Showing posts from March, 2022

A Squash and A Squeeze

Originally posted on Education Scotland's PLL blog For those of you who don’t have young children influencing your professional reading, then the term “A Squash and a Squeeze” will cause little pause for thought. For EY colleagues and parents, Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s first collaborative effort is an exquisite distillation of the importance of perspective. ''Wise old man, won't you help me, please? My house is a squash and squeeze.'' What can you do if your house is too small? The wise old man knows: bring in a flappy, scratchy, noisy crowd of farmyard animals. When you push them all out again, you'll be amazed at how big your house feels! – so reads the synopsis. The idea of perspective is key in leadership. I know that there are some days when I look at my diary and see countless school visits and meetings, and wonder when I’ll have time to “get work done”. Luckily, that feeling is short-lived, because I have learned to remind myself – conversa

3 Leadership Lessons from the Arctic

Originally posted on Education Scotland PLL blog . It might not be everyone’s idea of relaxing, but my February breaks pre-Covid were spent leading charity treks in Arctic Finland . 3 days of walking on frozen rivers and lakes, winding through forests, and sleeping under the stars (and frequently, the Aurora Borealis). At the start of the week, a bunch of strangers would climb aboard a flight to Rovaniemi, excited and nervous in equal measure, with great hopes for both the journey and the funds being raised for their chosen cause. At the end of the week, the beginnings of a team would emerge, new friendships being formed as they battled through blizzards and temperatures as low as -35°C. Whilst these treks have always been great fun, they have acted as a microcosm in which to hone my leadership style. In the week leading up to the treks, we had a small advanced team in Finland mapping a trail, navigating obstacles, observing potential hazards, preparing the way for these novice adventu