As I wrote last year, mentors do an important job. Many organisations have excellent schemes for apprentices or graduate trainees and they deliver tremendous results. They have carefully planned development programmes, run by the best people. And they make adjustments when things change, as they surely do, over the years.
But some organisations don’t enjoy the same success despite their best intentions. It isn’t always immediately obvious why they under-deliver. The long timescales inherent in personal and professional development programmes don’t help. But one of the reasons is that the wrong people are involved.
Helping others isn’t for everyone. Some don’t enjoy it; they don’t see the value; or they don’t have the patience. Whatever the reason, some just aren’t cut out for it.
I came across a great quote attributed to King George V who reigned from 1910 to 1936.
“I am not a clever man, but if I had not picked up something from all the brains I’ve met I’d be an idiot“.
I don’t know the context in which he said this, but it makes so much sense to me. Continue reading
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
People who regularly go to the gym to exercise often talk about how addictive it is. The physiological effects of the endorphins are well understood. Exercise is not only good for you, it makes you feel good too.
Non-physical exercise can also be addictive – you only have to ask a crossword or Sudoku enthusiast to confirm this.
But how about stretching? Stretching outside of our comfort zones? The concept of a comfort zone has become so ingrained in our modern “management speak” that we seldom give it the time or respect it deserves. And we tend to see it in a negative sense rather than a positive one. By definition it is uncomfortable to step outside one’s comfort zone. Why would one choose to do that, and what are the possible benefits? Continue reading