1 min read

Smooth. Ruthless. Skilful.

It's the operator.

Their dictionary definition—a person who acts in a shrewd or manipulative way—feels a touch negative, though it's perhaps justified.

Because they're forever plotting, aren't they?

Carrying an agenda like a handkerchief.

A motive—or three.

And they're not very inspiring, are they?

Change the world? Perhaps best not to.

Make your mark? No thank you.

Life's purpose? Namaste.

They don't—can't, maybe—stay in the moment.

And they're not here to make friends—though you'll feel like one as long as the job demands it.

I love operators.

They seem to have this ability to keep things moving—and keep moving.

To see what's really going on.

A capacity to weave and duck and counterpunch.

A grasp of fluid, elusive things—people, situations, concepts.

Operators—each with a modus operandi more complex than an OS.

A way of going about things that just works—mostly for themselves, sometimes for others.

Can they lead?

Themselves, yes.

A team, maybe.

A nation, unlikely.

Watching them glide and paddle across the Himalayas—and in similarly high-context cultures—is illuminating and fun.

You've probably met some.

They're usually the ones who don't speak first.