Sporting success provides a model for career success

The BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2012 awards were screened last night, and after the absolutely exceptional sporting year we have had in Great Britain, it was sure to be a close contest. In the event, it was won by Bradley Wiggins, followed by Jessica Ennis and Andy Murray – but the final result (decided by a public telephone vote) seemed largely academic in comparison to their sporting achievements earlier in the year.BradleyWiggins_SPOTY2012[Photo courtesy of BBC]

I couldn’t help but notice the parallel with career success, particularly with students (graduates and school-leavers) who are taking the first steps in their working lives. Continue reading


New Year’s Resolutions – think big and eat more chocolate

With only three weeks remaining of the well-worn 2012, our attention starts to turn towards the sleek and shiny new 2013. Full of possibilities, excitement, opportunities and challenges, it looms large on our horizon. For many it will be the start of something new; for others it will bring something to an end. One thing we can be sure of – uncertainty.

December is traditionally the time for setting New Year’s Resolutions – those promises we make to ourselves and others about what we’re going to do differently in the new year.

Before rushing to add “join the gym; eat less chocolate; drink less wine” to the list of resolutions, I would recommend reading this lovely poem by Nadine Stair (aged 85). More about its background here. Continue reading

Royal baby frenzy confirms the benefits of preparation

When Clarence House Press Office announced that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting a baby, the world’s media machine rushed into action, with some British newspapers publishing multi-page “Royal Baby Special” sections, covering the story from every possible angle.

baby-newspapers_2417684k[Photo courtesy of EPA/ Andy Rain, The Daily Telegraph]

The BBC Diplomatic and royal correspondent quickly published a piece looking at the changes to accession traditions; the Wikipedia entry for Kate Middleton was updated to reflect the announcement; and betting shop William Hill started offering odds on a wide range of factors including not just name and date, but also birth weight, hair colour, and many others.

The speed with which so much has been published is impressive – but it owes far more to good preparation than an ability to write quickly. Following the wedding of Catherine and William in April 2011, it was only a matter of time before a pregnancy was announced and a full range of stories could therefore be prepared in anticipation of the announcement. Continue reading