Charity = donating money? Pierre does it differently!
Interim managers are often professionals with many years of experience in management functions in multiple sectors. At some point in time, they switch careers from executive/manager to freelancer. They typically want more freedom, independence, variation and the possibility to share their story and experience with others.
A successful interim manager is able to quickly switch between projects, deal with the insecurity of being a freelancer, sense and capture the company culture very fast, gain credibility, and is able to start in a moment’s notice.
Still, interim managers are confronted with prejudices.
They are perceived to hop from one project to another, charge steep prices, and to show little social involvement.
Here at AUSY, we see how our interim managers provide proof to the contrary every single day. They often use the experience they have gained to devote themselves to social projects alongside their job. That's why over the coming months we will be telling you the stories of Inke, Pierre and Marc.
Earlier, we told you the story of Inke, advisor for the SheDecides movement and Marc, co-founder of the Fonds GavoorGeluk. Today you’ll meet Pierre, who found a way to distribute masks to the less fortunate during the peak of the first wave of the corona crisis.
Who is Pierre?
Pierre started working at AUSY in 2017. As interim manager he has a very interesting and challenging job.
“But the job also brings a lot of stress with it,” he tells us. “So I try to alternate my demanding career with periods of rest. I like to live my life to the fullest and I love to travel. I’m also working on my PhD in anthropology. Balance, that’s what’s important in life. Each day is a gift and you have to enjoy it!”
Masks for the sans papiers
“I think it’s important to give back,” says Pierre. “I love to help others. It’s what I do as an interim manager. I bring structure and balance to organizations, but I also try to lift the spirits of the employees. This is often very much needed, because when I start somewhere, the companies have already been struggling for a while.”
“At the beginning of the corona crisis I was in between jobs. Then a friend of mine approached me and asked if I wanted to help him with his latest project: distributing masks. I agreed on 1 condition, that we would also distribute masks to those who very much need them, but don’t have the means to buy them.”
Pierre continues: “And that’s what we did. The masks, that were delivered from China and distributed by us, were for example given to the sans papiers in Brussels. Officially, they just don’t exist. So there’s no way for them to ever get masks.”
“We also donated masks to orphans, unaccompanied minors and people with disabilities,” Pierre tells us. “In total we’ve distributed 25.000 free masks!”
Other projects as well
Pierre: “That particular project is finished now. But I’m still involved in many others.”
“Another project that’s very dear to me, is the school in the UN’s nature reserve Dimonika in the Mayombe region in Congo which I sponsor. In that area, illegal gold diggers pose a very real threat. As a consequence, the school had been entirely neglected and didn’t have teachers anymore. I decided to pay the salary of 2 teachers, so the school could start up again. Afterwards, the government heard the story. They took over and started paying the teachers. Today, the kids there can once again learn to read, write and do math. I know that this is merely a drop in the ocean, but I can’t just stay indifferent in these situations.”
“I also work in the Lions Club,” says Pierre. Together, we try to help underprivileged kids and homeless people in Brussels. Not just by donating money, but by showing them respect, honor and love.”
It’s not all about the money
“I put 100% of my efforts into those projects,” says Pierre. “If I do something, I do it right. This also means that I get confronted with myself from time to time. When a project doesn’t go the way I planned it, for example, or when I feel like I can’t get the employees motivated at work.”
“That’s a feeling I need to get past. In the end, I have to remember that I also help a lot of people. Sometimes I get emails from my previous colleagues, who tell me that they were on the edge of a burn-out before I came, and that they feel so much better now. That’s what motivates me, that’s why I do it.”
“I hate people that only throw money at problems to make them go away,” Pierre continues. “Money alone will not get the underprivileged anywhere. They need respect, love and motivation. That’s what I strive for in every project I undertake: I don’t just give to charity, I try to make an actual difference.”