Fabric Learning Blog

Do you have a Leadership bias?

We don’t like to admit that we are bias. But we are.

We prefer a particular brand, we prefer particular foods, colours, music, sports teams. But these aren’t really a problem.

It gets challenging when people are involved.

Subjects like gender, race, religion, age, these are sketchy territory. That’s why they are protected in businesses and rightly so. Companies have specific development programmes to raise awareness around them.

We’d struggle to openly admit that we have a bias in any of these areas.

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Is there a shortcut to success?

I have a dig bick. You that read wrong. You read that wrong

Shocking isn’t it?

Not the message, which after all makes no sense at all, but
the fact that we can get it so wrong. The reason, as you have probably guessed,
is all down to one simple thing: our brain’s persistent and hard-wired tendency
to take short cuts.

What you have just read comes directly from Professor Damian
Hughes book,

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How good are you on a bad day?

If I’m not in the best of moods, so what? Just because I’m having an off day or bad week, then as long as I don’t tell anybody, keep that stuff to myself, then who cares? It’s not as if it makes any difference, right?

I wonder how many of you reading this have had that conversation with yourself before?

It may be time to have a different conversation. In 2014 James Fowler and Nicholas Christakis carried out research into the power of happiness and sadness and the impact it has on others.

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The biggest barrier to credibility?

How many of you see yourself as a leader?

Some of you may have leader as a title. Some of you may lead people, other may lead process. Some of you may see leadership as a life choice. Whatever your view, then this is for you. Get ready for something that you’ve never heard before. You ready? OK.

Leadership is hard.

Bet some of you are just staring at this now aren’t you.

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Use your imagination

“There is no life I know to compare with pure imagination.” said Willy Wonka. Now most of you reading this will be familiar with the famous Roald Dahl story of the reclusive chocolatier who ran a competition for children to visit his famous factory upon presentation of a golden ticket found in certain Wonka bars. Some will remember Jonny Depp in the 2005 film adaptation, some of you, like me, will even remember Gene Wilder as Willy in the 1971 version.

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Difference is awkward

You’ve probably read, that when someone has a different opinion to you or a different idea, then it’s your job to convince them otherwise. I mean, difference is awkward isn’t it? Your role is to influence them, to get them to see your view of the world, the business need, to enable them to change their mind. Get rid of the awkward moments.

Makes sense. That’s how you get things done, right? That’s what leaders do.

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You can never take things too personally

I’m in such a fortunate position. I get to work 1-2-1 with some of the countries sharpest commercial and operational minds. They come from all industries, work at all levels, some of them have senior or executive responsibilities, some are earmarked for those very roles.

I’m not sure why, maybe it’s the economic situation, maybe it’s something else, but I’m hearing one thing more and more often.

“You take things too personally.”

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Happy Accidents

When I came into Learning & Development one of my first bosses coined a phrase that has stuck with me ever since. He said that he was great believer in Happy Accidents.

I’m sure we’ve all had one even if we’re not quite sure what it means.

Essentially it’s when you make a mistake, but that very mistake turns out to be one of the best decisions you could have made.

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End of the Week Thought #1

I love to write down my thoughts or blog as the kids say. Or do they!? Or is it vlog!? Oh I don’t know!

Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that I love to write, but unfortunately, I have very little time to do so, as we are always working with fantastic clients, delivering great programmes. So I had an idea.

To be able to write, but not feel guilty about not being able to do so,

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The dynamic of relationships.

Today, I met a lady called Sharmadean Reid. She came into a business offsite I was running to speak to the audience about her journey to where she is today and what’s next for her.

If you don’t know who she is, you will soon. If you do, then I don’t need explain. But I’d encourage you to check her out. Do it now.

I’ve always believed that you can and should always be open to learn new things from a variety of sources.

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Exciting News! Fabric Learning and BMG Research announce a new partnership.

We’ve got some exciting news to share with you all!

We have formed a working partnership with BMG Research, who are based in Birmingham and conduct in-depth research into market, customer and employee insights, public and business perception surveys.

BMG work with some fantastic clients such as University of London, the House of Commons, Suffolk County Council, the Welsh Government and the Open University to name just a few. They were established in 1988 and in that time have grown into an organisation with a trained and managed field force,

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Res firma mitescere nescit

I’m not normally the type of person who go’s around quoting Latin. I’d like to say because I’m not egotistical and looking to impress with my knowledge of the classics, but the real reason is, I don’t know any.

Well that’s not exactly true, I remember one phrase vividly. Deo fidelis et patria. This was the motto of my school and was drilled into us every day. Those who went to a Catholic secondary in the 80’s will know exactly what I mean!

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Things aren’t always what they seem; lessons from a 16 year old.

Every year I get invited to go into a secondary school and talk to year 12 pupils. These are first year A level students and I often find that they are not sure what they want to do in the next week let alone for the rest of their lives.

I have to be honest, I’m fine with that. I don’t think at 16 and 17 you should be making those final decisions on what your next 60 years looks like.

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Feeling tired? Be like Winnie the Pooh.

We all have those times when we struggle to find the energy to perform. You know, you’re working hard, life is full of things going on and eventually it catches us up.

There are so many books out there, theories, motivational guru’s, all advising us on how to find our mojo, how to recharge, how to reach fulfilment. In my profession I’ve probably read them all, seen them all and heard them all.

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Go fast or don’t slow?

Well, I’ve absolutely got Olympic withdrawals. Maybe I’ve not helped myself in the fact that I watched hours and hours, days and days of coverage, taking in sports that ordinarily I wouldn’t watch, let alone the ones I always do. But the Olympics does that to you doesn’t it?

There’s something about watching people who have dedicated four years of their lives to that moment. Four whole years of early mornings, late nights,

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Should we measure greatness by this?

What makes a manager great? Is it the results that they bring? Is it the spirit they foster within their team? Is it their ability to get the best from different characters and capabilities? Opinions vary, but all of these are certainly included and debated by all those that have written, blogged, presented and tweeted about leadership and management.

I like to think I’m a bit of a student of leadership and management,

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When working IN impacts working ON

Steve Jobs once said, “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. The only way to do great work is to love what you do.”

I read a blog by Seth Godin recently where he talks about how the procedures, responsibilities and meetings at work get in the way of actually adding value.

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Me, Myself and I

I like to go into my local bookshop once a month and look for my next read.

What’s striking are the amount of self-help books available today. It’s really noticeable how that part of the shop has expanded over the past year.

Now this may be the owner has a particular liking for this type of stuff or that these are the books to stock if you want to grow your independent book business.

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Stay positive? Getting a YES depends on it.

Stay positive. How many times have you heard that? How many times has someone said that to you? The thing is, you tend to get that advice when things aren’t going so well. It’s rare, that when everyone is happy, you’re succeeding in life and all is falling into place perfectly, that someone tells you to stay positive. Those two words tend to come when times are hard.

So what are we supposed to do with that advice?

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Do you have to be likeable to be successful?

It’s been proven that likeable people are more successful. They get promoted and rewarded more, compared to those who are less likeable. For example, in sales they sell more, they get more people to agree with them, they just get so much more out of life. How come?

Well maybe you are already one of these people. But maybe you wish you could be like these people. Well guess what, you can! Being likeable is not a gift,

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