Together We Build Dreams
By working hard and taking the opportunity to lead some working groups and to exchange during conferences, I realised that people were listening to me.
- Name: Marion Guigon-Lacroix
- Country: France
- Organisation: French Olympic Academy (ANOF) & European Olympic Academies (EOA)
- Elected position:Executive board member in charge of the development (ANOF) + General Secretary (EOA)
- How long have you been in your current position? 8 years (ANOF) + 2 years (EOA)
To begin with, please tell us a little about yourself.
Marion Guigon-Lacroix: “I am a french woman of 31 years old and a former high-level fencer. I have been involved for many years in the sport community. Sport is a formidable mean of communication and emancipation, and a strong tool for social change. As a volunteer in several organisations, I promote the values of sport. I also defend the recognition of sport as a lever in the service of society. Sport has always been very important in my life. It has helped me to be even more determined. It nurtured my desire to acquire new skills to progress personally and professionally.“
Can you tell us about your “Why” and how you came to leadership position?
MG-L: “I think everyone on this planet is important, and each person has a role to play. At a very early age, I realized I do like to manage and to lead in order to create synergy and to create things. I was all the time the person that organise projects or wanted to help others. I needed to feel useful, to promote the values that are important to me. For me, leading is about having faith in your values and ideas. But leading is also about people. Putting yourself at the service of a cause bigger than you.”
What is it you want to achieve and what made you decide on your professional and personal pathway?
MG-L: ” It might sound a bit “ingenuous” but I just want to contribute to a better world. I’d do so in achieving projects and allowing people to work together. My investment as a volunteer woman in the French National Olympic Academy and in the European Olympic Academies helped me a lot in my personal and professional pathway. My investment in the sport movement has allowed me to put my skills to the benefit of my professional life. “
How do you achieve your goals and keep up with the fast-changing society?
MG-L: “I am in a constant personal and professional development. This is maybe how I achieve my goal. But to be honest, I am rarely satisfied with my performance. Yes, there are barriers, stress, different people with different opinions and manners. But this also the wealth of our human world. However, my best weapon regarding the barriers are dialogue and transparency in any circumstances. I believe in teamwork and also that listening to others can pull out the best in everyone. It forces you to not give up on things.“
Who inspires you? And why?
Marion Guigon-Lacroix: “As a passionate person, I realise that my friends, family and especially my husband are the persons that support and inspire me daily. However, recently I was really impressed by women that lead in their way. Greta Thunberg which her fight regarding climate change or Sanna Marin from Finland who became the youngest head of government in the world are two examples.
I don’t know how to explain but I am very concerned regarding gender equality. Therefore I appreciate being in environment of women and men, there is no difference to me. But for sure I am more inclined to be with personalities that show respect and empathy but also care for others.
Who has challenged me the most on my journey? Myself! “
What kind of resources has proven to be the best help throughout your journey ? And where did you find them?
MG-L: “The best resources are definitively the human ones. This includes all the values that I learnt from my mentors and my family such as integrity, respect, honesty and humility. I also took part in many training schemes or projects to learn new skills. Indeed intellectual resources are primordial to me. This allow me to be more relevant and have a clear vision. I also do like to improve my digital skills since I believe this is crucial.
I think that the SWinG project, could be an important resource by focusing on motivation, training, and skills development for the women participating.“
When did your leadership story begin and where is it now?
MG-L: “As I said earlier, I realise very early that I needed to lead but the more I grew, the more I realised that I am a leader – manager.
I like taking responsibilities within organisations. Yet I also do like to organise and manage people to help them achieve their goals. This allows me to learn again and again.
It is very important for me to not take too many responsibilities and to let other individual especially women to get involved in organisations. This is key of a good governance.”
What was the most difficult challenge you had to overcome in your election journey? How did you overcome it?
MG-L: “The most difficult challenge was to be elected General Secretary at the European Olympic Academies as I was (and I am still) the youngest member of this organisation.
In some culture in Europe, age means experiences and is very important in order to take responsibilities.
By working hard and taking the opportunity to lead some working groups and to exchange during conferences, I realised that people were listening to me and really benevolent, therefore I decided to run for the first EOA election.“
Finally, what words of advice would you give to your 20-year-old self?
Marion Guigon-Lacroix: “Take pleasure of your personnel investment, enjoy people, believe in yourself, be confident.
However, don’t take attention to individuals that impeach you to fulfil your tasks. And do not pay attention to people who are not in the same spirit, do not let them demoralize or influence you.“
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