Reading on Wednesday 1 February

This article in Civil Service World gives the top 5 results of a study into what civil servants want.  There are some reasonably common ones (recognition and pay) but I was really pleased to see a desire to take more risks and be a bit more entrepreneurial up there.  The suggestion about compulsory red-teaming is also something I would support.

I have written about Jon Levy and his influencer dinners before but now, it seems, he has written a book called The 2am Principle.  This article in business insider pulls out some points from it, about how to find the most interesting people at an event.  Looks like a book worth checking out.

Also on the theme of networking, this 30 day networking plan is really useful.  The most important takeaway is that you need a plan!  It doesn’t just happen by itself.  I am fond of metaphors and analogies (I am a philosophy graduate, its in my nature) so here is my favourite one.  A professional network is like a garden, it needs regular attention both to grow and to keep alive the things you have already planted.

Are great men and women the product of circumstances is the question posed by this post on the Farnam Street blog.  This ties into something I have long held – success (or in this case greatness) is a product of two things.  Opportunity and the skill/will to make the most of it.  Without the French revolution, would anyone actually know Napoleon Bonaparte’s name today?  This is also an issue when it comes to social mobility.  We spend a lot of time working on the skills and ambition of children in deprived neighbourhoods but the real divide is opportunity, which is often more difficult to measure and to fix.

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