Could academic excellence have come at the expense of emphasising good manners?As the Demos report concluded, “Despite rising academic attainment, somehow the traditional 21-year cycle of learning and preparation for the world of work is not quite preparing people for the reality of life in modern organisations – resulting in lower productivity for business and frustrating false starts for young people.” According to Jimmy Beale, the director of the etiquette training and consultancy firm The English Manner, this is far from a uniquely British problem.She left every day at 5pm on the dot, regardless of whether she’d finished her work, and then she complained on her public Facebook feed that we’d given her boring jobs, so she couldn’t ‘fulfil her potential’.” Needless to say, Jane wasn’t offered a job.But around the same time another friend who runs a small but successful and growing business told me about her latest recruit.It’s not technology – technology is a raw material.What makes human beings unique is one thing – creativity.“We advertised for a junior and had hundreds of applications, often misspelled or obviously cut-and-pasted, from graduates who all claimed to have firsts, to have rowed single-handedly across the Atlantic and volunteered in a hospice. So we asked our cleaner’s 17-year-old daughter, Sara, to help out for a couple of days.
Children have to be reminded to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’.Soft skills are the reason why women such as Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, have soared to the very top, overtaking her Harvard contemporaries.“She was young, brilliant, good-looking, and you might easily bridle at that, but she is so good at working with people, you couldn’t help but like her,” recalled Sandberg’s first boss, the economist Lant Pritchett.In an environment full of gorgeous creatures, that charm, just as much as her bushy eyebrows, surely helped propel her to the top.
But Delevingne is a shining beacon of politeness in a generation generally deplored for its boorishness.
She was so charming with clients and easy to be around and showed so much initiative that we gave her the job.