Modesty, Credibility, and Redefining Time

That must be the strangest title I've ever come up with for a blog - but it has a serious point. 

We can sometimes be too modest when selling ourselves, particularly at important moments. 

Let me introduce Jeremy Sosabowski, co founder of financial tech firm AlgoDynamix. 

I declare an interest here, because Jeremy is a friend, and an all round top chap. 

But he's also a very good case study for the tricky clash between modesty and credibility.

Part of the reason I like him is his modesty. Even by Cambridge standards, Jeremy... Read more

Turnaround Triumphs

Turning around a failing organisation is a huge challenge, but when it works the results can be breathtaking. 

Think Manchester City, from a club that never did much to serial champions, with great flair and style.

I was lucky enough to experience my own version of an inspirational turnaround this week.

Not on the showbiz scale of premier league football, but perhaps more impressive, and certainly, in my view, more important. 

I was invited to speak, and present the prizes, at an Awards Evening at Newmarket Academy, near Cambridge. 

It's a school which... Read more

The Priorities of Life

I was sitting by the River Cam this week, enjoying a wonderful sunshine summer's day, but feeling both happy and sad about it. 

Happy because the view, the feeling, the thinking were all smiles - 

Sad because about half the people who passed by were missing the splendours.

Why? And I bet you'll guess the reason in a second...

It was because they had their faces down in their phones. 

I wrote a Tweet about it (when I got home - before the accusations of hypocrisy start flying!) and it got quite a... Read more

Division and Harmony

We hear a lot in modern life about division. But this is a story about harmony. 

I reached a big moment this week. The end of my first year at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School. 

I looked back on when I joined, and thought... the excitement and nerves were hard to hide. 

And no wonder. Our old foe, The Impostor Syndrome, was in full flow. 

I'll be surrounded by some of the most brilliant people on the planet... who am I to be part of this... what can I hope to... Read more

Precious Moments

If every moment in life is precious, some are more precious than others. 

Before you start giving me that smile, thinking He does have a heart after all...

I'm talking practicalities. Not the birth of your first child, or getting your dream job, or buying your first house.

(Although yes, of course, I do think they're hugely precious.)

This week, I was privileged to be part of the team who welcomed the Malaysian Minister for Entrepreneurship to Cambridge Judge Business School. 

I'm pleased to say Mohd Redzuan Yusof enjoyed his visit so much,... Read more

The Phoenix Spirit

There's a right way and a wrong way to deal with setbacks. 

The wrong way is the easy way, however tempting. 

Lie down, blubber a lot, wrap yourself in a curtain, accept defeat and hide away from the world. 

The right way is tougher, and requires what I think of as the Phoenix Spirit. 

I know what you're thinking here, and ok, it's true, you're as sharp as ever, dear reader. That's not actually a phoenix. 

But it is an appropriate picture, for reasons I will explain at the end of this musing. 

... Read more

Dream Hunting

It's a scary thing, to go hunting your dream, but if you catch it the results can be amazing.

On which subject, this is Joe.

I met him soon after moving to Cambridge, when I was in networking, say hello to as many people as possible, hope some might like you, and a few even help you and give you work mode. 

We didn't network - we just got on and became friends. 

Because Joe is one of those splendid people it's impossible not to like. He's kind, gentle,... Read more

The Art (or Science!) of Presentations

A guest blog on how to give presentations by Brad Fowler, founder of Scope, one of the fine young companies I'm fortunate to coach at Cambridge Judge Business School. 

Brad writes -

In traditional engineering fashion, I’ll write my essay in bullet points. I hope you find this informative, practical and of course an efficient use of the time it would take you to wait for a YouTube ad to finish.

- Start with why, not what or how.

Bad examples:

- Our battery lasts 20% longer than any other on the market,... Read more

360 Degree Teaching

I realised something obvious, but rather profound this week. 

I might pride myself on being a teacher, and some might have formal job titles which describe them as teachers, but in reality...

We're all teachers. Every one of us. 

I was running a workshop on blog writing, below, and was talking about the importance of simplicity.

I mentioned the genius of Google, making searching the vast reaches of the internet as easy as typing a few words into a box...

And one of the group chipped in with a fascinating anecdote about how... Read more

The Impostor Syndrome

I didn't mean to carry out this experiment - it just came to me - but it certainly was interesting. 

I was doing one of my modestly entitled Secrets of Success talks, this time at the excellent St Bede's School in Cambridge.

I was wonderfully looked after, not least by the headteacher, and head boy and girl - thanks all for a great session.

Anyway, one of The Secrets is - ***** spoilers alert here ***** - the importance of having faith in yourself. 

There must have been 150 young men and... Read more


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