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Dutch anthropologist Joris Luyendijk, who I just refer to as Joris as I cannot pronounce his name, has written that the whole of British life is riddled with unwritten and unspoken social codes, even as trivial as how you walk into a room, shake hands or eat your dinner. Personally, fork-only American style just appears wrong. Blame my grandfather.
The UK is a service economy, and we have all said multiple times, people buy from people, and accepting all meritocratic non-discriminatory recruitment policies is a given and must, probably the greatest barrier to employment advancement is a lack of people skills and being able to navigate the social codes.
Increasing technology in multi-user platforms, AI and social media has resulted in various aspects of life from dating, healthcare provision and map reading resulting in us being less reliant on personal interaction, discussion, or the development of social skills. Moreover, technology will replace a vast area of multiple workforces in coming years, from bankers, lawyers, engineers to taxi drivers and doctors. The premium? Personal skills and emotional intelligence which navigate the social codes.
Where do you find them if you are young and ambitious? How do parents and or schools educate emotional intelligence and set out these skill sets? They are as key to employment and life advancement as any degree, A level or equivalent.
The answer is you must associate with a peer group which develops, educates, and illustrates these unwritten, unspoken, at times unexplainable rules. Children and young adults must be surrounded by social situations, formal educational scenarios, and workplace commercial meetings to learn and develop emotional intelligence and the nuances of social codes from a handshake, to eating, to explaining a point of view and more importantly, Audi alteram partaem. Being able to listen to the other side. Yes, it is manners, but so much more.
They are not promoted as a point of difference at a UCAS evening, milk round recruitment program or university prospectus to coach the roles these codes play in the workplace. That would result in hysterical calls of elitism. But the rules exist.
How does this link to wine and us recruiting and building the Traditum team? Well, being able to share a bottle while discussing any matter is the original motive of the Greek symposium over wine and the foundation of rational thought and debate. Not to mention the numerous business meetings, romantic evenings, and celebratory events which you the reader have enjoyed while enjoying a bottle in company. The ritual of wine improves understanding of social codes. As written before, drinking on an empty mind is more dangerous than on an empty stomach. It is not the wine in the bottle, but the civilized social interaction. Of course, exceptional wine is best accompanied by exceptional company.
The column’s recommendation? 2009 Chateau Batailley Pauillac I consumed with our postgraduate, Tom Henderson after a team meeting. The wine is fabulous. It has high levels of Cabernet Sauvignon, how I prefer my Clarets. This gives us a great deal of depth and structure which holds itself in the glass and the conversation. It was consumed with my sons Littondale Beef carved by the Chairman as the entire team gathered after a meeting and 16 of us enjoyed each other’s company at Traditum HQ.
Tom is recruiting into his team as we expand our investment in future generations for the 2119 vision for our business, providing exposure for our younger members with clients, deals and all aspects of private equity and family office. Across all these areas there are multiple, unwritten, unconscious codes apply.
We are a service business, investing our clients’ money into growing companies where we back a management team. Our family office guides multigenerational wealth through the myriad of advisors. Highly technical stuff, but always dealing with people.