Q+A – Mark M

December 2016, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom

Each month we hold an informal Q+A with one of our associates. This month we caught up with Mark M.
You can view Mark’s full associate profile here.

Mark M

What was your first ever paid job?

An operator in a plastics injection moulding factory. I did this to earn money while applying for jobs at big international companies and learnt the hard way not to ask the floor supervisor for a ‘long stand’ or for a pot of  ‘striped paint’!

What drew you to SSO?

My employers were front runners in the 1990’s for utilising SSO’s. I got involved in Finance Outsourcing back then and later in Procurement Operations. I enjoyed visiting the various sites, meeting the people and effecting significant process standardisation and simplification.

What do you enjoy about training and development?

I have always enjoyed learning and ensure that I try to continuously develop myself. With regards to providing learning & development to others; there is nothing more rewarding than creating and delivering training and seeing the attendees grow.

Have you always had a head for figures?
I have always been logical and methodical and enjoyed working with numbers. That said, I do increasingly enjoy prose whether in written or spoken form.

You were with one employer for most of your career, what were some of the benefits of that?
I was lucky enough to have a long and varied career where I got to travel and meet many, many wonderful people. I loved the fact that no matter where I went that there was this overarching familiarity and that you could build on your reputation and not have to start over each time. Also, working in a company of that size there was so much variety in the roles I did and scale in terms of the $ and operations that it was always exciting.

If you hadn’t followed this career path, what do you think you would be doing now?
The common driver for me is people. If it wasn’t the oil & gas industry it would have been another international business that gave me the opportunity to travel and meet people or Teaching. Of all the roles I did in my 38 years, creating the Finance University and delivering training, was the one I found most rewarding and impactful.

You play golf, what is your handicap?
Currently 18….but I’m working on getting it down to 14! I’m hoping that Yoga will help.

How do you incorporate Emotional Intelligence theory into your management style?
For me EQ is about paying attention to what is happening around you and doing something about it where necessary.  Too often leaders get caught up in their own world and listen only to their own voice. EQ is about listening in the broadest sense.

Do you have any favourite quotes?
“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain”.
I have also been impressed recently with Simon Sinek and in particular his TED Talk on “People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it!”