Seth Godin’s blog – The tragedy of small expectations

Ask a hundred students at Harvard Business School if they expect to be up for a good job when they graduate, and all of them will say “yes.” Ask a bright ten-year old girl if she expects to have a chance at a career as a mathematician, and the odds are she’s already been brainwashed into saying “no.”

Expectations aren’t guarantees, but expectations give us the chance to act as if, to trade now for later, to invest in hard work and productive dreaming on our way to making an impact. Expectations work for two reasons. First, they give us the enthusiasm and confidence to do hard work. Second, like a placebo, they subtly change our attitude, and give us the resilience to make it through the rough spots. “Eventually” gives us the energy to persist.

Emotionally intelligent leaders

Understanding the new demands placed on workers and how to manage a stressed workforce is challenging. Gender differences compound the problem. According to a new study by Erin Reid, a professor at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business,  organizational pressures are producing conflict within professionals and men and women respond differently.

“Women who had trouble with the work hours tended to take formal accommodations, reducing their work hours…In contrast, many men found unobtrusive, under-the-radar ways to alter the structure of their work,” Reid explained.

Entrenching inequality

Public transport is a significant and escalating cost for many people. But while
transport may be a drain on the finances of some, for others the cost is far more
debilitating. This matters, as it means the poorest in society are unable to travel
as far or as often, limiting their ability to compete with the better off for jobs and
decent pay. This report reveals how this inequality is embedded within our
transport system through government subsidies, further increasing overall economic

Neil Thompson’s Lessons for Living – Extend, Recover, Renew

A widely accepted way to build muscle strength is to exercise just beyond what you are comfortable with (extend), give yourself time to get back to normal after the exertion (recover) and then start the process again when you are ready, so that it is a constant process of renewal. If you don’t extend, you won’t build muscle strength; if you don’t allow time for recovery you risk muscle strain and potentially serious injury. If you extend and recover just the once, you will not make much headway in terms of muscle development, so renewal needs to be part of the process too.

The same logic can be broadly applied to other aspects of our development in terms of thoughts, feelings and actions. That is, we can follow the same process to feed our development more holistically and not just physically.

Click on the link below to read more.

When a co-worker is bereaved – food for thought from one writer’s perspective.

In 2003, Allison Ellis was in a new job after taking some time off to have her first child. She had been hired as an independent marketing consultant to get a new website off the ground for a company and was just getting rolling on hiring her team and creating a budget.

One Sunday, the day before she was supposed to make a presentation to executives, her 39-year-old husband, who had been training for a marathon, died suddenly from a heart attack, leaving her with a 10-month-old daughter. She took a week to arrange the funeral and memorial service and then went back to work.

“I went straight to [my boss’s] office, and she said, ‘Listen, nobody knows what to do with this, and they keep coming up to me, saying, “What are we supposed to do?,” and I told them, ‘Get back to work, focus on the work, that’s what we’re going to do,’” Ellis recalls.

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‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ report

This report was commissioned by the Civil Service Talent Action Plan: Removing the barriers to success which called for further independent reports to examine the barriers faced by those:

  • who declare disabilities
  • are from a minority-ethnic background
  • are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGB&T)

Written by Ben Summerskill, former Chief Executive of LGB&T charity Stonewall UK, this report looks at the experiences of LGB&T staff working in the Civil Service in the last 30 years and makes recommendations addressing the following areas:

  • talent processes and career development
  • culture in the Civil Service
  • leadership and accountability

Click on the link below to read more.

Highlighting a useful site for social workers, social care practitioners, foster carers and advisers working in Wales.

The purpose of the site is to assist social workers, social care practitioners, foster carers and advisers find the current law relating to social care for children and young people in Wales.

We use the term ‘children’s social care’ to describe services for children and young people who need them, which are provided by local authority children’s services departments. Although law-making powers in social welfare are now the responsibility of the Welsh Government, the current law is a mix of older laws that cover both England and Wales, some that differ slightly between England and Wales and some that apply in Wales only. We hope that the site will help you steer through this to find what you need to know about children’s services now, and when the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act takes effect in 2016.

Click on the link below to read more.

Changing employers’ perceptions of people with down’s Syndrome

Fewer than two in 10 people with learning disabilities are in employment. For people with Down’s syndrome, it can leave them demoralised – but are things changing?

“I have a friend with [Down’s syndrome] who actually pays someone £40 just so they can do his gardening [for him],” says Kate Brackley.

Ms Brackley is one of around 40,000 people living with Down’s syndrome in the UK. Unlike many others, she is in paid employment. Research from the charity Mencap suggests 65% of people with learning disabilities – including, though not limited to, Down’s syndrome – want to work, but fewer than 20% of those of working age are currently in employment.

Click on the link below to read more.