Maximsers and satisficers in decision making

Nobody ever did, or ever will, escape the consequences of his (or her) choices. Alfred A. Montapert A week ago, I was asked by an aspiring professional about my advice when applying for jobs. The question went like this, “I have seen a lot of jobs out there, that I would quite like, but not…

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Collective Purpose

Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction. John F. Kennedy I was recently invited once again to speak at the brilliant Cheltenham Science Festival in June. It is always a privilege to be surrounded by not only so many brilliant scientists but also so many curious minds, young and old. This year…

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Personal Progressive Overload

“Make the most of yourself….for that is all there is of you.” Ralph Waldo Emerson Pick up a dumbbell, lift the weight up, repeat until muscle tires, take a rest for a minute, then repeat a handful of times. Wait a few days, pick up the dumbbell again, and repeat the above process, trying to…

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The tale goes that at a dinner with Wordsworth, the poet Keats, toasted “confusion to the memory of Newton…because he destroyed the poetry of the rainbow by reducing it to a prism”. Three years later Keats confirmed his disdain by writing; “Do not all charms fly At the mere touch of cold philosophy? There was…

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Can we be competitive and collaborative?

Do you ever get that feeling, when you’ve got a win, a breakthrough or a reward – you just want to go and tell someone? I had it just the other day, when I hopped onto a train just as the doors were closing, then immediately went to text home! It’s an obvious response, isn’t…

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CORE skills ain't SOFT

In 1958, as NASA began it’s search for aerospace pilots, the job description listed the need for the following characteristics; · Male (how 1950s?) · Approx 5’11” /180cm · Aged between twenty-five and forty · A science degree · High intelligence · High mathematical ability · Experience as a jet test pilot. There were just…

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The base camp of high-performance

“If your emotional abilities aren’t in hand, if you don’t have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far.” Daniel Goleman If I look back over my career,…

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