I love Groucho Marx. He's one of my heroes. He was mentioned in the Independent on Sunday. The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews is famously tough to get in to, and it has finally just opened its membership to women, finally...after 260 years!
Of course, Groucho Marx famously declared that he would not to be a member of any club that would have accept him as a member. A wry wit indeed.
But he made an exception when it made to golf. He liked to play golf. At the pinnacle of his career the R&A St Andrews Golf Club made an exception and invite him, a Jew, to join. (They excluded Jews from their membership). The only condition to his joining was... he must promise not to use the pool! The comedian responded to this invitation and favor with a further inquiry: "My daughter is only half Jewish - can she wade in up to her knees?"
Bonny Madeleine May Brooks was born 6:15am on Wednesday 21st May. We thought we were in the clear for a cesarean at 9am, but nope. Mads surprised us and Irena's water broke 3:15am. With 2 minute contractions, we made a beeline for St James hospital and she was born a tad early.
Singularity University has a rockstar faculty and regularly attracts celebrity businesspeople onto their course. So I wondered who might show when I did their one week executive education course in January. The illustrious and controversial futurist Ray Kurzweil was speaking, so I knew I'd be meeting him. ...and Chris Anderson showed up as an attendee. Chris Anderson is the curator of TED.
Then, on the second morning of the week-long course, I jumped into the hotel elevator and there was Chris. We talked and he invited me to share a breakfast with him, one-on-one. He's very thoughtful and considerate. I picked up some tips. Then we sat next to each other on the bus and he shared his vision and concerns for the future of the welfare of humanity. Literally. Chris has designs on encouraging and inspiring the biggest wealth creators on the planet to share and donate more and change their attitude of what 'success' means. Ultimately to change the way economics from the wealthy class to the rising classes work.
In 2012 I did Launching New Ventures at HBS. In 2013 I took Driving Digital and Social Strategy. Both were excellent, and I can't recommend them enough. Then I learned about Harvard's executive MBA equivalent. A 6 month program called PLD - Program for Leadership Development. I love the case approach, and find the time in classroom exhilarating and thought-provoking, so I applied and got accepted to PLD starting December 2013. I'll be on campus for two 2 week sessions, and study for 6 months, ending July, 2014. Then, together with the two prior classes, I'll be an official Harvard Grad and have access to the Harvard Alumni...and a considerable and prestigious network of knowledge.
Hanson plc bought companies, culled them, and brought them back to life. Lord Hanson was the head of the company, and a controversial character, along with Gordon White,
an even more controversial figure. They had a nose for value and
waste, and were good at creating good viable companies from
under-performing industrial companies.
Key to the Hanson philosophy, and the reason they walked away from
an opportunity to acquire Avis, the car rental company, was that they
believed "never risk more than you can afford to lose."