What shall we do about the Brits?

November 9, 2015

CalibanPolitical tensions provide opportunities for leadership interventions. Sadly, they often result in scapegoating and unwillingness to see beyond a restricted perspective on complex issues

An example recently can be found in the various pressures felt through the movement of people in search of safety, economic advancement, or even pursuit of a life style choice.

One relatively unexplored perspective was raised in an article in The Independent, this week:

So many Brits now live abroad that they’re causing immigration debates. Oh, the irony. In an ideal world, every time your local racist started referring to that pesky problem of immigrants “stealing our jobs”, every British immigrant would appear, singing a heavenly chorus of: “Britain has more immigrants living abroad than India, China, Bangladesh, Poland and Hun-gar-reeeee!”


The article prompted me into producing a few lines of verse.

What shall we do about the Brits?

They take our jobs

Are idle slobs

And don’t like working down the pits.

What can’t they stay where they belong

Instead of taking up our beds

And living in our garden sheds?

The stress they cause us is all wrong.


Replies in verse or prose welcomed.

Ronaldo says he is best in the world, Serena says she is Superwoman. Self-esteem of our sporting icons

November 6, 2015

This week, Christiano Ronaldo announced he was the greatest football player of his era. Serena Williams thwarted the theft of her mobile phone and compared herself with Superwoman. Together with the self-obsessed comments of Jose Mourinho, the stories raise interesting questions about the fragile egos of some of our sporting heroes and heroines

The Special One

The stories are familiar to sports fans around the world. In football, the apparent decline in the fortunes of Chelsea Football Club has been accompanied over several months by a remarkable series of outbursts by Jose Mourinho, the self-styled Special one. This week his doting fans at Chelsea roared support as his team won their mid-week Champions League match. His agent has also come to his defense as Jose continues to make headlines with interviewers in which he appears to be increasingly self-deluded. He has most recently lost his appeal against a £50,000 fine and a different punishment of a stadium ban.

Read the rest of this entry »

Help choose the sporting leader of October from McCaw, O Connell, Owens and Klopp

November 1, 2015

Richie McCawLeaders We Deserve subscribers are invited to submit candidates for Leader of the Month. The following attracted attention in recent news stories. This post reveals my four sporting leaders of October. Unsurprisingly, three were from the Rugby World Cup

Richie McCaw

Increasingly recognized as  rugby’s leader of his generation before and after New Zealand’s World Cup win and maybe as the greatest of all time [GOAT]. Photo is of Richie in 2008 from wikipedia.

Paul O Connell

Not for his heroic injury-wrecked Rugby World Cup, but for his long term impact as captain on the Irish Rugby team.

Juergen Klopp

New Liverpool manager Klopp identified for his charisma even before the victory against Chelsea [Saturday 31st October]

Nigel Owens

Takes top spot refereeing the final of Rugby’s World Cup. Rated best in the World.  Humorists in Wales said they know Wales would get to the finals. Owens is  already a celebrity off the field for his courageous stance on gay rights.


Comments and suggestions of nominations to add to the list are welcomed.

On decision making, Plan B and half-time team talks

October 27, 2015

Sam DavisNotes on a rugby match, half-time motivational talks, and executing a change from a Plan A to a Plan B

The match features The Ospreys of Wales playing Connaught of Ireland. The game is as important as any league clash, but hardly one in which the result is career-changing.


Ospreys have the more glamorous internationals and reputation. Connaught have more local players, although they are catching up on the other Irish regional teams. Home advantage to Ospreys. Connaught are on a good winning streak and Ospreys are recovering from the donation of key players to Wales for the World Cup. Ospreys expect a tough match but as home team are favourites. Their home record against Connaught is very good.

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Bunter Cakes for Bunter Paws

October 23, 2015

Billy BunterBully Bunter was not a particularly popular chap. He didn’t have many chums. But he often got his own way because he was the biggest boy in his form at Graylings School. He could get particularly angry if he thought anyone else was trying to get more than their fair share of cake

Most of the boys thought this was greedy because he was so strong he always got the biggest share of any cakes arriving at School anyway.

One day some of the boys tried to change the rules for a fairer share of cakes. Bully Bunter was outraged. What you call fair isn’t fair, he cried. You are trying to get a share of cake which doesn’t belong to you. That’s not right. Any cake that is mine I don’t intend to share with you rotters. I have been too generous with you all already.

His school mates were not happy. That was the start of a big split in The Remove as even the few friends he had like Johnny Bull began to turn against him.

Let them jolly well eat their own cakes, Bully Bunter said to himself, licking a crumb from his lips. It’s Bunter Cakes for Bunter Paws in future.

I dreamed I couldn’t see the future and like Caliban I cried

October 21, 2015

CalibanIt’s Back To The Future day. I remembered how in The Tempest Caliban dreams sweet dreams and cries piteously on waking up

I did have a dream last night. It was soon after a discussion on BTTF on Newsnight with the wonderful Peter Snow. In my dream I was defending an assertion that there was no way of seeing the future. I was in a lecture room among mostly friendly academics. That bit of the dream is possible if relatively rare.

How can you say that? I was asked. It goes against all your writings on creativity. Still in my dream, I produced a yellowing diagram. It was a flow chart showing how creative ideas can be produced systematically. It seemed close to something I might have written about in the 1980s. I struggled to explain it, to defend the claim I had made by reference to it.

I woke up more than a little disturbed. It was then I remembered Caliban’s speech. Shakespeare has given the monster a beautiful exposition of human aspirations.

Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments
Will hum about mine ears, and sometime voices
That, if I then had waked after long sleep,
Will make me sleep again: and then, in dreaming,
The clouds methought would open and show riches
Ready to drop upon me that, when I waked,
I cried to dream again.

Ho Hum.

Happy BTTF day.

What is Twitter’s New Business Model?

October 19, 2015

Major changes are announced by Twitter. The company is cutting back on staff and reorganizing its leadership. But will it find a new Business Model?

One of persistent questions in the business press has been ‘what is Twitter’s business model?’ The company has grown sensationally but always on its potential to make money rather than short-term profit. In that respect it is similar to Amazon. LWD subscribers will find several posts on this topic.

Turnover of senior executives

Over the last few months there has been a rapid turnover of senior executives at Twitter. Its head Dick Costelo departed in July when a Board reshuffle saw its brilliant entrepreneurial co-founder Jack Dorsey return in a transition role as CEO.

This resulted in a sideways move for a Twitter insider Adam Bain, who was considered a candidate to take over from Mr Dorsey who was seen as more of an ideas man with great inspirational and motivational skills.

Then earlier this month, [5 October 2015] Dorsey’s interim position was reclassified as a permanent one as CEO. This left unresolved a possible clash of interests with his involvement with Square, a fast growing mobile payments company in which he still retains executive responsibilities. As the new CEO, Mr Dorsey acted swiftly and announced major staff reductions at Twitter in a major restructuring plan.

Here comes Omid

One week after his appointment, Mr Dorsey also announced the arrival of Mr Omid Kordestani, an influential figure at Google whose reinvention of its corporate self as Alphabet may have contributed to Kordestani’s move to new challenges at Twitter.

Outsiders considered that further moves are required to give the company stability and coherent leadership. The official role of Mr Kordestani is as executive chairman. It remains to be seen how the leadership roles at Twitter will play out, and how the Company will redefine its business model.


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