Category: challenges

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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Chessboard thinking? Web thinking? A ‘both/and’ question in navigating the world of relationships.

One of my interesting Christmas holiday reads this year was Anne-Marie Slaughter’s ‘The Chessboard and the Web’; part thesis, part memoir (it is peppered with references to her academic career, and to her time as director of policy planning at the US State Department), it prompted me to think about how we can teach (or, …

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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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School Boards … keep a clear head

If school leaders and Boards are honest, there is a little corner of their minds which wants to say ‘please, just make all of this go away …’. The stresses on school enrolment, the spiralling costs – in time as well as in money – of measures to protect against Covid-19, the uncertainties of the …

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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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Resilience and belonging. Ensuring #blacklivesmatter

Last week, a fellow Light Up Learning Board member came across this 2016 article from The Atlantic, and I thought it was particularly apt at this moment to share it in our history, as we all try to work out how to move definitively away from systemic, ingrained racism in our world. Written by Paul …

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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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Defusing the ‘uncertainty bomb’ – techniques as useful for adults as they are for school students

Working with clinical psychologist Dr Danielle Einstein on her school programs to help students manage uncertainty is a real pleasure – and, given that she is in Sydney and I am in the UK, it is also proof (should any more actually be required in this Covid-era) that it is perfectly possible to collaborate effectively …

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