How to be brilliant… with thanks to LSE

by Rossana Espinoza 0

How to be brilliant… with thanks to LSE



London School of Economics (LSE) held their ‘Professional Services Conference’ on Thursday 13 December 2018. The Theme of the conference was ‘LSE of the Future’. As defined by the conference organising team, the objectives of the day were for their professional services staff to:

  • Focus on building your skills and strengths to continue developing their career
  • Get inspired by expert insights on the future of work and LSE
  • Take away meaningful tools and tips they can use day-to-day
  • Network with colleagues from across the School

The conference kicked off with a Keynote session led by Michael Heppell, author of the book entitled ‘How to be brilliant’. In this blog, I would like to share a couple of key messages I took away from this session.

If you want to be brilliant, begin with brilliant goal setting.

In the Learning and Development world, we may be familiar with the SMART framework for goal setting, which defines that goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound.

Michael Heppell shared with the audience a recipe for success. In this recipe, the essential ingredient is setting goals in a way that can really motivates us. This powerful way of setting goals uses 3 Ps. Brilliant goals are Personal, Positive and formulated in the Present Tense.

An example of brilliant goal setting is given by Muhammad Ali. Muhammed described himself as: I am the greatest.

Breaking down this statement, this goal is:

  • Personal: It starts with ‘I’ as in I am…. Or I have….
  • Positive: It uses positive language. It avoids negative statements such as ‘I don’t want to lose this competition. It also avoids the use weak language, for example ‘try’ or ‘just’
  • Written in the Present tense. This goal is stated as it has already been achieved, as if the person who state it is living it in the present time.

Have a go at formulating your goals using the 3Ps framework, you may be surprised by the results. No wonder that Muhammad Ali is commonly remembered as the greatest boxer in history.


Have you enjoyed this blog? The next instalment will offer more pearls of wisdom gained from attending this  conference.