Chapter 5“I Can See Clearly Now”The origins of a fresh vision for the family business

“I have traveled millions of kilometers for Taittinger and developed a deep philosophy of people, culture…and who I am…When you die, people will not judge you by the amount of money you made; they will judge you by the amount of happiness they had with you.”

So says Pierre Emmanuel Taittinger, head of the Taittinger Estate and its world-renowned Taittinger Champagne.

The happiness Pierre speaks of is embodied by a glass of champagne.

The Champagne Way, says Pierre, is about “delicacy, elegance, happiness…and a glass of champagne to get you there more quickly.”

With miles of leadership logged, Pierre came to understand that while the Champagne Way is an ideal approach to living, it's not one that's afforded everyone. “I am a very relaxed man,” says Pierre, “but I am not relaxed when we spend 5,000 liters to wash a car every two days, and some people do not have water in Africa. When I see that we waste a lot of food, I am not relaxed. When I see that we spend fortunes in ways that are not totally useful, I am not relaxed. I am not relaxed to think that half of the world is not happy. How can you be relaxed? The world is greedy, the world has a lot of corruption; money has taken too much [importance].”

From this perspective, Pierre says of his leadership with Taittinger Champagne, “I am as small as a bubble of champagne.” Small and insignificant.

Happiness and humility define the essence of Pierre ...

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