Articles and Insights

We often learn by reading and understanding the thoughts of others. In this section we have put together a few articles and insights that we feel may be interesting.

As an Executive Coach and a Trustee at the Edinburgh International Book Festival I am often asked for book recommendations, for inspiration and pleasure. Here are my favourite reads right now:

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Invisible women

by Caroline Criado Perez: a genuinely eye-opening exposure of data bias and its impact on gender (in)equality. So many nuggets you'll want to quote to family and colleagues!

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How women rise

by Sally Helgesen and Marshall Goldsmith: tackling 12 behaviours which can hold us back in our careers - an easy and insightful read with solutions to reform bad habits.

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10 Minutes, 38 Seconds in This Strange World

by Elif Shafak: a powerful and original novel from this amazing storyteller.

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Turn the Ship Around

by L David Marquet: the true story of how the Santa Fe was transformed from the worst to best in the US Navy fleet by challenging the traditional leader-follower approach - an inspiration for all leaders.

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The 100 Year-Life

by Lynda Gratton & Andrew Scott: in this age of longevity, how do we rethink our education, career, finances and relationship to create a fulfilling 100-year life.

Let me know what you think of these suggestions and share your own - I'm always looking for the inspiration and sheer enjoyment which great books can bring!

Certificate in Green and Sustainable Finance

I’m a huge fan of continuing to learn. My 2020 goal was to better understand the climate crisis and the vital role which finance professionals play in addressing it. I’m therefore delighted to have completed the rigorous Certificate in Green and Sustainable Finance from the Chartered Banker Institute I would heartily recommend it to other finance professionals - each of us need to use our skills and our passion to solve this crisis

A question to leaders - are you listening to your younger colleagues to help them navigate these challenging times? I'd love to hear whether this piece resonates with what my connections are experiencing, seeing or hearing.

 In this webinar Irene shares her insights into:
- The transition from Exec to NXD, including how to educate yourself, where to get support, what I wish I’d done differently; plus a bit about the Edinburgh International Book Festival;
- Letting go of my ‘comfort blanket’ of the corporate world to put myself out there as a small business founder; what I’ve learned through experiences, both good and bad.

If you read it and think 'but what can I do?' be inspired by this quote from Edward Everett Hale, a 19th century social reformer and minister: "I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything; but still I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do". Do the something which you can do!

"This piece really resonated with me. At times in my Executive career I felt overwhelmed and now in my Coaching practice I regularly see clients who feel they constantly need to do more at work - more hours, more multi-tasking, more 'success'. Sometimes at the cost of their families, their physical health or their mental health. The piece has some useful advice on possible ways to tackle this feeling and there's no need to handle this on your own - Coaching helps individuals find the solution that is right for them."

"Living abroad has many known benefits - this interesting piece from HBR highlights one I'd never consciously considered. However, having been lucky enough to live and work abroad on three separate occasions, on reflection I can see that I grew in my understanding of 'who I am' through my experiences in very different cultures (France, Hong Kong and California). The challenge (and satisfaction) now is helping others through Coaching gain a clearer sense of self when they may not have the luxury of living abroad"

I really like this piece about leadership.  When I coach it is all about unlocking the individual's potential.

This piece resonates with me. Many of my times of greatest satisfaction or sense of achievement have been when I have pushed myself out of my comfort zone.

I'd buy into Google's approach, outlined in this article.  In particular, evaluating leaders on how that leadership is experienced by their team.

McKinsey report reinforces that gender, ethnic and cultural diversity is correlated with both profitability and value creation. This is not about being 'politically correct'; this is about good business sense!

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Craigelachie

Offering professional coaching, mentoring and consultancy throughout the UK and overseas.

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