Blog 15th May
As we enter week 9 the weeks are getting tough, but I have learnt so much over the lunch time period.
Interestingly, I have spoken to two types of business people in recent months:
Group 1 start every sentence with ‘when things return to normal after Covid-19 we’ll do this, this and this’, they struggle to get their head around the situation and want the next few months to disappear.
Group 2 say ‘we’re doing what we’ve always done but we’re just doing it differently’, they understand this is the NEW normal and embrace the challenge of the next few months. (difficult though they are)
I worry about the first group and have nothing but admiration for the second. #staysafe
This week I participated in a webinar with Any Burnham the Mayor of Manchester about how we can build back Manchester better. In my view we need to adapt to the new normal. We need to look after people’s mental health during this time. Mental Health and Wellness first which is why I have made Women in the Law UK events free during the lockdown. I have been available for people to talk to on Thursday nights and we have a referral system for people who need emotional counselling and financial advice. I have also been teaching advocacy in online advocacy training as part of the ICCA to give young pupil barristers the opportunity to practice their advocacy. This has been in between all sorts of work.
This week has been difficult juggling the hearings as courts remains closed and contemplates a return to jury trials. I spend my lunch times learning and hosting and facilitating webinars three times a week. I have also been writing a children’s book and a novel as well as recording my podcasts when my children are in bed.
Despite this, I miss my friends and colleagues and giving people hugs. I miss wearing heels.
I have been practicing gratitude and I am so grateful my children are okay and my parents who are key workers are both well. It has been a good opportunity to reflect on life and our achievements. I am so grateful to all the brilliant trainers who join me on our Lunch & Learn sessions.
My role as a Non Exec Director at various institutions, I have been very impressed at how the boards I sit on have adapted to the technology available. Well done Arrawak Walton, Camberwell Park and Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester.
Women I Admire
As for women I admire, I was so impressed by Griselda Togodo the MD of Forward Ladies. She is so awesome and so powerful, I love the work she is doing on inclusive leadership.
It was so good to learn from world leading international trainers like Luan de burg on communication and ‘Fake it Till You Make It’ with Sarah Perris. I will be reading the Winning Mindset by Simon Lancaster and rewatching Amy Cuddys work.
You see, the reflection I have been doing has made me realise I am in fact a leader and influencer, a thought leader and with that I will be finishing my book A Sense of Purpose.
Leading like a leader, now I need to learn to act like a leader. Who knows I might start the Leadership Diaries, watch this space… I might even do a course on, how to lead with influence and impact in crisis or in uncertain times.
Why? Because whilst others were panicking at the beginning of Covid 19 and I was upset about cancelling our WitL conference with Irwin Mitchell LLP and the dinner with Baroness Hale, I decided to lead through the crisis., to give people distraction and guidance.
These continue and we’ve lots of interesting people coming on.
I have loved making them weekly releases during covid19 and appreciate all the messages on Twitter about how good they are. They take a lot of research and in recent week’s we’ve interviewed the likes of Judge Rinder, The Secret Barrister and Stephanie Boyce the first black Vice President of the Law Society of England and Wales. Don’t miss Sean Jones QC either, they are all inspiring role models.
Please buy my book for charity showcasing women working in the law 100 years later and the challenges that they still face.
You can watch again on YouTube or join me by booking via Eventbrite.
So I have been loving making the most of my garden during lock down as we’ve had to shield. My tomato’s, kale and other veg are coming along nicely and you’ll find me weeding and watering the plants when I can. I really enjoy being outdoors especially as I cannot visit and do walks in National Trust gardens.
I love keeping up the diversity count in these properties.
So until I can meet you all at a conference in person, I am sending you my best wishes to you.
Take care and look after yourself.