One Last Act!

Growing up with your favorite sportsperson as he passes through the various stages of his luminous career does weird things to you. Every generation has it’s childhood sports idol – the one that makes you scan newspapers, t. v channels, internet and even the likes of a radio in places where technology really hasn’t caught up and where you have been unfortunately held up for no fault of yours to find out what’s happening in that person’s world and then place them in a higher pedestal than your seemingly more important exam results and other stuff that at least in your parent’s and friends’ eyes would deem you to be a sane soul. (This explanation is for all sports icons barring a certain Sachin Tendulkar who by spanning three generations gives a whole new dimension to the word «omnipresent». Maybe that’s why he is called GOD).

The thing about having that sportsperson who occupies a demigod status in your scheme of things is that you begin to possess a prejudice which doesn’t make you feel guilty at all. For example: My dad sets store by the Bjorn Borg/John McEnroe era saying that whatever else has happened after that in tennis is a tragic travesty of the most geometrically and aesthetically pleasing game the world has known. My brother, Pete Sampras’s man through and through, found it hard to adjust to the fact that a virtual nobody like Roger would show him the way out from his kingdom of Wimbledon in that famous summer of 2001,which in hindsight was akin to the passing of the tennis torch. That freaking player has a ponytail and a bandana. Which «champion» dresses that way? Tennis is going to be poorer after Pete. My brother passes these statements imparting to me that sense of losing out on something unique and that something which I could never ever be blessed to be part of. About 2 years later – A tennis «Mozart» with a style which is a throwback to the classical ages but blending it with the touch of the modern alluding to raw power and precision and then blessing it with the grace and finesse of a virtuoso artist becomes my idol, the one whose victories,defeats and battles within a battle have enthralled my senses and filled me with a gratitude of watching something special unravel itself in front of me and coupled with a demeanor off court that has made him in a recent poll, the second most respected person in the world after Nelson Mandela. . . the Swiss Maestro – Roger Federer.

I became his man, my side of the debate when I argue with anybody on who is the GOAT – Greatest Of All Time (the most heated ones are reserved for my brother though) and having a bit of experience on the vagaries of «fan-dom» has helped me be sure of one thing. I will diss off a Grigor Dimitrov, Bernard Tomic or Jerzy Janowicz irrespective of whatever they achieve in the future. No offense meant, actually, I’m just going to be the same person as my dad and brother. Only time can tell, for records are meant to be broken, and if bregrudgingly, the Swiss’s records too will be broken, something which I’m hoping against, I will accept it, but as they say, one will always be partial to those instances and people who have touched you in a special way in your childhood

Being blessed with talent is one thing, to make it count is another. Roger Federer has done exactly that and that is why after a horrible 2013 by his exemplary standards, where lesser folk feel that it is their right to point out to him that he should quit the game before plummeting to depths none of us would even bear to think of during his glory years, it feels to be a grave injustice to tell him what to do. He has made it this far from that prickly hot headed youngster to the serene, monk-like master illusionist who used to conjure up moments of utmost beauty with that tennis racket of his, ala Michaelangelo with a scalpel. His career from the evidence of it looks to be the one of a person who has made the most of life’s lessons and used it as a base to stake his claim to be arguably one of the greater sportsmen to have strutted his stuff on the world stage. A loss to Tommy Robredo or a Sergiy Stakhovsky does shake up things a bit but it is granted that, Roger doesn’t intend his career to end that way and in the words of another tennis legend, Pete Sampras, there is a ham actor in every person who wishes to put together a final act that will bring the house down. Roger might be feeling that (just a hunch), but as he said during a particular 2008 season when he lost in the semifinals of the Australian Open to a up and coming Novak Djokovic, which was greeted with a shock of seismic proportions, that he might have created a monster with the truckload of expectations that greet every swish of his racket.

The next season he comes back with that elusive 1st French Open title which catapulted him into the elite league of extra-ordinary gentlemen who have won all four slams, and then breaks Pete’s Grand Slam record in a marathon duel with Andy Roddick in a Wimbledon final for the ages. He has come back and will certainly do so if he feels like it and that’s what his recent interviews suggest. . . he is hungry for more. We always count out champions when they are down and out without taking note of that single separating factor which has made them stand apart from the pretenders. Their mental strength. Professional sport is more about the battles that takes place between the ears than the actual battle. It’s a beautiful sign when you come across articles from many journalists and critics stating that his time at the zenith is up and that he should quit trying hard so that it doesn’t make it painful for his followers to see him reduced to a mere mortal, but then you see the words of Rod Laver and Pete Sampras, legends in their own right and players who stake a claim for being the GOAT, who emphatically state that Roger Federer is still not a finished article and that something monumental is going to happen from Roger’s magic wand. They’ve been there and they can sense something simmering underneath Roger, the indignancy of being told what to do with the sport that he loves the most, and for him that is the ultimate factor that keeps him going – the love for the sport. He recognizes the fact that he will never be greater than the game and it is this over eager and zealous attribute of Roger, of the student who unflinchingly explores newer and greater depths of his game, to test himself against challenges put forth by the sport and it’s various other practitioners, and to come out on top for that’s what top students do. They will find a way. And Roger is very keen on going out on top. Nobody gets to 17 grand slam titles and 302 weeks at number 1 without possessing oodles of mental toughness.

The hardest thing is to make it look easy and I am sure that anyone who has touched a tennis racket will vouch for it. Therein lies the genius of the Swiss. The very thing that makes me hope for that at least for a fortnight, the Swiss will piece together a glorious fairytale run replete with his brilliant backhand down the line ( a thing of beauty ) and conjuring those moments of pure innovation and belligerence coupled with his stunning on-court dominance and tactical acumen and mastering of angles, which you thought weren’t there until he executed the impossible and induce grimaces and did-that-just-fucking-happen looks from his opponents,when they felt that the point has already been won and then you wonder why hasn’t anyone thought of it before. It then strikes you – the tennis court is his canvas and we are that privileged, lucky bunch who gets to see a master at work. A glorious epiphany at that too, and when he holds aloft that grand slam trophy, making a fool of time and more importantly, those doubters who felt his epitaph was pending, it would be the apt time for him to bow out in style and stamp his last bit of an enduring legacy on a tennis court. It’s for two simple reasons – we owe that much to Roger for giving us so much joy during his time, that only he should decide on his future, and from a more important and selfish perspective – my childhood needs that epic One Last Act.

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The Characteristics of Bad Leadership

Introduction

When the Israelites requested that they wanted a king to rule over them and rejected the theocratic reign of God, God gave them Saul son of Kish as their king. It was God’s decision to continue to rule the Israelites through a human representative. Later, God rejected Saul as unfit to continue to rule the Israelites. Why was Saul’s leadership condemned?

Solomon was one of the many kings who ruled Israel after Saul. He had a long and peaceful reign over Israel. His son Rehoboam succeeded him as king. But shortly after his accession to the throne, the United Kingdom was divided into two and he lost the greater part of the kingdom. What made the United Kingdom divide and disintegrate under king Rehoboam?

After the Death of Joshua and the elders who out-lived him, there was a great problem of leadership in Israel. God raised up judges from time to time to deliver his people from oppression and rule over them. Samson was one of those judges that God raised. The Israelites, whom Samson was raised to deliver on several occasions tried to hand him over to their oppressors. Samson later became a prisoner of the philistines until his death. What happened to this great man that God raised as a deliver?

For a woman to rule a nation like Israel, she must certainly have some great qualities. Therefore one cannot be wrong in saying Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah, who also ruled Israel, had great qualities. However, in the seventh year of her reign the people conspired against her and put her to death by the sword. What was wrong with her leadership that caused her subject to have acted in this way?

The four leaders mentioned failed in their leadership roles. For this reason their leadership has been characterized as bad. However, is it because one fails in leadership that one’s leadership is bad? Failure is an indication that there are certain characteristics of one’s leadership that are not good. These Characteristics, which cause leaders to fail, would now be identified in the leadership of the four leaders. This will be done under the following headings: (a) A reflection on the leadership of five leaders in Bible times ( b) Basic characteristics of their leadership (c) An evaluation of their leadership.

A reflection on the leadership of five leaders in Bible times

This section is a reflection on the leadership of five leaders whose leadership has been characterized as bad. As mentioned in the introduction each of these leaders have experienced failures in their leadership. But, is it because of a failure that one’s leadership should be characterized as bad? This reflection is the first step in answering the question posed above. The leadership of Saul, Rehoboam, Samson and Athaliah will be briefly discussed focusing on their preparedness or fitness to lead and on their specific areas of failure.

Saul

Saul was the first king of Israel. Saul is chosen by divine guidance. He is a man of humility, consecrated by holy oil and filled with the spiurit.1 It cannot be denied that Saul was prepared for leadership by the assurance of divine support and the special dualities that God gave him as a person. As Joyce Peel rightly pointed out, at the very beginning of his reign Saul proved his ability to lead as he rescued the city of Jabesh from the control of Nahash the Ammonite. The victory over the Ammonites gave Saul acceptance among all the people.

Without disagreeing with Joyce Peel that Saul had good qualities for leadership and was prepared for leadership by the assurance of divine support, Ted Engstrom stated that Saul lacked most of the fine qualities one expects in leadership.2 To substantiate his point, he made reference to an account in second Samuel Chapter five. This account was in reference to a request the people of the northern tribes of Israel made to David, asking him to also be their King. In their appeal to David, Engstrom observed that they said David was the real power in Saul’s government and Saul was only a figurehead. It was David who led Israel out to battle and won victories for the nation. In addition, Engstrom pointed out that the nation that Saul left behind was torn by civil wars.3

In may be true that Saul lacked most of the fine qualities one expects in leadership, but the qualities that he had were good enough for him to succeed. Identifying the areas of Saul’s failures can prove the point that he had what would have made him succeed. According to William J Dumbrell, there were three main areas of failures in Saul’s leadership. The first was when Saul defies Samuel’s orders to wait in Mizpah until he comes to offer sacrifice before the soldiers go to battle. Saul went along and offered the sacrifice though he was not a Levite. The second was, as Dumbrell puts it, his food taboo and his proposed death of Jonathan. Jonathan had eaten some wild honey not knowing that Saul had pronounced a self-determined religious fast, enforced with a curse, until the pursuit of their enemies was over. In addition, Saul’s victorious army was so hungry when they returned that they slaughtered and ate the animals without cooking the meet. In this situation Saul certainly lost control of his followers. The third failure was when he failed to carry out God’s instructions concerning the Amalekites. He was supposed to destroy them and their animals completely, but he spared the king and the best of the animals.4

Saul’s failure must however be seen in its wider context. The issue was that he refuses to acknowledge God’s authority established through the prophet Samuel. Samuel was to provide divine guidance to Saul for him to succeed.

Rehoboam

Rehoboam was the son of king Solomon. One can assume that as one of the king’s sons he would have been very much interested in the kingship. As the king’s son he would also have been groomed for leadership, especially when one considered the fact that under normal circumstances one of the king’s sons had to succeed him. He therefore had potentials that qualify him to lead. However, according to some authors, Rehoboam was not adequately prepared for leadership. William J Dumbrell observed, that Jeroboam, the one time forced labor supervisor in the north, capitalizes upon the ineptness of Solomon’s son Rehoboam and leads the northern ten tribes into succession as the kingdom of Israel.5 Dumbrell’s argument was that if Rehoboam had been adequately prepared for leadership he would not have acted the way he did on that particular occasion. One can gain more insight from the observation of Joyce Peel that Rehoboam was not adequately prepared for leadership. She affirms that Rehoboam, like Absalom, is arrogant. Brought up in Solomon’s palace, he sees royalty in terms of privilege and absolute power. He ignores the advise of older counselors, and encouraged by his arrogant men he returned a harsh answer.6 It can be observed from what Joyce peel said, that the problem of Rehoboam’s unpreparedness for leadership was basically his. It was a matter of his character or conduct. Every person should be personally accountable for his or her character and conduct. King Rehoboam failed in maintaining the United Kingdom left by his father. The incident already cited resulted in the division of the kingdom. Although the division of the kingdom had already been prophesied, Rehoboam’s action should not be overlooked. His failure, one must observe, resulted not only in a political division of the nation, but also in the apostasy of the northern tribes.

Samson

Samson was one of the judges raised to rule Israel before the start of the monarchy. According to Judges 13:15-23, he was the promised son of a barren woman. Even before he was born, God began to make preparations for him as a chosen leader. Samson grew up to be a Nazarite, sworn never to drink or cut his hair. The secret of his phenomenal strength lay in keeping this vow. It should be observed that Samson’s preparation as a spiritual leader was of extreme importance to God. One should take into consideration that it was because of the apostasy of the nation that they were experiencing suppression by their enemies. The enemies during Samson’s time were the philistines, who were controlling most of the land and they had exclusive possession of iron weapons. Maybe for that reason God raised Samson to be exceptionally strong to confront them even without a weapon.

When Samson assumed his leadership role, Joyce Peel described the kind of person he turned out to be: «But Samson was lustful, self-willed and irresponsible.» Peel made references to the two philistine women he married, who infatuated and deceived him. The first one who got the secret of his riddle from him and the second, Delilah, who got the secret of his strength.

The people whom Samson was supposed to lead considered him a failure. On some occasions they tried to hand him over to their enemies because they saw him as the cause for greater suppression. Arthur E. Cundell described the humiliation of this great judge in the hands of his enemies in these words: «The weakened Samson was now easily captured by the philistines. His eyes were gouged out and he was brought down to Gaza, the scene of one of his earlier feasts of strength (16:1-3) and put to work at the tedious task of grinding out corn.»8 Samson’s life, which promised so much, taking into consideration the special abilities God gave him, was blighted and ultimately destroyed by his sensual passions and lack of true separation to the Lord.

Athaliah

The last of the four leaders to be discussed is Attaliah, the mother of Azariah. As already been pointed out, she ruled Israel for six years. Eugene M. Merrill described how she came to leadership in the following quote: «The empty throne of Judah was left by default to Attaliah, Azariah’s wicked Israelite mother.»9 The Biblical record in 2Chronicles 22 shows that she puts to death all those she can find who had right to the throne. Therefore describing her as a wicked woman can be justified. However, to be able to accomplish such a goal she must have had good support. The fact that this woman was able to sit on the throne for six years, show that she had leadership abilities. This is however not to justify the way she used her abilities.

On the seventh year of her reign, the biblical records show that she was overthrown and killed by the very people she was ruling. In just retribution for her blasphemies and murders, she was maneuvered away from God’s house which her sons had ransacked (2Chronicles 24:7) and was slain near the palace.10 This shows that the people she was ruling never accepted her leadership. She had managed to use force and her position as queen mother to stay in power.

Basic characteristics of the leaders and their leaderships

Having briefly reflected on the four leaders and their leadership, it will now be appropriate to discuss the basic characteristics of their leadership. This will be done under three sub-headings:

a) The leader as a person;

b) His or her leadership;

c) The followers.

This is because leadership involves a relationship between these three elements.

a. The Leaders

According to Bob Gordon and David Fardouly, many people fail in leadership because they did not receive a divine call to leadership. A call from God comes with an inner recognition that the individual will be equipped for the task. They said without God, no one would be sufficiently equipped to accomplish any task in God’s kingdom. The individual will only be operating in his or her own strength.11 It is worth noting that two of the leaders being discussed received divine call, but they also failed. Was it because they operated in their own strength? Gordon and Fardouly’s point is that one of the reasons why leaders fail is because they operate in their own strength, which in some cases, may be an indication that they have not been called. In other cases, they may have been called but have turned away from God’s authority and support. Therefore, from what Gordon and Fardouly have said, one of the characteristics of bad leadership is seen in the conduct or character of the leaders who do not recognize their inadequacy and try to do everything by their own strength.

b. Their leadership

In discussing the leadership of the four leaders, two main things have been given primary importance. These are their vision and leadership styles. As John Haggai rightly observed, «a vision has a direct bearing on his leadership style.12 As a starting point, one could ask, what were the4 visions of these leaders? What was Saul’s vision for Israel? Or did Saul really have a vision for Israel? A close examination of the observation of John Maxwell will help one determine whether Saul really have a vision. Maxwell observed that after he tasted success in battle, he mistook his position as king for real leadership. Though he had the title, power and crown of a king, he never moved the monarchy beyond a chairman-based judgeship. He was made a general but he never attracted a large standing army. He created no organized government to preserve his gains. And when God no longer favoured him he though the title of king entitled him to continue leading.13 From these observations one could rightly say that Saul had no vision that he pursued on behalf of Israel. As a result, his style of leadership was mainly seen in his response to Israel’s enemies. During those occasions he demonstrated more of o dictatorial or authoritative kind of leadership.

King Rehoboam on the other hand considered to have achieved his goal when he sat on the throne. One can deduce from his reply to the Israelites who appealed to him to reduce the burden of king Solomon placed on them, that he had no proper vision for the people. It was clear from his reply that his vision was for the people to serve him and make him comfortable. Also, the caliber of the counselors he chose supported the fact that he had no vision for Israel. His vision might have been to sit on the throne until he retires or dies. As a result of his lack of vision, his style of leadership was more of an authoritarian or dictatorial one.

Samson was no different from Rehoboam. According to Joyce Peel, Samson was lustful, self-willed and irresponsible.14 Samson was never seen in any constructive leadership role in Israel. His attacks on Israel’s enemies were purely based on personal revenge. He was however supposed to subdue the nation’s enemies because of their suppression of the nation. The life he lived showed that he had no clear vision for the nation. So his style of leadership was more of an authoritarian or dictatorial one.

Like the others, queen Athaliah did not have a vision for Israel. She came to power in a palace coup and her only goal was to stay in power. The only way she was able to do that was by exercising a dictatorial style of leadership. Leaders like Athaliah demand total obedience from their subjects.

c. Their followers

Some of the Characteristics of bad leadership can be identified with the followers. One must take into consideration Anthony D’souza’s statement that leadership involves an inter-relationship between three elements:

a) The quality skills and needs of the leader

b) The needs and expectations of the group

c) The demands or requirements of the situation.15

On several occasion Saul’s men abandoned him in battle. On other occasions he forced them to do what he wanted. For instance, when he declared a fast until Israel completed the pursuit of their enemies. This caused the soldiers to sin in the end, by eating meat with blood or in other words, meat that was eaten raw and not cooked.

In the case of Rehoboam, the greater number of Israelites rejected his leadership and revolted against him. Samson’s situation was even worse. His followers were willing to hand him over to their enemies. They saw him as the cause of their problems. Athaliah’s followers revolted against her and killed her. None of these leaders chose their successor. In fact with the exception of Rehoboam they all died gruesome deaths. Rehoboam escaped such death, by buying peace from Shishak who was planning to invade Jerusalem. Rehoboam bought peace by giving him the treasures in the temple in Jerusalem.

Conclusion

In the introduction the following question was posed: ‘Is it because someone failed that his/her leadership should be characterized as bad?’ In attempting to answer this question, which forms the thesis of this chapter, the leadership of four leaders in the Bible has been examined. These leaders – Saul, Rehoboam, Samson and Athaliah, were selected because their leadership had been characterized as bad. The goal of the evaluation was to identity the main characteristics of their leadership in order to determine what was common to all and then compare these characteristics with those of good leadership.

END NOTES

1Joyce Peel, A Journey Trough the Old Testament: The Story of God’s Relationship with Man, Woman and the World (Oxford: The Bible Reading Fellowship, 1993), p. 66.

2Ted W. Engstrom, The Making of a Christian Leader: How to Dvelop Management and Human Relations Skills (Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1976), p. 30.

3Ibid, p. 30.

4William J. Dumbrell, The Faith of Israel: It’s Expression in the Book of the Old Testament (Leicester: Inter-Varsity Press, 1992), p. 80.

5William J. Dumbrell, The Faith of Israel: It’s Expression in the Book of the Old Testament (Leicester: Inter-Varsity Press, 1992), p. 87.

6Joyce Peel, A Journey Trough the Old Testament: The Story of God’s Relationship with Man, Woman and the World (Oxford: The Bible Reading Fellowship, 1993), p. 66.

7Joyce Peel, A Journey Trough the Old Testament: The Story of God’s Relationship with Man, Woman and the World (Oxford: The Bible Reading Fellowship, 1993), p. 62.

8Author E. Cundell, Judges and Ruth: Tyndele Old Testament Commentaries (Illinois: Inter-varsity Press, 1968), p. 179.

9Eugene H. Merrill, 2 Chronicles: The Bible Knowledge Commentary (Colorado: Chariot Victor Publishing, 1985), p. 636.

10John J. Davis and John C. Whitcomb, Israel: A Commentary on Joshua – 2 Kings (Michigan: Baker Book House, 1970), p. 438.

11Bob Gordon and David Fardouly, Master Builder: Developing Life and Leadership in the Body of Christ (Kent: Sovereign World, 1990), p. 6.

12John Haggai, Lead On! Leadership that Endures in a Changing World (Dallas: Word Publishing, 1986), p. 16.

13John Maxwell, The 21 Most Powerful Minutes in a Leaders Day in a Leader’s Day: Revitalize Your Spirit and Empower Your Leadership, (Nashville Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2000), p. 4.

14Joyce Peel, A Journey Through The Old Testament: A Story Of God’s Relationship With Man. Woman and The World (Oxford): The Bible Reading Fellowship, 1993), p. 62.

15Anthony D’souza, Being A Leader (Achimota: African Christian Press, 1990)

p. 811.

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British Local Radio Has Been Far Behind That in America

In America local radio is often broadcast to very small communities, sometimes the smaller the better. In the UK this is not the case and the areas covered tend to be much larger. I got to wondering why the Britain never really developed in the same way.

First of all though, wireless in the UK did indeed start out in the early 1920s as local radio with the first areas being Newcastle, Manchester and Birmingham. Lots of cities opened up stations but in a fairly short time they were closed and the BBC was set up as a national broadcasting station broadcasting from London.

In the 1960s Frank Gillard, who had been a well known war correspondent, started a movement to get local radio back onto the airwaves in the UK. He had been to the USA and was impressed with some of the ideas that he had seen there although his vision was more to provide a topical local news and sport variety rather than the music stations which were profligate there.

Around the same time, partly because of the technological advances which allowed for a larger range of frequencies to be available, there were a number of pirate radio stations operating from ships off the shores of the UK. These were more local by their very nature but the BBC did see them as a major threat. Although there was a great deal of reluctance from the BBC hierarchy, BBC local radio started with Radio Leicester on November 8th 1967.

It was not a full on station and only broadcast for a few hours each day. Very early on there were floods in the city centre and the local radio station provided a tremendous service in keeping the local inhabitants up to date with what was happening.

The British Broadcasting Corporation by its very name is a broadcaster and it has always stuck with the values of providing a broad range of subjects to its listeners. Over the last few years a number if independent local radio (ILR) stations have sprung up. They have gone much more down the narrowcasting route.

They tend to provide a more specific range of programs for their audience. This may be in the area of sport, music, politics or whatever.

Very soon the number of stations will increase dramatically. Digital radio has provided the opportunity of many more stations. I am sure that the future will see many stations in each big city and a number covering smaller rural areas throughout the UK. Perhaps each soccer team will have its local station, each orchestra likewise. In this way Britain will be closing the gap up with America.

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A Very British Summer at the Andaz Hotel London

International travel can often leave you feeling a bit disoriented, especially if you are on the move a lot. Hotel decors and restaurants begin to merge into each other until you can become unsure of which city you’re actually in.

Not so at the Andaz Hotel near Liverpool Street. The hotel has sought to bring more character and a sense of location to their guests’ stay. The hotel’s innovative programme of events and parties – including book readings, live performances, restaurant entertainment and more – ensure that you will never get bored.

Last summer for example, they even commissioned a specially-designed «Summer Garden» – a sheltered area which was home to realistic indoor grass, plants and summer flowers, making it a unique space for holding lively events.

The same space was even previously used as an indoor beach – a bold demonstration of the Andaz Hotel’s desire to provide its guests with a memorable experience which is quintessentially British. Past events held there include a singles party, jumble sales, sporting events and club socials.

In this and other unique features, the hotel has proved that modern accommodation with stylish contemporary decor and luxury amenities needn’t be cold or sterile. The Andaz has also sought to introduce a touch of the «real London» – particularly around its East End locality. The hotel staff actively encourager locals to visit its diverse array of five restaurants and bars, bringing a real and unique sense of community to the hotel.

The Andaz is ideal for international business travellers, since its location next to Liverpool Street Station provides convenient transport links between Stansted Airport and King’s Cross’ Eurostar Terminal. It also has good access to London’s financial district.

Many guest reviews are impressed by the hotel’s interesting approach towards use of its public spaces and it has earned a place within the TripAdvisor top 100 London hotels. The Andaz Hotel is certainly a vibrant and fun place to stay with plenty of personality – a world apart from staid chain hotels.

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Time to Do It – Now!

There can be many frustrations in business and more especially in management.

Lots of us, in these roles, get irritated by the smallest things – often these things seem to be about others and, in truth, are just about ourselves.

Getting honest about this is one of the biggest challenges we have.

Sometimes, it’s vital to cast all our doubts and fears to one side and get on with it.

The more polite shortening of this is ‘JDI’ – otherwise known as ‘Just Do It’.

In this little article, we’ll explore more about JDI and how this weekend, it made a magnificent difference to a small town on the Scottish/English borders.

Manager Rowan Alexander says he never wants to leave Gretna.

In four years, this little Scottish football team have moved from the incredibly unknown non-professional league called the Unibond League, to the Scottish First Division (next season) and as of this weekend, their 3-0 win over Dundee led them to the Scottish Cup Final.

Never before has a team from the Scottish Second Division got there. And they are not expecting to stop progressing till they achieve Premier League status, hopefully sometime in 2007.

Already, due to their win and that of Hearts in the second semi-final on Sunday, Gretna are assured of European football next season (as long as Hearts stay 2nd in the Scottish Premier League!)

When asked how they had achieved this, Alexander, manager since those heady days back in the Unibond, says,

«We don’t talk about things here, we do it. Nothing negative, everything is positive.»

If ever there was a time when a state of expectations, meeting with application and wonderfully supportive, encouraging and developmental management came to fruition, then surely Gretna is it.

Sometimes the seemingly ‘unachievable’ is so very achievable. We just get in our own way, prevaricating with reason after reason why we shouldn’t, can’t or mustn’t.

We fear possible outcomes which might not achieve our goals – blindly forgetting that if we don’t try, we are certain of failure.

I once worked with a client who told me that he prevaricated because at least if he didn’t try, he wouldn’t fail and the hope and dream he had would still be there.

It had taken years of practice to reach this state of inertia – it took but a few coaching sessions to encourage him that using a JDI approach would not be life-threatening.

This week you have the opportunity to move on those things you have been putting off, for whatever reason.

Let’s call it an amnesty.

Give yourself permission for slipping out of your comfort zone and into action. It might not be as chilling an experience as you may think.

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Coimbatore – The Manchester of Tamil Nadu

Coimbatore is one of the most industrialized cities of Tamil Nadu. It is famous for its motor pump sets and textile mills. There are many popular textile mills located here and so it is often called Manchester of Tamil Nadu. People come to Coimbatore for educational purposes, business purposes and medical treatments. There are many world class hospitals located here with all modern facilities. All these things give Coimbatore a cosmopolitan outlook. But still the people of this city are very simple and traditional with down to earth personalities.

People flock to Coimbatore for job purposes also. The information technology industry is one of the fastest growing industries here next to Chennai in Tamil Nadu state. Though Tamil is the mother tongue of the people living here, all the educated people speak English also. So this could be said more as a place of industrial importance than that of tourism.

The six major arterial roads and three national highways make reaching Coimbatore through road an easy affair. There is an airport here located at Neelambur that is about seven kilometers from the city and it is connected with many Indian cities such as Chennai, Hyderabad, New Delhi and Mumbai. The Coimbatore railway junction is one of the most important stations of Tamil Nadu and is connected by trains from all major railway stations of India.

Though people visit here mostly for business purposes, it is undeniable fact that there are some nearby attractions also that attract tourists from other parts of India. There are numerous holy places in and around the city that brings people of spiritual interest to here. Some of the famous temples located here are Lord Ganesha Temple at Puliakulam where there is Asia’s biggest statue of Lord Ganesha, Velliengiri Hills, Eachanaari Vinayaga Temple, Anjeneyar Kovil, Dhyanalinga Yogic Temple, etc. G. D. Naidu Museum and 100 year old Athar Jamad Masjid are other attractions.

There are many theme parks located in close proximity to Coimbatore that offer whole day fun such as Kovai Kondattam, Maharaja Water Theme Park and Black Thunder. Kovai Kondattam is located on the way to Siruvani Dam, Mahajara Water Theme Park is situated near Neelambur in Avinashi Road and Black Thunder is located near Metupalayam in the foothills of Nilgiri Mountains. To enjoy all these things and to know more about them you need to refer to a good Coimbatore travel guide.

When you visit Coimbatore, do not forget to taste the sweet tasting Siruvani water and enjoy the South Indian thali at the famous Coimbatore restaurants. Annapoorna vegetarian restaurant has its branches all over the city and is known for its great tastes. Similarly you can dine at Anjappar, Sampoorna, Aaryaas and Thalappas restaurants.

You have wide choice of good hotels to stay in Coimbatore. If your choice is budget hotels then you can find many of them near railway station, bus stand and Ukkadam. They are very affordable and will give you good value for your money. If you are looking for the right choice of Coimbatore restaurants and Coimbatore hotels then you have to refer a good Coimbatore travel guide.

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No Man Is An Island, Including Darrelle Revis

When Darrelle Revis first pulled his green and white, #24 jersey over his shoulders to suit up for the New York Jets in 2007, he had no idea what he was in for. A four win season was far from what the talented cornerback had experienced to date in his career. On the other side of the coin, his highly touted defensive abilities, and accommodating confident swagger were expected to garner more than three inceptions from his defensive back position. His stats were promising for a rookie, but the fanfare of his arrival left everyone wondering until the following season. Life in the NFL swings like a pendulum, and Darrelle had only seen the beginning of what this tremendously demanding landscape was capable of.

Darrelle Shavar Revis was born and raised in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, which seemed to be a veritable carving ground for sports’ standouts including NFL players Mike Ditka, Tony Dorsett, and Ty Law. Not to mention it being the hometown of NBA Hall of Famer Pete Maravich. Clearly there was something in the water, and Revis was lapping it up. As a high school football star, he received the honor of High School Player of the Year in 2003, as annually named by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He helped lead his team to a championship win by putting five touchdowns on the board alone: Three rushing, one returned punt and by returning a blocked field goal attempt. His football prowess did not go unnoticed, as it was hard to overlook the kid who had more interceptions than anyone else in any other high school — in the country.

In 2004, the amazing recruit didn’t stray too far from home, and began attending the University of Pittsburgh where the accolades would keep on coming. Darrelle Revis was named a first-team All-American as a freshman. His stats would tell the story of a kid who was turning into a man before the eyes of NFL scouts everywhere: 49 tackles, team-tying 12 broken up passes, second in defended passes at 14, and two interceptions. His sophomore year showed that the previous season was not a fluke, earning him first-team All-Big East honors. Only staying through his junior season at Pitt, his final year allowed the awards to pile up. He was a candidate for the Jim Thorpe Award and the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, while celebrating twice in the end zone that year as the result of interceptions. He was also granted the media frenzy of having the 2006 ESPN College Football Play of the Year, where he returned a punt 79 yards in a scoring effort, while breaking tackles at every turn.

In the 2007 NFL Draft, Darrelle Revis was taken as the 14th overall pick by the New York Jets. In his debut he played in all 16 games, as the playoffs were not in the offering that year, and recorded 87 tackles, one sack, three interceptions and a forced fumble. Not bad for a rookie, but not the game changing statistics Jets’ fans longed for, although they remain very hard to please.

In 2008 the New York Jets would finally get a glimpse of the guy they dreamed about, and found Darrelle to meet their demands like a champion! With all 16 games under his belt for the second consecutive year, Revis recorded 45 tackles, in addition to 13 assists, one sack, five interceptions and one forced fumble.

2009 led to flat out hysteria at the cornerback position, with Darrelle referring to his area of the field as «Revis Island» meaning no one could catch a ball where he stood. He was elected to the 2009 Pro Bowl as a result of his stellar performance that year, amassing a jaw-dropping seven interceptions, with one returned for a touchdown. He also had 47 tackles, and seven assists. The New York Jets made the playoffs as a Wildcard team, and continued to win until they reached the AFC Championship game, where they were ousted by the Indianapolis Colts.

The 2010 season bred resentment from the fans in the direction of their highly touted All-Pro cornerback. Darrelle Revis decided to hold out of training camp, and missed all four of the team’s preseason games while trolling for a newer, higher paying contract. He finally received his restructured deal for $32 million guaranteed, and he returned to the team one week before the regular season was to begin. He missed half of week two’s game, and all of weeks three and four with an inflamed hamstring, and didn’t record a single interception in the 13 games he played in. The Jets made it to the AFC Championship game again that year, despite his drop in numbers, and lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

2011 gave way to a few interceptions from Revis that were eye-catching and creatively concocted, allowing him to go down in the record books as having the longest interception returned for a touchdown in a single game at 100 yards. He finished the year with 52 tackles and four interceptions, on his way to a second Pro Bowl appearance. The 2012 season delivered a grim reminder that no man is an island, but they are all human. In October, Darrelle Revis was placed on injured reserve with a torn ACL. With any luck, and without another contract dispute, the Jets will have him back in 2013. Only time will tell, as the team appears to be in shambles while it waits its final destiny of this unmentionable awful season.

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Dating Tips – How To Be Fascinating And Adorable

Do you know you likely have a lot of unique and peculiar things about you? Perhaps you like to dress in a certain way or wear your hair in a particular manner. Anything like this can help you to be attracted to that special person. Uniqueness attracts attention and once that happens, the dating can begin.

Sometimes, you need to convey your feelings to that person you are interested in. Many people make the mistake of shying away when they see someone they find attractive. Now, if you see someone that you find attractive, don’t turn away and pretend as if you never noticed them. Try smiling and give compliments. Like ‘Hi, I like the colour of your dress or your ties’ or ‘I like the make of your shoes, this is splendid’ or ‘your hairdo is just cute’. The fact is, if this person doesn’t know you like them, then you could lose the opportunity of even being an acquaintance.

More so, try showing your interest in them by acting interested in what they say in the course of your conversation. You don’t have to unnecessarily dominate a conversation. Hear the other person out most times. This could be a plus for you.

Finally, find something unique about yourself and show it off. It could be your choice of football team, or choice of clothes. This will attract those with similar interests and tastes to you. Don’t pretend about you are an Arsenal fan, when you are a Manchester United Fan. And if you are jeans person, putting on traditional outfits may look awkward on you.

Dating can be quite fun and not as difficult as many think. The key to attracting people is using your uniqueness to your advantage. Get yourself noticed with your interests and soon you will find people coming to you. And also, be interested in others and you will soon find many lovely and interesting people to date and get acquainted to better.

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