The Apprentice Series 10 Episode 3: Can Chinese custard cut the mustard?

In the same way that burger-flippers become Nutritional Delivery Executives, it transpires that scented candles are now known as Designer Home Fragrance Products. And, would you Adam and Eve it, these things are “all abaht high margins”. Well, I never. Some wax, a bit of pong and three inches of thin rope for £40, you say? Bargain, innit.

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The future’s bright, the future is …

As an employee, my main concern while reading PwC's The Future of work – a journey to 2022 report was not so much that the two other alternative worlds that it envisages as co-existing with a ‘Green’ scenario’ were less attractive (the Blue World represents an amped-up corporate world that I found reminiscent of the backdrop painted in the film Rollerball, while the Orange World combines organisational fragmentation and outsourcing with a hefty dose of networking and technology), but that the prevalence of opportunities to locate oneself in a specific world would most likely be arbitrary.

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Glass Ceiling? If only it were so simple

Is it too critical, or too nuanced, to suggest that it’s not just the visibility of female role models that is an issue ? Visibility – and more fundamentally, existence – is certainly important: the vast literature of leadership development and behavioural change provide endless examples of the power of modelling what you wish to create, rather than merely calling for or espousing it. Without role models, the idea that something is possible is far harder to grasp or conceive.

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Populating the tent

Promoting other people in your own image not only says something about your preferences, it says something – and not something particularly healthy – about your own self-image. Leadership depends not just on developing self-awareness, but on maintaining it – staying aware of your impact, of the impression you create, and your relationship to the changing world around you. (If you want a truly ghastly analogy here, consider the scene in Behind the Candelabra where Liberace produces a photograph of himself as guidance for the plastic surgeon hired to ‘re-model’ his partner. If you want to be adored, try being adorable. It’s cheaper and it leaves fewer scars – on everyone – although it does mean finding out what other people find attractive.)

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Adult Learning Fortnight: Somatic Coaching

While an introductory session – and a subsequent brief blog – can only scratch at a surface, the first task is definition. The word ‘somatic’ is likely to be unfamiliar to most readers: the link is not to ‘soma’ (the fictional pleasure-drug in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, albeit that Huxley was drawing on ancient Indian practise), but comes from the Greek, meaning ‘of the body’. In the context of Somatic Coaching, this does not refer, however, simply to sports coaching but to coaching that recognises the unity of mind and body and points out that our lived experience comes from and is ‘felt’ not in one or the other but in – to use a phrase from the discipline itself – “the living body in its wholeness”.

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Slow, slow, quick-quick, slow …

In a society that doing otherwise is effectively daring to signal that we're dispensable, how should we respond. Certainly it was hard to avoid the feeling that Steve, a self-employed man looking to parlay a commitment to festival organisation into an events management business, had chosen to be busy as often as possible. It’s also telling that the most shocking sentence uttered was his statement that you shouldn’t “allow the outside world to demand 100% of you”. Giving 95% is our era’s equivalent of blasphemy.

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