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The Sir Alans and the illusion of control

At dinner last night I was asked by a friend whether she should become the trustee of a charity. At the time I didn’t know that Sir Alan Parker, one of the most influential PR people in the UK, had resigned as chairman of Save the Children because of scandals engulfing the charity. It would only have reinforced my expressed view that you need to be very careful getting into situations you cannot control. As people become successful in business, they become tempted to take on extra responsibilities where they can give other organisations the benefit of their experience, typically as a non-executive director of a company or trustee of a charity. They do this usually for very good reasons, but

Can you second that emotion?

By general consensus, Mark Zuckerberg did an OK job testifying in front of the US Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees on Tuesday. In cricketing parlance, he played a dead bat, looking to absorb the difficult questions and give answers that gave no openings for further Facebook pain. The social giant’s communications and legal advisors did well. But briefly the Zuck came unstuck – when Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois asked him which hotel he stayed at, and who he’d sent messages to this week. The Facebook founder said he didn’t want to say. And Senator Durbin, looking like Walther Matthau at the end of The Taking of Pelham 123 when Martin Balsam sneezes, pointed out that privacy is what

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