YLAB mines wisdom from Olivier Le Peuch, CEO of Schlumberger
“As a leader, you need to care, listen, engage, and make yourself accessible and never stop learning.”
“If you keep learning, you’ll be ahead of the disruption,” was one of several nuggets of wisdom that Olivier Le Peuch, CEO of Schlumberger, offered the Young Leaders Advisory Board (YLAB) during a recent engagement in Dhahran’s Main Administration building.
YLAB hosted Le Peuch in an interactive discussion about the oil and gas industry, leadership, and youth. The engagement opened with an introduction and presentation from YLAB, then moved into a discussion on the industry’s current and future prospects, and young people’s roles in it.
“This is a chance for the industry not to be defensive, but to be proactive, and to create new value chains,” Le Peuch said. He stated that, currently, there is no energy carrier that is more efficient than oil, and that energy consumption and production will continue to become more efficient through the production of lower intensity energy and less carbon emissions.
As a leader, you need to care, listen, engage, and make yourself accessible and never stop learning.
— Olivier Le Peuch
He emphasized that the key to an energy transition is understanding energy at a molecular level, explaining that this is an opportunity to create new businesses and further explore the concept of “regionalized energy markets.”
Have a vision
When asked about how Schlumberger attracts and retains its younger employees, Le Peuch said that the organization did so by accelerating its digital transformation and new business ventures. Le Peuch emphasized the importance of having a purpose and a clear vision in attracting and retaining youth. “Do not underestimate the power of having a vision,” he said, as it is where an organization’s competitive edge lies.
Le Peuch also emphasized what he called the human factor. “Decision making used to be the most important characteristic in a leader, but not anymore,” he said. “You need to care, listen, engage, and make yourself accessible.” Le Peuch then elaborated on the importance of being able to seamlessly move between operational and strategic ways of thinking. He then focused on the importance of having a thirst for knowledge to adapt to changing market and industry conditions.
He finished by underscoring the importance of genuineness and authenticity. “Be yourself and remember where you came from,” he said, reminding his audience of the importance of not forgetting their roots.
Never stop learning
The session came to an end with Le Peuch reiterating the importance of the youth’s role in strategy, technology, and sustainability. In an age of accelerated transformations, Le Peuch’s advice to the youth is to assume a proactive role in creating innovative solutions to the industry’s challenges, and to never stop learning.