Category: ambition

The importance of discipline in a successful life

I spent a glorious hour last week tuning into a live talk with the author Alexander McCall Smith, hosted by the Caledonian Club in London, but of course all on Zoom (which made it much more accessible, if less social). Anyway, he was, as ever, a delightful speaker – entertaining, modest, self-deprecating, intelligent, with a …

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The global power of language learning

I loved reading this article in The Guardian last week about a ‘video pal’ scheme instigated by the University of Warwick during the pandemic and consequent lockdowns; designed to support university students in developing their French language skills despite being unable to travel, it started with 5 students and now has almost 7,000 enrolled, and …

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In praise of low self-esteem …

I am currently adding another tool to my executive leadership coaching toolbox by training to deliver the Thomas International TEIQue test, which measures traits underpinning emotional intelligence. As with all psychometric tests, this test uses a series of questions to capture insights into ourselves, which we can use to articulate and understand ourselves; in many …

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Governance and the art of the possible

I think about governance every day – not surprising, really, given the Boards I chair or am involved with – and my reflections have been heightened recently, as, together with Matthew Savage, I have been putting the final touches to our 5 week flexible online course for international school Board members, #betterboards, which is launching …

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Really owning your leadership voice!!

I love the image of a woman with a megaphone in Louise Penrice’s introduction to her leadership course for women in education, which she is running through LSC Education, starting in early November. I chuckled when I first saw the picture, because it rings so true for so many female leaders – sometimes they really …

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Schools as places of the ‘now’ … and of the community

What a wonderful pleasure it was last week to speak at the Independent Schools of the Year Award 2020, to announce the finalists, and then to introduce my fellow judges as they revealed the winners! It was a really joyful occasion – all online of course, but with exploding stars and thunderous applause. A really …

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On turning 50 …

1.50am on Saturday 22 August was a momentous occasion for me, as I crossed the threshold from the age of 49 to that of 50. I had been looking forward with great eagerness, anticipation and enthusiasm for weeks to that precise moment, as I awaited the descent of omniscience and wisdom, in a Damascene-like moment …

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The best kind of pride – pride in others

I have had a week of feeling proud – proud of so many school leaders I know, who have risen with grit and resilience to the challenges they have faced, proud of my executive leadership coachees who have reached the end of their programmes and who are evidently stronger and more focused … proud – …

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A tale of root ginger, hope and determination

Once Upon A Time, roughly 9 weeks ago, when everyone in the UK was instructed to stay at home, there was a mini (but nonetheless confronting) crisis in Edinburgh, when root ginger for purchase was nowhere to be found. ‘Sorry, not available’ were the words stamped across online orders, and even kind neighbours who ventured …

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A new decade: a renewed hope

Stratford-upon-Avon has 4 million visitors a year, according to the taxi driver who took me (and my daughter) back to the railway station after a short post-Christmas break indulging in culture in the town of Shakespeare’s birth. It was, I must say, a fabulous trip; we had a great time visiting various sites associated with …

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