Mark Berry has ADHD and dyslexia, or as he likes to call them, his superpowers.
What he brings to our party are extraordinary abilities to grasp an issue quickly, find the solution and keep incredibly calm while doing so. And, as a head of customer operations in our North West network, leading teams of hundreds of engineers, that’s exactly the skills we need.
Now, he’s helping us unlock similar talent and potential we know exists across our organisation, that may otherwise go unseen and underutilised.
Like us, Mark is keen to support the Cadent family overcome things that – rightly or wrongly – may be seen as obstacles to progressing their careers. He’s one of the founder members of a new community at Cadent, called ‘Thrive’, which aims to help everyone do just that, thrive.
Mark, 36, and from Chorley, was diagnosed as living with dyslexia and ADHD last year, which finally made everything fall into place. “I’ve always known I’m different, but it was only after I was supported by my manager last year to look into it further that the diagnosis was made.
“The way I look at it, I’ve got superpowers. According to my diagnosis, my brain works 98 per cent faster than most other people and I know I can think quickly under pressure,” says Mark. “When dealing with an incident, when the fight or flight thinking kicks in, that’s when I thrive.
“My brain needs that buzz and it’s no good hiding that. I do lots of things – like mountain biking, trail running, and Iron Man challenges – to get the adrenalin I need, but I know I need to balance the risk and reward. Getting that diagnosis has helped me see that, and I want to help others work towards understanding it too.
“You have got to make a choice – do you want this to be a barrier, or do you want to see it as a strength. I chose to be open about it and I can stop hiding my struggles.
“I am in a lucky position, leading a big team, to support, even inspire, others to realise it’s not a disability but an ability. Sometimes, just a few simple adjustments could be the key to unlocking someone’s potential. “
On a recent Teams call attended by hundreds of colleagues, Mark shared how the ‘read aloud’ function in Microsoft applications has been an absolute revelation, enabling him to interact with email and other documents like never before. “I’ve since had so many engineers tell me that was really helpful to them. Such a small thing really, but it’s made a huge difference.”
“That’s why I’m happy to share my story. If it can inspire or help others, brilliant.”