I am a French national, born in Lebanon, happily married to my college sweetheart and a very proud mother of 2 accomplished young men: Alexandre 22 and Nicolas 19. Until 10 years ago, I had lived my entire adult life in Paris.
I am a Computer Science Engineer by training and started my career developing embedded software in routers in a French startup. At 28, I was leading an R&D lab of 20 engineers, almost all male. I then moved to marketing and later on to Business Development and Sales, all in the High Tech Industry and in most cases had European Wide or Global roles. I have always loved breaking new grounds and most often in my career took newly defined positions rather than moving into established roles.
Thru out my career, I have been fascinated by leadership topics and at the same time, genuinely interested in people. I pride myself of having always been a people minded business leader.
So when 14 years ago, in 2002, I decided to leave the multinational company I was working in, I was already tempted to become a coach. I did some research and realized that I was not yet ready to move out of the corporate world so I happily joined Microsoft to develop a nascent new business in Europe.
When Microsoft offered to move me to their corporate offices in Seattle 4 years later, I had 2 boys that were 13 and 9 at that time and a husband who had a nice job at another High tech Firm. After thinking about it, we decided that such an experience would be valuable for our kids and we decided to move. And to ensure a smooth landing for our family, we decided that my husband would be a stay-at-home dad for the first few months. That became 2 years, to his own and our kids delight.
Over the years, my passion for people and possibilities continued to grow and I continued to cultivate the dream of building my own leadership practice. As a result, I moved into a position that involved significant organizational development, and “on the job” individual and group coaching. And the 3 years I spent in this role confirmed both my interest and the unique gifts I had to offer to other leaders.
During all these years, I had my own work-life balance challenges as a working mother who travelled on a regular basis and this led me to develop a unique “system” that I also shared with my teams and other leaders, men and female, around me. .
In 2011 I remember making the decision to wait until both sons completed their undergraduate studies to move forward with my leadership coaching career. But life sometimes does not allow for perfect plan execution. In April 2012, I was diagnosed with an aggressive colon cancer. I was very lucky that it was caught in time. I had a long and delicate surgery and resumed work a month later with no visible physical impact. However, as one could expect, this scary experience became a defining moment. It helped me grasp my true priorities and how important it was to live a life aligned to my core values.
And in June 2013, I left Microsoft to embrace my new career, at the age of 51. I am now a certified executive coach putting my experience and skills in the service of others, and feel very grateful for it.