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Leaving A Lasting Leadership Legacy
Jean-Claude Biver, a man who has faced many challenges, encountered his biggest personal hurdle in the midst of one of his biggest successes.
Felipe Monteiro

He fell ill while working on the TAG Heuer Connected watch – a transformative partnership between Swiss luxury and Silicon Valley. After 45 years at the top of watchmaking, rather than discarding the mantle of leadership, he has embraced a new form of it, understanding that we are not limited by age.

Although Biver has stepped away from the day-to-day business, he insists on giving back, not only by supporting his corporate successors and his mentees, but also by sharing his enthusiasm for lifelong learning with younger people. He recently sat down with me to discuss his life change and adaptation, reflection and stewardship.

ADAPTION

As a veteran of both large and small luxury brands, Biver spent the past few years before his retirement reaching out to Silicon Valley. Naturally, he had to adapt and learn. Of his experiences, he said, “You are only old when you stop learning.” Working on the luxury smart watch gave Biver a sense that he was connected to the future, which he jokingly said rejuvenated him better than any facelift could have done.

“The name of the game is adaptation. You adapt by having doubts,” he said. The underlying learning that goes into adaptation is an openness and an understanding that others may know best. “When you start to listen to others, you are in the learning process. Then you will get the adaptation you need.”

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November 2019

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