What they are saying

“When Mark first asked me to help with a project, I had to redo the work that had been presented to me, without the required personal experience, and virtually no access to the resources to complete the task successfully.  He agreed with my initial assessment and spent time giving me a high-level outline of the picture that I would need to present and then spent time speaking in a highly specialised e-commerce language to highlight the key brushstrokes that I would need to make.  This led me through a process of mystery, discovery and enlightenment, which I believe was Mark’s intention.  Giving me a paint by number solution to the project would have ultimately been unfulfilling for myself and the project concerned.  He understood that it was not simply the outcome that was important, but the building blocks that formed our deeper understanding and ultimately our successful partnership.

Mark was generous with his time, and his experience, and his trust.  It took me a while to be qualified for the role he had asked me to do, but he trusted that we would get there together, and trusted that I would seek his advice when I needed to, which resulted in a highly satisfying project.

Mark is a very engaging communicator, but I also found him a very acute listener.  We did not always agree, but he made himself available to listen, and to understand and ultimately trust me in a challenging environment.  On a personal level I admire his sense of honour and integrity, insight, wide ranging knowledge, and above all his insightful sense of humour.

Our project involved selling a company in which he was one of the “important parents of success”.  Success has many parents, and many contributors and he used his influence to ensure that everyone (staff and investors) benefitted from the best outcome possible.  More impressive to me personally was how he used his influence at board level to ensure that the employees throughout the business would benefit from that success.  The scale of what he left “in the kitty” for the employees is unprecedented in my experience.  He understood that he may not get personal recognition for this act, and it would leave him open for criticism throughout the company and shareholders, but this left him undeterred, and it was moving in the way it changed some people’s lives.

Mark accepts mistakes are made with good intentions, and with good intentions, Mark will also make mistakes.  What I admire is that Mark has come to work out where his weaknesses are and he surrounds himself with people that he trusts, to tell him where his blind spots are.  I have seen many people too proud to accept the error of their thinking and prejudices, but his ability to find people that he trusts and to listen to them, sets him out from other highly intelligent people who continue to repeat their mistakes and prejudices.

I have enjoyed working with Mark immensely and feel privileged to call him a friend.”

Steve Kirk, former CEO Cult Beauty.