The craft

Books can inspire they can’t teach

The picture framing book I got had all the information one needs to create a great picture frame. But reading it didn’t teach me how to be a picture framer. It was the 2 years of day in and day out, frame after frame, that taught me the craft.

The original book I got 25 years ago

Apprenticeship and empowerment

A year into the apprenticeship Haim found out he was sick and would need to be at home for close to a month. Instead of closing the shop, he asked me to be in charge. I was a solid picture framer by then but I had no idea how to run a business: work with suppliers, take orders, handle payments. But for some reason, Haim thought it was a good idea to let me operate the shop for him.

Apprenticeship is about way more than skills

Seeing today how difficult it is for leaders to delegate and empower, I often wondered what it was that enabled Haim to trust me with way more responsibility than I was trained for. Looking back today I realize that it was knowing that I understood and practiced his core values that gave Haim the confidence to let me run the shop.

Once an apprentice always an apprentice

A few years later when I decided to pursue a career in design and was lucky to find my first position in the heat of the .COM era I embraced the apprentice mindset and I think it was key to my ability to grow as a professional. In each position I always ensured I had someone I could learn from and most importantly I never embraced the position of the one who “knows”. I was and still am the eternal apprentice.

It’s all about the craft

In the 25 years that passed, I transitioned multiple times. From design to product management. From an individual contributor to an executive and then to a coach. But no matter what my “job” was I always remained an apprentice. I don’t manage my excel file for more than 20 years I do ask myself each day ‘What did I learn today?” in the endless pursuit to improve my craft and with it the value and impact I can provide.

My first business card, 25 years ago, as a the owner of “The workshop”, a picture framing studio. If you look carefully you will see that the “logo” was inspired by the book cover of the original picture framing book that got me into Haim’s shop in the first place

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Avi Charkham

Avi Charkham

Entrepreneur, product person & coach. founder @ https://unlock.Vision