THREE THINGS go everywhere with me in my satchel – a diary, my phone charger, and perhaps the least interesting yet most useful gift I have ever received.
The black leather conference folder was a gift from a former housemate one Christmas – I remember being unimpressed and underwhelmed at the time. What could I possibly want with that?
But I kept hold of it anyway when I moved out of that house the following year. Then my career began to pick up again after the gap caused by leaving the seminary where I was training for Roman Catholic priesthood.
Soon this humble folder became a constant companion, in meetings, workshops, presentations, training sessions, supervision, conferences and at my desk for the humbling but vital to-do list.
This Christmas it will be fourteen years since my face fell when I unwrapped this apparently uninspired item. With hindsight maybe it was inspired – an insight from a friend who could see the professional future I could not.