Leadership in Wine #2 - Alexis Robin
Alexis Robin is an inspiring leader who wants to make a difference in the wine industry. Originally from France, he arrived in New Zealand in 2011 as a 24 year old Frenchman on a working holiday visa. He was unaware that he was about to fall head over heels in love with the outstanding wine this country produces.
He recalled tasting his first drop of the Felton Road Riesling in Wellington at the Hippopotamus Restaurant. His palette was instantly awakened by the minerality and precision of this fine wine and from that point on he knew he had to discover everything he could about New Zealand wine.
How do you define leadership?
Leadership is about knowing your purpose in life, reaching your full your potential and helping people around you to do the same. Leadership requires a lot of self-awareness to identify your sweet spot; the courage to take action and being challenged on a regular basis and the ability to persevere as it may take more time than expected to achieve.
"The road to Heaven is Heaven". It is about the journey, not the destination.
What are the main challenges of being a leader in the wine industry today?
There are today more managers than leaders in the business world. Leaders always lead by example, have a clear vision of their business and mentor their team members.
It requires a lot of effort and focus to lead. It does not happen by chance.
What are your major breakthroughs in your career to become the leader you are now?
My main breakthrough has been to add value to the growth of the New Zealand wine industry by working for a leading wine business Delegat and volunteering my time for the NZ Sommeliers & Wine Professionals Association. I work with people smarter and wiser than me which has been very beneficial for my personal growth.
If you were starting your career in 2019 in the wine industry, what advice would you give to yourself to become successful and content?
I would say start your career by working for an established and successful wine business to learn from the best.
Travel overseas as much as you can and learn about the different markets and cultures.
Never stop networking along the way because at the end of the day we work with people we value the most.