A scholar of the history of France may well come across the figure of Charles VII, a monarch with a turbulent reign. He is remembered as Charles the Victorious, for having put an end to the bloody Hundred Years War which, for more than a century, pitted French against English for the control of duchies. A good many historians, however, refer to Charles less as Victorious and more often as Well Served. For though he undoubtedly showed courage, he owed a large part of his success to some extraordinary figures and their endeavours: not only the noble paladins who led his troops, but also Joan of Arc, Jacques Cœur and Jean Bureau. The Maid of Orleans revived a country in a state of disarray; the merchant restructured its finances and administration; the commander perfected its artillery. Thus Charles VII was “well served” by some singular talents, thanks to which he emerged as “victorious”.
This leads me to reflect on the world in which we evolve, which is that of luxury Swiss Replica Watches products. It has its share of more or less absolute monarchs who are commonly viewed as “victorious”, and rightly so, but who are without any doubt “well served” on numerous occasions by a team whose value is not always fully acknowledged.
Let us be clear about this: it is only right that the successes the leading luxury Maisons enjoy in their markets should be ascribed to the foresight of their chiefs. Yet it is equally true that, beyond the genius of the creative directors, the world’s media tends to overlook the talented craftsmen and women to give top management an unprecedentedly high profile. In certain instances, the chairman or managing director becomes more popular than the creative teams who toil at their service – and as for the master Rolex Replica watchmakers, what can I say! As though they had no desire for their moment in the spotlight which, in a not so distant past and particularly in fashion, was firmly trained on the designer or artistic director.
Such an outcome is surely well-deserved. While the product and the customer will always be the foundations of a Maison’s success, it is no less true that the global economy demands strategic choices which only an enlightened mind can take; choices which require the distinctive vision of an intelligent, well-prepared person. What we do tend to forget, however, is that behind these stellar personalities there is almost inevitably a team. The very top bosses aren’t gods; they are excellent resource managers who know how to get the best from their teams, and unite these talents into a global vision. To attribute an almost sacral omniscience to the executive is both misleading and unfair to these teams.
Let’s draw a lesson from history and remember that victory is earned by a chief and his army together. As for Charles VII, I have no idea whether he ever thanked Joan of Arc but we are told he never lifted a finger to save her from death at the stake. Well served, but clearly not well mannered.