manners Archives - Eve Poole

Character and Confidence

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The FT’s Sarah O’Connor unleashed a bit of a storm when she wrote recently that teaching state-school kids firm handshakes was patronising, and that ‘character education’ had no place in the national curriculum. I should like to contest this both as the Chairman of Gordonstoun school, which invented character education, and as a state-school educated Scot who was lucky enough to attend Lucie Clayton Finishing School in Kensington one summer. Read More

What I learned at Finishing School

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Today I am off to the Regatta, and here is my black and red Day 1 Ascot hat. The Season. How frightfully British. Many moons ago, my Aunt sent me to Joanna Lumley’s alma mater as an MBA graduation present – Lucie Clayton College, in Kensington. Upstairs, on the parquet floor, they still had a model of the front half of an old blue sedan car on which we could practise our getting in and out strategies. For the curious: your entry strategy is an imaginary 50p between the knees; your exit strategy is a high chin to minimise cleavage, lest the paparazzi be hovering, and we were only taught about the passenger seat, as Ladies have Drivers. While we did spend a bit of time on this sort of thing, the whole course remains the most useful thing I’ve done. Here is a digest for you, since Lucie Clayton College is no more. Read More

2030 Vision?

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On Monday I gave an interview to a journalist about what skills will be needed by a CEO in 2030. As one of the architects of the Ashridge Future Leaders Experience I know how crucial this kind of crystal ball gazing is and yet how futile. As Ralph Stacey would say, ‘the future is unknowable…any widely held vision of the future must therefore be a delusion.’ That said, here is my stab at answering the journalist’s questions… Read More