I have dedicated the last decade of my working life to helping young people take risks and seize opportunities. And yet, when my daughter decided to leave university early because she wanted to pursue her own path, I thought it was a very bad idea...
My journey so far has taught me a lot, and there is still quite some way to go. Every business is different and no two career paths can ever be the same, but there are some lessons that I know I would have benefited from when I was starting out.
As you yourself have found, service offers a common meeting ground. It can be a great equalizer that's not interested in social divisions and it has the potential to make everyone who's willing to take part great. But not everyone has an interest in becoming a soldier or the military.
When I established Mosaic back in 2007 it was my hope that we might be able to encourage young people in the United Kingdom to realize their talents and potential. I hardly dared hope then that Mosaic would go on to develop an innovative International Leadership Programme which now touches the lives of young people in eighteen different countries. I have long believed that today's world poses challenges to all of us that can only be resolved by effective and sustained partnerships across national boundaries. Climate change, poverty, violence and instability can only be tackled by individuals coming together from across the globe.
It was an absolutely splendid evening and it was great to see such talent displayed on the stage from the performers to the new writers, and of course the work of Sondheim. If this competition is a sign of what we have to look forward to in the future of the West End, we are in very safe hands indeed.
Eric Ries, in his book "The Lean Startup", states that mistakes are beneficial to the development process of a new business. However, he says that it is important to fail as soon as possible and to learn as quickly as possible! In other words, entrepreneurs should keep their failures small and should also eliminate them while they are not creating bigger problems..
It's vitally important to give young students a chance, but equally let's give them the tools to try to succeed. Give them the opportunity coupled with business education and real life experience and they will absolutely show just how clever they really are. Effective mentoring can be the key to unlocking this potential.
We're all starting out in our careers, we're all painfully inexperienced and woefully ignorant but each of us in our own small way knows a little something and these somethings are valid.
Paying homage to those women and encouraging them to speak up and inspire the younger generations is precisely what we also do with the Inspiring Women Campaign and that is why I decided to support the WIE network (and yes, I am doing this in the middle of a general election - and no, it is not an oversight). Because no matter your age, your skills or your background, every woman has an inner role model and it is the duty of every woman of my generation to stand up for young girls.
Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a woman of my word. I set out thinking about how I could help girls. My first foray was to provide workshops for teen Mums, but I didn't feel that was enough and I wasn't sure I was the right person to make a difference with that audience.
How many young entrepreneurs do you see knocking about making some serious money? When I say young, I mean people under 25? There is a reason for that and here is my opinion why...