It was exciting to attend an event like this in Manchester, where I live. There was a buzz around the conference that spread out into the city. It was a chance for campaigners to raise their voice on important issues, for labour party members to have their say, and politicians to outline Labours stance on policies and issues.
The most important legacy of the Scottish referendum will be how vividly it made real the huge disenchantment with both our politics and our politicians today. But voters for Yes were not simply rejecting a Westminster elite they perceive as out of touch, remote and uncaring, they were also voting to embrace a more positive vision of Scotland...
We need mental toughness to overcome the insidious business disease of 'corporate helplessness'. This is a condition where people abdicate responsibility to others for their failure to perform. Symptoms include "I haven't been on a training course", or "No-one has shown me", or "We've tried that before."
A common strand links businesses across the country: the masculine model of organizational structure when most often men lead the way, recruit others in their image and communicate with each other based on a "superman" model of management. But there's a new generation of women and men who are tired of assuming that everyone wants to make it to the top and do in a 'no prisoners' way.
To be clear, building a team should not be confused with the idea of creating a climate of consensus. Successful teams can only be built with strong leadership that is relentlessly focused on ensuring that such teams are built to function as a seamless unit and deliver results. Endlessly seeking consensus can significantly undermine this process.
In all of the these examples I have learnt as a leader to have a 'balanced view' which often means talking to team members, subject matter experts, mentors to help me gain a wider perspective on an issue. Working as a leader of an organisation and succeeding in business is rarely done as a 'solo' journey, surrounding yourself with good people always seems to work!
I teach mindfulness from time to time to groups of senior executives at one of the UK's leading financial services organisations. These are ambitious people with big jobs. They have only a few steps left on their career paths and the organisation wants to help them make those. That's where programmes like my Art of Mindful Leadership training come in.
As director of Women 1st, an initiative that aims to increase the number of women working in senior roles, I have come into contact plenty of high-achievers, from CEOs to editors, all of whom have valuable advice to share for women looking to reach the top. Here are a few top tips I've gained from some of the UK's smartest women.