Trying to "think outside the box" won't work if you don't recognise the box you're already in!
LS: Tell us your story...
MR: I am the Strategic Director and partner at Formlab: A boutique creative agency based in Amsterdam. Our fuel is the spark between people, resulting in new ideas. That's why we surround ourselves with an eclectic mix of tastemakers and craftsmen, inspiring and inciting each other to take things to a higher level. Inspiration is everywhere, if they know how to look for it. Every little object around you conceals a story, a secret speckled with emotional value.
LS: What do you value the most?
MR: Being engaged with authentic people.
LS: When times are "not so good" how do you lead?
MR: By believing that the sun will always shine in the end.
LS: What gets you through the day?
MR: Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard.
LS: Best person you have ever worked with and why?
MR: All persons I have come across in all assignments taught me new things. That small-scale farmer in Tanzania who showed me his business plan on a napkin to the cumin seed trader in Pakistan who had me over for dinner at his house. I feel blessed!
LS: What gives you courage?
MR: Knowing that I can trust myself.
LS: How do you motivate and inspire people?
MR: Leadership is about putting people in a position to grow and find their inner strength.
LS: What is your greatest frustration?
MR: When people don't take responsibility.
LS: What are you certain about?
MR: Being initiated in taoism I've learned that: all thoughts being subconsciously regulated outside the state of mental stillness.
LS: How do you stay calm?
MR: In believing that: by tomorrow, today, is yesterday. THis helps me to guide, to keep everything in perspective and knowing that there is always a lesson to be learned and to improve on it.
LS: WHat do you dream about?
MR: Living in a fisherman's village and sitting on the dock, exchanging life lessons with future generations.
LS: Would you employ you?
MR: I think I would pass on myself, being an entrepreneur all my life, I cannot envision myself as an employee.
LS: How do you keep fit for business?
MR: Music, dancing, laughing and not taking myself too serious.
LS: What is your all time favourite book?
MR: Art of War by Sun Tzu.
LS: What is taking up your thinking space right now?
MR: Growing our business.
LS: Your most embarrassing leadership moment (that still brings you out in a sweat)?
MR: I am not one to be easily embarrassed...
LS: How do you create balance?
MR: Loving my children unconditionally and obviously dancing and laughing with them.
LS: What is your greatest fear?
MR: Not being able to sit on those docks...
LS: Do you have a lucky something?
MR: I have a Talisman!
What an inspiring and enlightening chat we had, it has certainly opened up our eyes and we hope it has done the same fo you.
Marlon is a true gent with a genuine passion for both his work and his home life.
Keep in touch monthly (or even more frequently with us*).
* We promise not to virtually stalk you, it will be (at max) weekly round ups and elements that it would be rude not to tell you about...