Our Stories: Tiffany Hardy

Written by Bronwyn Huband.

For many people, Coronavirus has been at least a change of pace and at most a life changer, whether that be a new job, or even moving back to New Zealand.Tiffany Hardy Voice Booth 2

Faced with the prospect of not having her usual drumbeat of work, Tiffany Hardy did not let losing her job stop her. She spent time reading and thinking about what she wanted to do with her career, before rapidly deciding to set up her own business mid-crisis.

Reading our book club book, The Squiggly Career, was a game changer – it sparked the passion in Tiffany to use her skills more to help people. The book is based on the idea that we don’t work our way up the career ladder any more, instead we squiggle our way around.

“I have had quite a squiggly career, working in radio, TV, the travel industry and in production, so it’s been quite the squiggly ride,” Tiffany said.

After reading the “Super Strengths” chapter of the Squiggly Career it really made her think and assess things. Not only did it get her to figure out her super strengths, but it pointed out that the ones that are most important are not necessarily your strongest strengths, but the ones that you enjoy the most and that make you happy.

Review: Book Club Brunch - Radical Candor

Written by Kristine Chadwick.

radical candor

Author:  Kim Scott
Reviewer: Kristine Chadwick

To be radically candid and as self-effacing Kiwi’s, many of us found “Radical Candor” by Kim Scott to have rather a lot of name dropping, from Sheryl Sandberg to Steve Jobs, from Google to Twitter and Apple.  However, it also revealed that no matter where you work, management issues are universal. We all also agreed that the book was rather long with a fair amount of repetition. Top tip - skip to the second section of the book where Kim outlines a variety of useful tools for managers. Adapt and personalise these to suit your specific work environment.  

The theme of caring personally, compassionate candor and staying centred so you can bring your best self to work resonated with the book club after three months of COVID-19 imposed social distancing and working from home.

Review: Book Club Brunch - Talking to Strangers

Written by Michelle Telling.

Author: Malcolm Gladwell
Reviewer: Michelle Telling

So, it turns out that a book titled ‘Talking to Strangers’ was not as much about ‘talking to strangers’ as the title might suggest, but more like ‘how to interrogate and get the truth from bad people’. In addition, the book was described by those Talking to Strangers Book Club NZBWNwho had managed to get through it as disturbing as it included vivid descriptions of rape, child molestation and how to kill yourself using a gas oven, among other things. In short, this book was not what we expected when it was selected for our NZBWN book brunch.

That aside, we were a small group in December (it being the season of busyness for many), and we had a lively discussion around the themes of the book, along with a side-discussion on dating tips. The group felt this was not Malcolm Gladwell’s best work and many had read and enjoyed his other titles including ‘David and Goliath’, ‘Blink’ and ‘the Tipping Point’; all of these had a scientific basis, but ‘Talking to Strangers’ seemed more a cut and paste exercise with a little commentary on each particular case discussed.

The underlying theme was that the majority of us have a ‘default to truth’ when interacting with others, as the author put it:

‘You believe someone not because you have no doubts about them. Belief is not the absence of doubt. You believe someone because you don’t have enough doubts about them’.

‘Default to truth becomes an issue when we are forced to choose between two alternatives, one of which is likely and the other of which is impossible to imagine’.

Our Stories: Brooke Dennis

Written by Bronwyn Huband.

Brooke Dennis is one of many expat New Zealanders in London who have had to diversify their businesses over recent weeks. She’s one of the brains behind The Scrub Hub – an initiative created to provide scrubs to doctors when suppliers couldn’t meet demand.Brooke Dennis

For Brooke, COVID-19 has meant she can’t run the business, she set up only six months ago to provide a space for textile making. However, instead of wallowing in this she looked at what she could do to help.

The chance to do something to help came by way of a friend asking Brooke if she could sew some scrubs for one doctor. That one doctor’s request turned into creating hundreds of PPE-type scrubs for consultants across London. The scrubs are not certified PPE but instead are used by consultants and the like, who wanted to be easily identifiable and not be in their usual clothes for work.

Quality is not compromised. Brooke set out a standard for quality and craftsmanship – volunteers had to be very good sewers. She also uses cotton, because it’s better for the environment, as well as being comfortable and breathable.

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