John Lanchester’s book launch tonight was both fascinating and…

….depressing because he brilliantly demystifies finance in his book How to Speak Money and because he believes that not much has changed since the crash. I asked him about leadership and behaviour and his take was that those who really want to game the system will do so and leave no fingerprints, despite regulation. However he did suggest hope if leaders “internalise ethics”. The problem is that many leaders don’t know how.



Press Release: Brighton mum needs life-saving bone marrow transplant

Please help Nikki find a rare perfect match bone marrow donor by registering as a donor and helping the appeal go viral globally by sharing this and retweeting

Perfect 10 Match

Nikki And FamilyA mother of two young children is searching for the ‘perfect match’ stem cell donor to enable her to have an essential bone marrow transplant.

Nikki Braterman, 45, from Brighton, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia in December 2013.

Her best hope of survival is to find a donor that is a ‘perfect match’ to her stem cell type. She is desperately seeking people who share her ethnic background, Anglo-Burmese and Irish, or people with south Asian heritage, to volunteer as potential stem cell donors through their national registry.

Nikki said: “I’m a mum to two small children, aged 7 and 4 and I want to see them grow up. If you are reading this story and think that you may be able to help then please, please get in touch, you might just be able to save my life.”

Geoff Braterman, Nikki’s husband said, “We are desperately and urgently…

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Today’s FT leading article woefully fails to lead…

….the debate because it’s underlying motivation is starkly exposed in the penultimate paragraph of a long article arguing the case, often well in my view, for union. “More devolution is the answer, but not at any price…..It is far from clear how England, the preponderant power, would fit into a federalised union in which Scotland enjoyed all political gifts short of independence”. The clues here are in the words “preponderant” and “gifts” as if the union is not supposed to be about equal nations and democracy is not about rights but gifts. C’mon FT. If you’re going to try to lead the debate then lead it with honesty and say upfront that your core concern is England. There’s nothing wrong with that. But then don’t suggest that the Scots are fools for wanting what you want.


The leaders of the No campaign didn’t woo…

…..Even if the No side win, things will never be the same. According to the business books, leaders should create an environment in which people thrive, they should grow their businesses and keep customers happy. In addition, we are told that at times of great change we should reward the stars, ignore or sack the troublemakers and woo the fence sitters. To the extent that all of this can be translated to politicians it’s clear to me that the leaders of the No campaign have forgotten, or don’t know how, to woo which means to entice. The leadership task was to entice those who feel Scottish that they can thrive in the UK. Given the knife edge polls, they have manifestly failed to do this. The great opportunity for UK’s leaders is no different to those of any business: to reflect on purpose, decide where we are going and then lead us there. The evidence is that little effort was put into communicating an inspiring purposeful message at the start.



Our leader is “not more than the sum of his skills” ….

….says Janan Ganesh in an excellent piece on the leadership skills of Prime Minister David Cameron in yesterday’s FT.The article should be prescribed reading for any leader or leader of leaders to help them understand the difference between good and excellent. He quotes Arsene Wenger, who refers to good players who lack inspiration as “technically clean”. Mr Cameron, Janan Ganesh says “does not engage the viscera” but he is “the best all rounder”. The problem for Mr. Cameron, and every leader, is that being an all rounder is good but not excellent. And we need excellence in our leaders.