Business

Publishing

Two's company— New York

Preface

Husband-and-wife team Martine and Prosper Assouline have built their luxury publishing house by doing what feels natural. Since starting in their Paris apartment nearly 20 years ago, Assouline is now a US-based market leader.

Abbeville, Martine Assouline, Prosper Assouline, Rizzoli, Vendome

The rules

01: What time do you like to be at your desk?
By 8.30, so I have time to work with the Paris office.

02: Where’s the best place to prepare for leadership, an MBA school or on the job?
I would say that an MBA is helpful because I never had that experience myself.But, if you don’t have the character to be a leader, an MBA won’t help.

03: Describe your management style
When making a decision, I like to ask the people who are involved in the situation – including Prosper, before I make my mind up.

04: Are tough decisions best taken by one person?
I always consult the manager of each team before I make big decisions. I check Prosper is happy with my decision and it’s done.

05: Do you want to be liked or respected?
I want to be respected. But being liked is a bonus.

06: What does your support team look like?
Each department has its own manager and I work with them directly.

07: What technology do you carry on a trip?
My BlackBerry and iPad.

08: Do you read management books?
No. I didn’t have management teaching but my father was an excellent manager. He was very human but at the same time very fair and clear.

09: Run in the morning? Wine with lunch? Socialise with your team after work?
I hate to run. I love to have a good Bordeaux with Prosper every night. I hope our employees do the same and prefer that than socialising with me!

10: What would your key management advice be?
To be determined but to listen and explain well.

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