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Issue One REWIRE Magazine

A Slice of Life

Published 22 Nov 2023

Pizza Hut's European CEO Nicholas Burquier talks to Gary Cleland about life on the front line of one of the world's best known businesses.


“If you keep on smiling. If you don’t let the negative things get in your head – I truly believe that is what will drive you forward, and that is what will inspire people.”

Nicolas Burquier runs Pizza Hut’s European business. He believes resilience is key to being able to continue the success of a brand that this year celebrates its 50th year in Europe. And key to resilience is positivity.

“For me it is about how you react to difficult challenges, or to unexpected situations. How do you stay positive, and link that positivity to a growth mindset?” he says.

“I genuinely believe that in today’s world, leaders must have this ability because there is more and more uncertainty.”

“And the challenge is, amongst all of this uncertainty – how are you going to show up? How do you ensure that the manner in which you respond inspires confidence throughout the rest of the organisation? How do you demonstrate that growth mindset? How do you ensure that everybody is going to have the confidence to deliver their best in the middle of uncertainty?”

Resilence is business-critical for Burquier, as a leader and for the wider business. But his own perspective is drawn from far more personal experience – his daughter.

“16 years ago, my daughter was born with severe disabilities,” he says.

“At that point you are thinking, ‘how do I deal with this?’ And you know you are going to need to be strong, to be agile and to be positive.

“You know if you can do that then this situation, which you were not expecting, is going to be better.”

His daughter underwent emergency surgery at eight months old.

Burquier says: “I remember she came out of the operating room, and when she opened her eyes, she smiled. And no one expected that, and it put everything else into context from then on.”

Today, running a business of thousands of people, working for one of the best known brands on the planet, Burquier has come to believe that a positive mindset can drive material business success.

He says: “Of course I have my own anxieties, but I believe if you can respond to adversity with positivity, then everybody throughout the organisation is going to respond in a different way.

“If you keep on complaining then you are never going to get to the same place.

“If you aren’t resilient as a leader then I don’t know how you can break through. Every day there is something new. Every day there is something unexpected.

“Resilience is the thing that allows you to break through, and to bring people with you.”

"If you keep on smiling. If you don't let the negative things get in your head - I truly believe that is what will drive you forward, and that is what will inspire people."
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Issue One

Resilience in a modern world

The Age of Resilience

War Footing

Turning Challenges into Positives. That's Resilience

Survive... Then Thrive

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