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Portrait of Jonathan, PMO Portfolio, Planisware Referent and Taekwondo’s Champion.

Agility, precision and performance in project management right down to the tatami: meeting with Jonathan Laurent, 35 years old, PMO Portfolio, Planisware Referent and*Taekwondo’s French 2020 Champion.

When was your passion for taekwondo born?

I was 22 years old when I discovered the discipline in Nancy where I finished my studies. I won a Lorraine Champion title at that time. Two years later, I get a Master 2, I signed my first job as an Automation Engineer. My numerous travels do not allow me to be fully involved in my sport, but my passion for it has not decreased. I start practising at a high level in 2015 and in 2016, I join a Parisian club where I do a physical and technical refresher course and then join one of the best clubs in the Ile-de-France region. There I meet the elite of the competition and that’s exactly what I want. My sport has changed: the rules of refereeing have evolved and electronic devices are now present in the protective equipment. I have to be flexible and relearn everything, but I am redoubling my efforts to adapt.

What are your most significant memories in your career as an athlete?

In 2018 I will be awarded the prestigious Black Belt 1st Dan black belt. In the same season I won the Paris Championship as well as the Ile de France Championship. It was also at this time that I started to represent Martinique, where I was born. What a year! The beginning of the season was nevertheless disrupted by an ankle injury. During this difficult period, I discovered an exciting aspect of top-level sport: the work of mentalisation. This practice has helped me to get back into training. I took part in my first international competitions with the US Taekwondo Open in Las Vegas in February. It’s an unbelievable experience ! I am reaching a level that requires qualities that I had not yet fully developed so I am learning a lot on the human and sporting level. I come back without a medal but stronger and more determined than ever. The competitions then follow one another at a steady pace (Belgium, Luxembourg, Serbia, Albania …). In January 2020 I finally win my title of French Champion! This dream took the time it took to come true: a victory without effort is tasteless. The following month I won a silver medal at the US Open in Orlando, USA. Members of my family from various backgrounds came to support me, making this moment even more magical. With the health crisis that marks the year, the competitions stop, but I prepare the next events and I remain determined to go even further.

How do you combine your work as a consultant and your practice at a high level?

These two activities have many similarities and feed off each other: in my job, the work of preparing a project is essential, then I have to control the weather, anticipate hazards, anticipate situations, identify the blocking elements and overcome them. I must be concentrated, efficient, precise and agile. It’s the same for taekwondo. To prepare for a fight: my ability to anticipate hazards and manage uncertainties will have a direct consequence on my performance and therefore my result. I know that I can’t anticipate and control everything, but it is also a parameter that is integrated at the time of the mentalisation work. The equivalent in project management is the envelope dedicated to risk provision! Finally, over the years, whether on the tatami or at work, taking into account and analysing the feedback allows me to perfect myself more and more.

*Taekwondo is a martial art of South Korean origin, whose name can be translated as The way of the feet and fists.

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