamond.”

Edouard Michelin said this to his personnel chief at the time of hiring this promising employee. He later referred to him as a genius after a discovery of a calculation rule!

Edouard Michelin was a man with a lot of empathy and charisma. To learn more about this story, we recommend reading Alexandre Dianne-Havard’s book: “Créé pour la Grandeur.”

more information about Edouard Michelin on this page.


The Virtuous Leadership?

According to Alexandre Dianne-Havard, the greatness of leadership in certain individuals is primarily “an ideal of life.” This is described in ten points that reflect the DNA of Virtuous Leadership. 

  1. Authentic anthropology is the foundation of authentic leadership.
  2. The essence of leadership is through the heart and the ability to be magnanimous and humble.
  3. The foundations of leadership are constituted by the virtues of intelligence and will.
  4. One becomes a leader.
  5. The leader possesses a character authority that does not require inherent power authority from the position.
  6. To grow in virtue, it is necessary to open one’s heart, reason, and will.
  7. Practicing virtues leads to acquiring their complete maturity, which requires developing many character traits.
  8. Enjoying virtue is incompatible with the role of a leader.
  9. For the leader, ethics of virtue come first.
  10. A virtuous leader demonstrates hope and charity.



Being a good leader means allowing those who do not yet know it to discover the diamond within themselves.

You will get there sooner or later. But impactful encounters with virtuous leaders ensure that you save time.

After France’s victory in the 1998 FIFA World Cup, the question was posed to Aimé Jacquet: “What makes Zidane a good captain?”

He answered very accurately: “He is a player who, when he plays, enhances the performance of other players on the field, and it’s true that when we watched him play, we saw the humility he exuded on the field.

But we also noticed a magnanimity of the race of great men, with the willingness to let others succeed and thrive on the field.

According to Alexandre Dianne-Havard, leadership is an ideal of life based on two inseparable elements: magnanimity and humility.

These two elements are intrinsically linked to the definition of a great man in his leadership.

A book that I highly recommend is “Créé pour la Grandeur: Le leadership comme idéal de vie” (Created for Greatness: Leadership as an Ideal of Life).

Fabrice Clément


Article written by Fabrice Clément


"I highly recommend reading this book and following Alexandre Dianine-Havard. His definition of virtuous leadership is opposite to what we often see in many leaders around us. It's a book of peace and harmony that helps individuals fulfill their most beautiful mission of helping others grow in order to create opportunities for their own growth as well."

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