Human

Bill Gates interviewed at Harvard UniversityBill Gates was interviewed by Harvard University last week and he was reminded that he dropped out of Harvard.  The video is at the end of this article.  The interviewer humourously asked him if he had actually finished what would he have become. He then asked him if he had dropped out of Yale or Prinston, would it have been as prestigious.

 

girls just wanna have funLet’s talk about fun and work – putting two words into the same sentence that you don’t often see side by side. I recently attended a fundraiser organized by Ulster Bank. After a day of activities, we ended up eating an agricultural sized burger in The Grand Social in Liffey Street. Then came the pièce de résistance.  A 10-member band (Ulster Bank staff) pulled together for a 1-night-only gig. Introduced individually by a very funny MC, and led by Karl O’Connor on Trumpet (I won’t keep blowing on about him), they rocked the Casbah. The audience (again, Ulster Bank staff) was ecstatic. The energy level throughout was higher than the encore at a U2 concert. When you witness events that are run well, it gladdens the heart.  Work colleagues, having great fun,  a recipe for high productivity.

emotional intelligenceAsked to define the ideal leader, many would emphasise traits such as intelligence, toughness, determination, and vision. Often left off the list are softer, more personal qualities--but recent studies indicate that they are also essential. Although a certain degree of analytical and technical skill is a minimum requirement for success, what is called "emotional intelligence" may be the key attribute that distinguishes outstanding performers from those who are merely adequate. For example, in a 1996 study of a global food and beverage company, where senior managers had a certain critical mass of emotional intelligence, their divisions outperformed yearly earnings goals by 20%. Division leaders without that critical mass underperformed by almost the same amount.

Write it downWhy don’t you mail me your head?

Did you ever hear the story about the young woman who asked the young man why he never wrote her letters when he was away? He answered that he wrote letters to her in his head every day. Her response was quite blunt. “Then why don’t you mail me your head?!”

 

If you’re anything like that young man you’re always writing letters in your head, but not often getting down to actually writing those letters. And every time you don’t write the letter, a little of you gets chipped away.

 

Of course I’m alluding to all the marketing stuff that’s kicking around in your head just like those unwritten letters. You know you should do it. You know it will make a difference.

 

Jaguar SS100Why do a lot of people love Jaguar Cars?  I admit to being one of them and in fact I would say with me it is a passion.  There are many reasons for this and it could be said that it is because they have produced some iconic cars over the years since Sir William Lyons produced the SS1 in 1934.  William Lyons started manufacturing cars under the name of SS Cars before the last war and in 1945 he changed the name to Jaguar Cars.  Since then they have always been a car to behold and love for their lines and style and grace.

 

 

About 2 months ago, I had a very specific request from a female client.

A seasoned executive, she was concerned about her ability to make a great first impression. The job was simple: Could I help her to develop ‘Killer Connect Skills’? Hmmm. I told her the following story…

 

rugby ballThis is an interesting question and it could easily stem from the fact that I first played it at school back in the sixties.  At the time this was a rugby only school; yes I was at a private school in the UK.  Was I lucky, on reflection now I would say yes but at the time I was not so sure? 

amateur-dramaticsThis might sound a strange article to be writing as an entrepreneur, but I am going to anyway.

I believe entrepreneurs should have hobbies. I know that both of my hobbies are a great way to relax and help me to destress. I suppose the next thing to do is to define a hobby. Well the Oxford Dictionary version is: “Activity pursued for pleasure in one’s spare time”. My version is: “Something I do to unwind and relax that is completely different to my work.”

World Leaders G20 France 2011I write about leadership myths, and bust them one-by–one. 

It is simply impossible to become a great leader without being a great communicator. I hope you noticed the previous sentence didn’t refer to being a great talker – big difference. The key to becoming a skillful communicator is rarely found in what has been taught in the world of academia. From our earliest days in the classroom we are trained to focus on enunciation, vocabulary, presence, delivery, grammar, syntax and the like.

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