Category: opportunity

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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Dusting down and revamping your Board Strategic Plan – 3 easy steps

I wonder … how relevant is your current Board Strategic Plan? You may, of course, have a sparkling, succinct, highly relevant Strategic Plan, which has adapted to the challenges of the last year, and which sets out clearly your goals for the next few years, as well a roadmap and timetable for how you are …

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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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Blessed be the tech makers

One of the great delights in my working life is working with other professionals, to achieve more together than we could as individuals. Besides, with the right people it is enormous fun, as was precisely the case last Thursday, when the lovely Matthew Savage and I co-presented a session for school leaders at an education …

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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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The power of networks

A CEO I was working with last week paused for a moment and said, with slight bewilderment, ‘You seem to know everyone … how?’. My immediate answer was ‘well, I do a lot of things, in a wide range of spheres, across the world – you come to know a lot of people when you …

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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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‘Hiding behind unconscious bias’: a huge challenge for NEDs from Romeo Effs

I was brought up short while listening into a Changing the Chemistry Graduate Group Meeting last week. These meetings are regular member-only events, intended for existing non-executive directors and trustees, and they deal with topical issues, with the aim of supporting boards to ensure ever better governance. This month, the topic was ‘Increasing diversity on …

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A call to action: become a school governor

I was delighted to see Julie Robinson’s call to action last week, encouraging people to apply to become school governors, and I urge you to watch it. Julie is the CEO of the UK Independent Schools’ Council, representing the organisations which support the vast majority of independent schools throughout the country, and she is also …

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