Help Young People

At a Black Country CIPD event yesterday, one of the speakers was from Inspiring the Future. This is a free service which sees people from all sectors and professions volunteering to go into state schools and colleges to help young people understand the working world and the jobs it has to offer.

The time commitment can be as little as one hour per year, so is not demanding. Businesses often complain that young people have little idea of what is expected of them in the world of work. There are further problems in lack of career guidance, and of unrealistic expectations of the job market. So many want to work in sport or the media! Now is the chance to do something about it.

For further information, and to volunteer, visit their site here.


How to Learn About Business?

An interesting story from Peter Day of the BBC on how the founder of Poundland learned about business through Bilston Market here. The suggestion is that practice beats business school.

Never one to avoid sitting on a fence if it is available, I suggest that both have their place. However, practical experience cannot be found in a book.

Can a lawyer learn from running another business? Certainly, and I know some who are involved in multilevel marketing. More interesting is someone who was a Practice Manager, who spend weekends travelling round craft fairs selling hand made chocolates, meeting creative and business needs. It is perhaps unlikely that a Partner will have time to run a side business, although I recently stayed in a B&B which was part of a group with a firm of solicitors. It may be that it was part of a pension scheme, but it was certainly a business, not just a property investment.

Older readers will remember Victor Kiam, the man who liked the shaver so much, he bough the company. He assisted his wife with her business of importing Chinese jewellery. The other half’s business can also be a learning laboratory.


Lawyers Fight Back

Just as accountants talk of launching legal arms to provide a “one stop shop”, news that a law firm has set up an accountancy arm to do the same. HCB Solicitors has taken a majority stake in Hatch Accountancy, details from the Birmingham Post here.

It will, of course, be interesting to see how it works, and if clients see it as an advantage.

Lord Mansfield, US Law, and an Oil Painting

An interesting podcast from the ABA discussing Prof. Norman S Posner’s new book on the impact of Lord Mansfield on American law. This includes

• A confession must be voluntary to be admissible as evidence.

• Libel is not protected by the First Amendment.

• Custody disputes are decided based upon the welfare of the child.

• Electronic surveillance for domestic security purposes requires a warrant.

• Habeas corpus applies to prisoners being held by the government even outside the geographical boundaries of the United States.

I am not sure that he has any longer quite such an influence in the UK, not least because many of these issues are dealt with by statute. I was aware of the Somerset case, where he held that slavery did not exist in England (in the absence of a statute establishing it).

Access the podcast here.

As it happens, the Daily Mail also mentioned Lord Mansfield last week. There is a new film inspired by a Mansfield family double portrait which depicts a young black woman, Dido Elizabeth Belle. This was highly unusual in the 1770/80’s, and the story gives a background to Mansfield’s decision in the Somerset case. Read it here.


11 Year Old Develops Mental Toughness

I have been doing work on preparing a Mental Toughness Development Course recently, part of the reason for a lack of posts. One of the points I make is that mental toughness can indeed be improved. It is important in this context to know that the MTQ48 test (the starting point) uses a model based on the 4C’s: Challenge, Challenge, Control (emotional, life) and Confidence (abilities, interpersonal).

I read a good illustration on the Dr Laura site recently. A mother describes the problems her son has, and how she set him a physical challenge – the minor one of walking 200 miles across England, Coast to Coast. Read it here. He says ” I’m not a guy who quits any more.” That means he has already developed more mental toughness, and you can see the link to the 4C’s.

I very much hope that they make it to Robin Hood’s Bay, the end of the walk, and look at the plaque about the lifeboat. That also illustrates successfully overcoming difficulties.

On 19th January 1881, the brig “Vessel” ran aground in the bay. Sea conditions meant that the Whitby lifeboat could not be launched for a rescue. Instead, it was dragged 6 miles from Whitby to Robin Hood’s Bay through 7 foot snow drifts. This involved 18 horses and 200 men. Once it reached the village, walls were removed and bushes uprooted to make a wide enough passage to the sea. The crew of the “Vessel” were successfully rescued, at the second attempt.

Mentally tough people are not passive, but take action to overcome problems – even if they are 11.