Mark Powell is not only an Independent Professional Director in the Supply Chain industry but also an old friend. This time, he will share some brilliant career tips. Watch the video below:
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What a wonderful pleasure it was to see and hear Mark Powell. He and I met and worked together in Canada in that third party logistics company he refers to and yes, though I was a corporate resource I spent almost all of my time during that six weeks, helping with the Walmart start-up which was amazingly mad and great fun.
I have only worked with a total of two people who were 100% naturally wired as great people managers. Mark was one. So I would argue with him when he says he had to learn management in any way shape or form. I, agree, most of us do, but not Mark I witnessed countless times him making complicated many facilitated decisions, quickly, seemingly effortlessly and always managing them perfectly even when no one was watching. Please note the other man Mr. McClellan had four children all of whom were daughters and when I knew Mark he had two children both daughters…….maybe we should connect those dots!
The shop floor loves him. Why? Because he genuinely knows their worth, values and respects them.
I am not for one moment saying he is not as mad as a box of frogs, but I believe you need a large dose of that, to ensure that you never take yourself too seriously. There is such a naturally perceived gap between senior management and the junior ranks that pretention and arrogance should never be on display, though sadly it is.
There are some parallels between Mark and me. I too was born in coal mining country, in North East England. I immigrated with my family to Canada and then returned to England as a teenager because I became obsessed with motor racing. After a stint with RAC Competitions, I came back to Canada and got involved in mining (don’t ask) then fell into a position in logistics – enter Mark.
Similarities disappear academically as due to what are ridiculously named `learning disabilities’ I never even could graduate from high school. I have spent much of the last twenty years creating and delivering productivity improvement and management training programs in the logistics industry and my students love to hear that I am an academically a moron which doesn’t actually make me a moron. As Mark said you have to believe in yourself, be a bit naïve, recognize and grasp opportunities and be very appreciative and kind to lady luck.
Yes managing the Canadian Walmart warehousing start-up in six weeks was an impossible feat but he did it. During that period he challenged his workforce to accomplish impossible productivity numbers and said if they did, he would dress up in women’s clothes complete with high heels and give his regular update to all shifts. Very shortly thereafter, I remember being at a senior managers’ meeting which included leaders from several of our sites. The looks on the others`faces, who were at the meeting but, not in the know, when Mark began loudly lamenting how difficult it was to find a bra in his size, will remain with me forever.
And yes the workforce got their wish and they deserved it and yes he made a very attractive lady.
Do I have other stories? You bet I do. If I played my cards better I could probably do very well out of my Mark Powell stories!
I am sorry I have gone on for too long, but you only have yourself to blame, by presenting a subject very close to my heart. Imogen Best
I think we all have a few ‘Mark’ stories, but I hadn’t heard that one LOL