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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 February 2021

Life lessons: Arnaud Palu, Majid Al Futtaim Group

Leisure boss Arnaud Palu gives his take on how to be success at work and in life.
Jeff Topping / The National
Jeff Topping / The National

Arnaud Palu is the head of the leisure division of Majid Al Futtaim Group, which runs, among other things, Ski Dubai and the recently launched Playnation at Mirdif City Centre

Don't take yourself too seriously and be creative in everything you do. For me, having a career that is centred around having fun makes me feel incredibly fortunate and is the philosophy behind everything I do. Everyone has a child inside them. 

Hierarchy is not what matters. Taking care of the people below you is what is important. I was an instructor in the French marines before I worked for Disney. It taught me a lot about people and management. There was one incident in which some of the sergeants had been bullying the new recruits. Our captain told us: "You can ask anything from the men under you as long as you explain why."

Never forget that your actions impact the people around you. Our days are made up of who we interact with, whether it is through the internet, by phone or face-to-face. Everything we say or do influences others so we need to build and nurture these relationships, as these are the people who are going to influence the course of our business and personal lives in the days, months and years to come. We should encourage our children, whether at school or at play, to enjoy the company of their peers - they have so much to offer. Start your day by brightening someone else's.

Mens sana in corpore sano. A healthy mind in a healthy body: I live by this Latin mantra, as physical fitness is incredibly important for all ages. This is something fundamental we should be promoting through leisure attractions across the board. Whether it's getting an adrenaline rush from indoor skydiving, hitting the ski slopes or even going for a run, an active body is an active mind. Doing a little bit every day creates a positive attitude that helps us to counter life's challenges with a clear head.

Remember the people before us. We must never forget where we came from and acknowledge the people who made us who we are. My late grandfather, a World War One veteran, is a source of inspiration to me; he was part of a generation in France that truly sacrificed everything. That war was such a scarring time for our country, but even after the injuries and mental trauma he suffered, he never once complained or let it stop him moving on with his life. The difference he made to my outlook constantly compels me to do the best I can.

Published: October 9, 2010 04:00 AM

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