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“What A Year” – Wow Thank You

Please click on any hyperlinks that take your fancy or just jump to the song at the end…

People, People, People

It was great to meet with Simon Biltcliffe but what really stands out is how fantastic his PA Lisa Bowen was with me – open, generous, encouraging, efficient and a real unexpected bonus to encounter when trying to arrange a meeting with a phenomenally busy guy. The Australian Paralympian Elizabeth Wright has been a joy to meet and an inspiration to work with. Thanks to Nadio for introducing me to David Broadhead who has really helped to crystalise  my thinking about Leadership.

I’ve also met a great bunch of diverse people at numerous events who have been engaging, thought provoking and also very generous. I love Suits and Vinyl – what a great way to meet other business people.

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Interview Success – My Top Tips

It’s all about your ability to tell your story.

Golden Rule: BE HONEST BE YOURSELF

“Have found both sessions extremely helpful. Many thanks.” “It is so helpful to me!”

  Circuit Judge interview candidate feedback

When I worked in advertising a top colleague always stressed: “Real communication is not about what you intend to communicate but more importantly what people are willing, able and likely to pick up”

If you can it is fantastic experience to be an interviewer – so if you get the chance grab that opportunity. Talk to successful candidates and ask them about their experience and for their tips.

Practice, have mock interviews with colleagues, friends, family or anyone who you trust will give you some straight feedback. The best preparation is to have an actual interview –  nothing beats that experience. 

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Phoenix FM Radio Interview

Blame

A 40 minute interview with Tee Liburd broadcast live from Halifax, Yorkshire, UK on Wednesday 26 November 2014. We discussed my career, what I do now, why I do the things the way I do and what I love. He also played a few of my favourite songs that are very significant to me and how I work.

“Blues skies, green fields, I keep them all in here” – bonus intro track – Red Red Rose by Hope & Social

And you may ask yourself – well, how did I get here?

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Collaboration – Pitching Far Too High?

Sometimes you’re too close to something to appreciate how special it is. But with a bit of distance and time you realise what fantastic things a bunch of random people can achieve! Preceding Le Grand Depart in Yorkshire there was a parallel arts festival and one of the highlights was undoubtedly Hope and Social’s Tour of Infinite Possibility. This blog is not about how great it was or the band are (ok I have to agree they did steal the show at the team presentations opening ceremony!) but about how I witnessed and was a small part of a team working and co-operating together – now I think I understand what collaboration really means.

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Time, Ladies and Gentlemen. Please. Time?!

We are information rich and yet increasingly time and decision making poor. We seem to be working harder and harder just to stand still. Work is becoming more fraught and a lot less enjoyable. We don’t even have the time to ask ourselves why? We’re too busy just doing.

We know the market is fragmenting while our universities are producing thousands more law graduates every year. We have apprentices to add to the ranks of paralegals and businesses looking to cherry pick the profitable work. More resources are being tied up to comply with the ever evolving regulatory requirements. Technological developments mean that we can be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information and data, which in turn is more complex to manage. Some clients expect instant responses for minimum costs plus the banks are wary of the sector.

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JAC Lifts the Fog on the Tyne – 00937: Deputy District Judge (Civil)

The JAC held a seminar in Newcastle to encourage and inform candidates about the 2014/15 DDJ(Civil) competition and shared some very helpful insights that I have tried to capture and highlight below.

DJ Chris Simmonds told a great story about how the DJ bench are the engine room for the judiciary. He talked about what it was really like sitting as a DJ, the challenges, the myths and the great support. He also told us about career development and that 5 of his DJ colleagues had applied and moved to the circuit bench.

Sarah Gane from the JAC then shared some thought provoking statistics: they recruit between 500 & 600 candidates each year for the main judicial posts as well as for 29 MOJ tribunals. She also encouraged the audience to investigate and consider other sitting options as well as the MOJ tribunals. Candidates could make very positive contributions and gain excellent experience via these positions.

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Lessons from The Boss

OK I admit I am a big fan, but with Bruce Springsteen turning 65 I’ve been wondering… how has he managed to continue to develop his career over the last 50 years? There is talent on every street corner and hundreds of musicians yet only a tiny percentage make it and even fewer can sustain it.

He clearly has great charisma but what else could we learn from him and apply in our own lives:

He works hard, very hard, he is incredibly focussed and driven.

He loves what he does.

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University Personal Statements

The clue is in the title – this is your chance to introduce yourself to colleges and universities. And it is ok, everyone has the same space and with some thinking and effort you can write a compelling personal statement. There is plenty of great advice out there for free, the UCAS website itself has some excellent advice and I’ll share the link below.

What you first need to do is try and put yourself in the shoes of an admissions officer or lecturer who is tasked with reading dozens or even hundreds of application forms. In reality this is probably a thankless and incredibly boring task. So have them in mind when you start drafting your form.

My top tips:

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