I’ve never been close to anyone who hasn’t wanted me to do my own thing, and make a success of it. The truth is, I just don’t really fit into a template. I resist fitting in a template. At this juncture of my working life, I feel my soul is strong, and I feel I absolutely want to become part of a new era. This is both wonderful and tricky at the same time. Because I have a kind of ambition – a kind of community ambition – that is quite incompatible with the kind of roles I would be expected to play in the world.
None of those roles want me, need me. There are other people who will fill them better than I can. As I said to my friend Alan Parker last week, I’ve never really fitted any roles. The only role I know how to play is Mark Charmer. To which Alan replied, “you do it very well.”
At the heart of my role is a distinctive style – a style that treats everyone as interesting, but not some as more important than others. I’ve been exposed to both hierarchies and networks, and have learned to observe and challenge the former, and nurture and grow the latter at a level which feels manageable. As I learn more about myself, and every month I learn more about myself, it becomes clear that I am programmed to find ways to be unique – I simply can’t accept a future where I’m just another number, another employee, another asset. I am part of a next generation community of people who want the world to be different, to be better. And that’s the trajectory I must follow. The song I must sing. The place I must find. I need to find my place to perform, and I need to decide what to sing.
Over recent years I have learned to become a different kind of manager – one that sees talent in people and encourages them to bring that out. I’m not really interested in forcing things in a particular direction. I like to understand how the tide is flowing and see how to build on that, in ways that make the world better.
Photo: Garnanäs, Sweden. June 2015. Original here. (Mark Charmer)