Mental strength has become as much part of the successful training formula for sportsmen and women as balanced nutrition and intensive physical conditioning. Sports coaches know that without the grit and determination to win, even the most finely tuned athlete can fail to achieve their potential.
But it’s clear that harnessing the drive, tenacity, and stamina that motivates athletes to tap into their capacity to win also has positive benefits in the corporate world, too, offering business professionals the tools to help turn career aspirations into achievable goals.
Happily, the kind of mental toughness that has the power to be transformational isn’t an accident of birth or the reward for a hefty financial outlay. And it’s not about side-stepping catastrophe, either, but rather about seeing challenges as learning experiences. In short, cultivating mental strength simply requires a change in outlook.
Employed or self-employed?
In a decision that could have significant implications for thousands of employers and workers in the so-called ‘gig economy’ in the UK, Uber drivers have won the right to be paid the national living wage.
The case, brought by two workers leaves the ride-hailing company open to claims from some 40,000 drivers in the UK and could further pressure other companies to review the way staff are contracted and paid.
Uber had argued it was essentially a tech company, and that its drivers were self-employed contractors able to choose when and where to work. In turn, this gave the company a free pass on workers’ rights, including the obligation to pay a national living wage and other perks such as holiday and sick pay.
Space sharing for a new age of travel
The space-sharing disrupter Airbnb has ruffled as many feathers as it has inspired budget-conscious travellers the world over. By enabling homeowners to rent out living spaces – ranging from a single room to a whole house – the company has provided both a money-making opportunity for owners and a cost-effective accommodation model for cash-strapped tourists.
But the San Francisco-based company has plenty of detractors, with hoteliers complaining about the deleterious effect on their businesses, and city dwellers accusing Airbnb of contributing to the process of gentrification by reducing the availability of long-term rentals. The phenomenon has led to concerns about the adverse effect growing tourist numbers might have on historic cities, with a number of authorities cracking down on commercial activity by introducing new regulations.
Proud to be American?
Ask most US citizens if they’re proud to be Americans and you’ll get a resounding ‘yes’. So why are increasing numbers of ex-pats relinquishing their nationality? It’s a growing trend, according to the US Treasury, with recent figures showing that more than four thousand individuals renounced their US citizenship or long-term residency in 2015 – up 20% on the previous year and a sharp rise from the one thousand or so who took the plunge in 2010.
Time for a change at Paris summit
Six years after the last summit in Copenhagen failed to reach a binding agreement, all the usual suspects are once again poised to gather – this time in Paris – in an effort to strike a deal on the thorny subject of climate change. The 21st Conference of the Parties (CoP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will play host to the governments of more than 190 nations with the aim of reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. Existing commitments on greenhouse gas emissions expire in 2020, so an agreement will be expected to cover action over the next ten years or so.
Are you switched on?
After the scandal surrounding the recent VW emissions episode, consumer confidence is being tested once again with the news that some Samsung TVs in Europe appear to record lower energy outputs during official tests than they do in real-world use. The alleged discrepancies were found in unpublished lab tests by EU-funded research group ComplianTV which logged consistently higher energy consumption rates for the company’s models in the field than in lab conditions.