Category Archives: The Sunday Times

What P Diddy taught me

Kubi Springer decided to become an entrepreneur at 17 after an injury ended her hopes of a dancing career. Rather than jumping straight into the fray after graduating from Westminster University in 1998, however, she decided to learn from someone who had already proved his business prowess: the hip-hop star Sean “P Diddy” Combs.

“I wanted to work with him because he was the biggest urban mogul at the time,” said Springer, now 37. “He was launching clothing lines, his record label was doing well . . . so I worked for him for three years at Blue Flame, his marketing and advertising agency. It was very small at the time and he was very hands on. I spent a lot of time with him.”

Read more in The Sunday Times

Save us from the extremists

Business leaders should have their fingers crossed that the pressure group A Blueprint for Better Business is successful in its aim of rebuilding public trust in companies. If it fails, they might find themselves trying to make a new life under communist rule.

“If business is not trusted . . . potentially the electorate will move to the extreme left or the extreme right, neither of which have ever created environments that are good for the majority of people,” said Sir Mike Rake, incoming chairman of the charity group’s advisory council.

“Whether it is communism or the movements of the left in Latin America, they have all been disastrous. Our system is imperfect, but the reality is that if we don’t make sure that [business] is trusted by society, ultimately people will forget what happened to communism, people will forget what happened to the extreme left movements . . . and ultimately, if you are not careful, democracy will lead you to that position.”

Read more in The Sunday Times

All the world should be a stage

Jane Stevensen had a problem. She was accustomed to public speaking — but now she had to open a big conference.

“I had spoken on panels and at events, so I thought, ‘I can do this,’ but I want it to be really good,” she said. “When I gave longer talks I would start out very animated but after a while my voice would go into a bit of a monotone. It’s a nervous thing. It made me a boring speaker. So I decided to get some coaching.”

Stevensen, managing director of the Climate Disclosure Standards Board, a non-governmental organisation, decided to work with Timothy Allsop, an actor and public speaking trainer.

“There is something about actors that means they have a real understanding of what you need to do to get your message across,” she said. “They know how to use their voice and body to have maximum impact on the audience.”

Read more in The Sunday Times