Clear communication and teamwork are essential to success
I arrived in Brunei in 1998 primarily as a lawyer who had been sent by HQ to deal with a complex issue affecting Elf's Offshore Concession Agreement. At the specific insistence of John Perry, the Managing Director, I was however also given the role of Joint Venture Manager. I didn't really know what it meant, but on my first morning in the office, John's very specific vision was clearly explained.
Joint venture management meant complete mastery of our contractual rights and obligations, qualify Government and partner reporting and top class performance in everything we did. John passionately believed that this approach would demonstrate that Elf was an Operator of choice and that by "managing" the business, relationship in this way, we would build crediblity, achieve business objectives efficiently and create an enduring reputation. That was my personal part of John's vision, but in the following years, I watched as his philosophy was systematically implemented in all aspects of Elf's activities in Brunei. He was a gifted communicator and believed that clear communication and teamwork were essential to success. The result was that everyone working in the company knew beyond a doubt that they were part of the team and that their role must be performed to the very highest level. Everyone could list the key business objectives and knew also that they had to be delivered. And, in the year that followed, the Block B Concession was legally secured, the MLJ development was completed ahead of schedule and under budget, the Brunei Shipwreck Exhibition was inaugurated in Paris in the Presence of His Majesty the Sultan, and Agreement was signed.
Finally, John Perry was also a vociferous and highly effective champion for France in Brunei which was recognized by him being awared a Legion D'honneur ; truly an Englishman who batted for Elf and for France.