LifeDoneDifferent.ly

{{ show.title }}Trailer Bonus Episode {{ selectedEpisode.number }}
{{ selectedEpisode.title }}
|
{{ selectedEpisode.title }}
By {{ selectedEpisode.author }}
Broadcast by

Summary

Charles Wookey is unusual. He's also the CEO of an unusual charity. Blueprint for Business is an independent charity whose purpose is to create a better society through better business. Charles has had an eclectic career. You would be hard-pressed at any point to guess his next career move. Finance, politics, economics, God and purpose-driven business are in the collection so far and the next chapter is brewing.

Charles' story is one of quiet confidence, curiosity and charm and it teaches us that leading yourself, finding your own path and not the one that others expect of you, is a path worth exploring.

Show Notes

Hi everyone. I hope you're doing okay given the circumstances. Welcome to our conversation with Charles Wookey. Charles is the CEO of A Blueprint for Better Business, a charity that helps organisations consider their social and environmental impact alongside their financial goals. This is how I know Charles. His organisation does some great work but how Charles' ended up with Blueprint is the interesting bit.

Boarding school from the age of six is a mixed blessing. It's certainly not what he wanted for his children put it that way. Philosophy and Physics at Oxford followed school and then into KPMG to become an Accountant and that's when he started to make up his own mind. The obvious path was to fit in and work his nuts off for the next ten to fifteen years and become a partner.  Two weeks after qualifying, at the moment his salary would have doubled, he left because he could see the future and it meant becoming someone he didn't want to become.

What followed has been a career of curiosity. A few years at the House of Commons before leaving to spend three months on a silent retreat in North Wales which alerted him to the fact he's got one crack at life. The dark bit was confronting himself and his conclusion that "there are things that are real and there are things that are illusory and I wanted to live in a way that makes sense of what's real. I do not want to have regrets."

Charles' comments remind me of Bronnie Ware's work. Bronnie Ware worked in palliative care. Her patients we those who had gone home to die. She was with them in their last three to twelve weeks of their life. Conversations in those final weeks were highly emotional. When asked about any regrets or what they would have done differently, common themes surfaced again and again. The most common regret was "I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me."

Charles has that courage. The confidence to know when it's time to move on. The confidence to overcome imposter syndrome. The confidence to step into the unknown.

After his retreat, Charles, worked for Institute of Fiscal Studies where he was the guy who knew nothing about economics and then having met a nun, he ended up in the God business, working for Cardinal Basil Hume. This role and his affection for Hume satisfied his curiosity for eleven years at which point he stepped into the unknown again. This time it was business. More specifically a Blueprint for Better Business which he's been leading since 2011.

In Spring 2022 Charles steps down as CEO to go on another, as yet undecided adventure. Don't be surprised if you see him on The Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury sometime soon 😉

https://bronnieware.com/blog/regrets-of-the-dying/
https://www.blueprintforbusiness.org/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Beuno%27s_Jesuit_Spirituality_Centre

What is LifeDoneDifferent.ly?

Do you wonder whether there’s another way?
Another, more creative, more meaningful approach to living your life. Well there is and there’s a growing movement of people from all kinds of walks of life who are proving that the way we end up doing what we do in life is often a side effect of external forces. Rather than a deliberate, conscious and authentic set of choices that have come from you and your unique needs. What are you chasing? Success? Safety? Fame? Fortune? Recognition?
Have you stopped to think recently why you’re doing what your doing with your life? Are the stories that you're creating today the ones that you hope your grandchildren will be telling to their children? Are you creating your legacy?