strategy

first_img Previous Article Next Article strategyOn 8 Apr 2003 in Personnel Today A local government HR department has been singled out for particular praisefor its role in transforming a failing council in the north of England. The Government’s Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA) programme citedDoncaster Council’s HR strategy as key to it improving to gain a ‘fair’ rating.It has been identified as one of the fastest improving councils in thecountry, after a history of poor services and corruption. From 1997 to 2001, the council hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons.Councillors were jailed after an expenses fraud scandal, while other staff wereaccused of junketing at the taxpayers’ expense, and a planning official wassent to prison after accepting benefits from a local businessman. Mandy Coalter, head of HR at the council, which employs 14,500 staff, saidthe people management strategy was fundamental to the turnaround, and serviceshave improved dramatically. The HR strategy was built directly into the council’s overall strategy, andCPA inspectors found that all the staff they spoke to could identify theborough’s transformational goals. These included increasing employment in theborough and tackling deprivation. There has been a drive towards better training and improving the employerbrand to make the council more attractive to potential employees and moreefficient in delivering services. “The strategy breaks down into very specific targets and everything wedo in HR is aimed at delivering them,” Coalter added. “We’vemodernised Doncaster by focusing on improving skills.” HR introduced regular staff meetings and managerial briefings every sixweeks. It also insisted the chief executive was present at every induction in abid to get the whole workforce moving towards common goals. Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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International Festival Week celebrates culture

first_imgNotre Dame students don’t need to use their passports to experience foreign cultures this week, as they can soak in global traditions and customs during International Festival Week. McKenna Pencak, assistant director for education and outreach for International Student Services and Activities (ISSA), said the Festival features a variety of cultures from around the world. The events began last Saturday and continues through this Sunday. “Basically it’s just a week to celebrate international students and the international student community, as well as the entire Notre Dame community and everyone that has different backgrounds and cultural heritages,” she said. Pencak said International Festival Week began as a cultural celebration and performance and is now a celebration of the University’s international community. “We have over 900 international students from about 90 countries, and this is a week to celebrate a variety of cultural heritages as well as our multicultural students,” she said. “Also, it’s great because it’s not only ISSA, it’s a collaboration with other departments and organizations on campus. We work to make sure everyone is included and that as many countries and cultures are represented as possible.” The week’s primary event, the International Festival, has been held for over 40 years and originally was the event’s only activity, Pencak said. The Festival, which will be held today from 6 to 8 p.m. in the LaFortune Student Center Ballroom, will feature performances from students and campus cultural organizations, as well as international desserts. Pencak said the performances will include a Bollywood dance, a Chinese song and a Japanese tea ceremony. There also will be activity tables and a question and answer session. The Week also features an International Children’s Festival, Pencak said. “That is basically a children’s version of the International Festival, and it’s free, and we work with University Village, the married student housing,” she said. “We’re going to be doing international arts and crafts.” Fischer O’Hara Grace Graduate Residences are usually active in International Festival Week because of the University’s high number of international graduate students, Pencak said. “They are hosting a great event with [associate professor of painting and drawing] Fr. Martin Nguyen on Friday,” she said. “There’s going to be dinner and dessert and then everyone’s going to go to Holy Cross annex to tour Fr. Martin Nguyen’s [art] studio.” Pencak said overall student participation for the International Festival Week is typically high. “It’s really fun because it’s a way for international and national students to get together and celebrate different cultures and celebrate where they’re from,” she said. “It’s really neat to see everyone participating and talking about his or her home countries and cultures and cultural heritages.”last_img read more

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MLB experiments with Atlantic League include 3-batter minimum, elimination of shifts

first_img Tom Seaver’s plight sparks fan petition for statue at Citi Field Related News “The first group of experimental changes is designed to create more balls in play, defensive action, baserunning, and improve player safety,” Morgan Sword, MLB’s senior vice president, league economics and operations said in a press release. “We look forward to seeing them in action in the Atlantic League.”The changes are part of a three-year agreement between MLB and the Atlantic League that will also cover the transfer of players from ALPB to MLB and enhances scouting coverage of the league’s games.The Atlantic League is an independent baseball organization with teams located primarily in the mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States. MLB is using the Atlantic League as a testing ground this year for the future of the game.Some far-reaching experiments will be conducted in the league, starting with how umpires will call balls and strikes. Here is a list of the changes MLB will be experimenting with in the Atlantic League beginning in 2019:Home plate umpire assisted in calling balls and strikes by TrackMan radar tracking system.No mound visits permitted by players or coaches other than for pitching changes or medical issues.Pitchers must face a minimum of three batters, or reach the end of an inning before they exit the game, unless the pitcher becomes injured.Increase size of first, second and third base from 15 inches square to 18 inches squareRequire two infielders to be on each side of second base when a pitch is released (if not, the ball is dead and the umpire shall call a ball)Time between innings and pitching changes reduced from 2:05 to 1:45Distance between pitching rubber to home plate extended 24 inches, in the second half of the season only; with no change to mound height or slope.MLB will take what it learns from the experiments and consider applying changes to higher levels, including MLB.last_img read more

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Man City snap Liverpool winning streak to reignite title race

first_imgSane threatened first with a pacey burst down the left and rising drive that Alisson Becker parried.But City recycled possession and Aguero beat Dejan Lovren to Bernardo Silva’s cross before firing into the roof of the net to score for the seventh time in seven home league games against Liverpool.Despite a combination of nerves and fatigue at the end of a gruelling festive period, the game truly came to life in a pulsating second-half.City had claims for a penalty waived away when Raheem Sterling tumbled under a challenge from Andy Robertson before the Scot was to play a vital part Liverpool’s equaliser.One Liverpool full-back picked out another as Trent Alexander-Arnold’s cross was met perfectly by Robertson to square for Firmino to head into an empty net.Pep Guardiola had his head in his hands when a slack pass from Sane set Liverpool free on the counter-attack moments later, but within seconds the German showed what he is capable of as he latched on Sterling’s pass before firing in off the far post.Alisson demonstrated why Liverpool spent a then world record £67 million for a goalkeeper in July to bolster their title chances with a brilliant save from Aguero as the Argentine tried to round him at the end of a blistering City counter-attack.Seconds later it was the turn of his understudy in the Brazil side to make a huge save as Ederson denied Salah as tempers flared with Guardiola furious a free-kick wasn’t awarded City’s way before the Egyptian broke clear.Sterling then wasted a great chance to ensure City didn’t have to see out a tense five minutes of stoppage time, but the hosts held out to put the title back up for grabs.Share on: WhatsApp Manchester, United Kingdom | AFP | Manchester City inflicted Liverpool’s first Premier League defeat of the season to breathe new life into their title defence with a 2-1 victory at the Etihad on Thursday.City now trail Jurgen Klopp’s men by just four points thanks to Leroy Sane’s winner 18 minutes from time after Roberto Firmino had cancelled out Sergio Aguero’s first-half opener for the hosts.A run of nine straight league wins had given Liverpool a commanding lead at the top of the table as they edged towards a first top flight title since 1989/90, particularly after City suffered back-to-back shock defeats to Crystal Palace and Leicester to begin the festive season.With no more league meetings between the sides to come, Liverpool’s destiny is still in their own hands, but they will now have the pressure of having a City side that romped to the title with a record 100 points last season on their tails.Jurgen Klopp had predicted a “thunderstorm” of a start from the champions to match the Champions League quarter-final second leg between the sides last season when City roared into an early lead before Liverpool fought back to win 2-1 on the night and 5-1 on aggregate.However, despite City’s dominance of possession, it was Liverpool who looked the more assured in the early stages.And only the finest of margins denied the visitors the lead on 19 minutes when Sadio Mane burst onto Mohamed Salah’s pass and saw his shot come back off the inside of the post.John Stones then smacked his panicked clearance into City goalkeeper Ederson but the England international redeemed himself by clearing just before all of the ball had crossed the line.City were also handed a reprieve by referee Anthony Taylor when captain Vincent Kompany only saw a yellow card for a wild two-footed lunge on Salah.At the other end Virgil van Dijk was again justifying his tag as the world’s most expensive defender to keep City’s array of attacking talent quiet with he Dutchman standing tall to block David Silva’s effort.However, a Liverpool defence that had not conceded twice in the same game all season in the league before kick-off was breached when City managed to free Aguero from Van Dijk’s shackles.last_img read more

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Federer eyes 100th Wimbledon win and Nadal showdown

first_img“I’m a big fan of his game,” said Federer of the Japanese star, who is into his second successive quarter-final at Wimbledon.“I think he’s got one of the best backhands in the game. He’s a great return player. Solid mentally. I always thought he was a great talent.”Nadal, playing in his seventh Wimbledon quarter-final, faces Querrey backed up by a 4-1 record over the 65th-ranked American.Querrey made the semi-finals in 2017, beating then world number one Andy Murray in the last-eight before falling to Marin Cilic.The American has pounded down 100 aces so far at the tournament, dropped serve just once and accounted for fifth seed Dominic Thiem in the first round.“When he plays well, he can be very, very dangerous on all surfaces,” said Nadal, whose recent 12th French Open title took him to 18 majors, just two back from Federer’s record.Top seed Djokovic has a 5-1 record over his quarter-final opponent David Goffin who, at 28, is the youngest man left.Belgian 21st seed Goffin beat Djokovic the last time they met in 2017 but that was on the clay of Monte Carlo.Goffin is playing in his first All England Club quarter-final but was runner-up to Federer on the grass of Halle on the eve of Wimbledon.“He’s one of the quickest players on the tour. I think his footwork is probably his biggest asset,” said Djokovic ahead of his 11th Wimbledon quarter-final and 45th at the Slams.Wednesday’s other quarter-final pits Argentine 26th seed Guido Pella, who had never previously got into the second week of a Slam, against Spanish 23rd seed Roberto Bautista Agut.Whereas 29-year-old Pella is in unchartered territory, Bautista Agut is in his second Slam quarter-final of the season having also gone to the last eight at the Australian Open.Share on: WhatsApp Rafael Nadal. photo via @WimbledonLondon, United Kingdom | AFP | Roger Federer can rack up his 100th win at Wimbledon on Wednesday and set-up a blockbuster semi-final against Rafael Nadal.In a quarter-final line-up which features five players over 30, there is a growing anticipation of a potential 40th career match-up between the sport’s two most successful players.If it does happen, it will be their first at the All England Club since 2008 when Nadal triumphed in what is widely regarded as the greatest final ever played at the tournament.However, before they reach that stage, eight-time champion Federer has to get past Kei Nishikori while Nadal, a two-time winner, tackles big-hitting Sam Querrey.Whoever battles through that side of the draw is likely to find defending champion and four-time winner Novak Djokovic waiting in the final.At 37, Federer is the oldest quarter-finalist since Jimmy Connors in 1991.He reached his 17th quarter-final at the All England Club — and 55th at the majors — with a 74-minute demolition of Italy’s Matteo Berrettini, dropping just five games.Between them, Federer, Nadal and Djokovic lost only 19 games in their fourth-round ties and faced just one break point.“I think the best guys now are fully engaged, they know exactly what to expect from the court and the conditions,” said second seed Federer.– ‘Nishikori great talent’ –“That helps us to play better. I think with experience, that’s good. We haven’t dropped much energy in any way.”Federer will take a 7-3 record over seventh-seeded Nishikori into his quarter-final.Nishikori defeated the great Swiss in the ATP Finals last year, ending a drought which had stretched to almost five years.last_img read more

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A Stalemate of Standards: What H.264 Means for the Average User

first_imgRelated Posts Tags:#Google#NYT#web 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Yesterday, Google announced that future versions of its Chrome browser would not support what has become an industry standard – the H.264 video codec – in providing video on the Web. The move leaves Internet Explorer 9 and Safari as the only browsers supporting the technology, which Google says is not “completely open”. While this might sound like a lot of high tech politics (and it very well may be), some suggest that it comes down to the bottom line. In the end, the move may affect the average Web user, leaving them with poor performance and no universal standards for playing video on the Web.Manypeople were quick to point out yesterday that Google’s ideological distinction between WebM and H.264 as open and closed seemed to be contradicted by its continued acceptance (and embedding) of Adobe Flash in Chrome. “Back to the Dark Ages”Justin Day, co-founder and CTO of online video network blip.tv, says that the move goes backwards, instead of forwards. “I think from our standpoint this looks like a regression. We’re all for open formats, but they should be chosen based on their merits, not merely their license,” said Day. “This move means that Chrome users will suffer from a worse user experience because they will need to rely on Flash fallback.”Michael Critz, freelance interactive and motion graphic designer, agreed that the move was a regression for the average user. “Before H.264 arrived digital video was a disaster. MOV, WMV, Real Video, AVI… it was a nightmare meeting the expectations of different users,” said Critz. “With H.264 there was a brief period I was finally able to communicate with users, clients and producers clearly. I could say, ‘I’ll get you an MP4 file.’ Everyone knew with confidence that they could watch our video. Now Google wants to send us back to the dark ages.”WebM vs. H.264According to Day there is no competition between WebM and H.264 on the content producer end of the equation. H.264 wins.“The fact is that the open source encoders we use make higher quality video at a lower cost using H.264. Unless WebM can outperform H.264, it doesn’t make sense for us to support it,” said Day. Critz boiled it down in a similar way.“There isn’t a desktop WebM conversion tool that worth a pile of beans to what’s available now for H.264,” he explained. “I’m often traveling for video shoots. If I’m on a shoot in Miami and working all day then I get back to my hotel room I know I can depend on my Turbo.264 encoder to give me hardware accelerated H.264 encoding that I can use online, in Flash, on my producers’ iPad, and on my clients’ iPhones and Blackberry phones.”A Standoff Leaves Users in the MiddleDay said that blip.tv will continue to use H.264 and users whose browsers do not support it will fall back on Flash. Those with H.264 compatible browsers “may notice that their playback experience is improved and that their system is not as sluggish while playing Web video.”In situations like this, it can be all about the money, and CNET’s Jason Perlow says that’s the bottom line for Google. At the same time, Day says that’s the bottom line for them, too. Letting Flash take up the slack is much easier, and cheaper, than encoding video with both WebM and H.264. If Google really is looking to push developers to supporting its WebM codec instead, said Day, extending the move to Android and Google TV “would force our hand.”But what is the solution to all of this? Universal support, says Day.“In an ideal world, none of this would be browser specific at all,” he said. “The video tag should support any codecs the user has installed on their system.”In the end, what we have is a stalemate, with users potentially losing out. Developers, content providers and creators may continue to use what they call a superior product in H.264, while Google, Mozilla and others refuse to support it, meaning that users end up falling back on Flash and getting a more “sluggish” performance than they otherwise might with hardware-accelerated H.264. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostingcenter_img A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… mike melanson Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…last_img read more

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HTML5 Does Have A Mobile Future: Mozilla’s Chris Heilmann Goes Mythbusting

first_img2012 may well be remembered as the year when application developers turned against HTML5. Which will be ironic, as HTML5 has evolved more in 2012 than in any other year since it became a reality. But with companies like Facebook dropping HTML5 in favor of native mobile apps, the hype cycle around the standard has turned. Some developers have become disappointed and disillusioned with HTML5. They have come to believe the myths that HTML5 may be, ultimately, untenable.Chris Heilmann, principle developer evangelist at Mozilla, aims to bust some of the negative myths that have cropped up around HTML5. In a recent blog post, Heilmann gives an impassioned and pragmatic breakdown of the so-called myths surrounding HTML5. He touches on contentious issues of performance, monetization, developer tools and debugging, offline use and capabilities. For the most part, Heilmann’s argument is not wrong. His crux is that HTML5 is of the Web and for the Web – and that the Web is everywhere. He leans heavily on the “write once, run everywhere” principle and the problems of “native” apps that are optimized to perform and monetize through a closed application-store model. The HTML5 vs. Native app argument isn’t new of course, but Heilmann effectively counters many of today’s most popular misconceptions around HTML5 – discoverability, user experience, performance and monetary viability for developers.This isn’t an academic argument. In the long run, the emergence and evolution of HTML5 affects where mobile users get their mobile apps and the perception of how they perform. For the most part, users do not care how their apps were built, as long as they work. But how developers view these choices can change the course of how apps are made, where consumers find them and the tools that app creators choose to use for building for mobile devices. MonetizationPundits like to say that HTML5 app developers are not able to monetize their apps. Heilmann, correctly, disproves this as a general theory. “Saying that HTML5 has no monetization model is like saying the Web can not be monetized (which is especially ironic when this is written on news sites that show ads),” Heilmann wrote. There is a nasty little secret hidden here that applies to all app developers, mobile or otherwise: Most apps make no money. For every runaway success (Angry Birds et al.) there are probably a thousand apps that languish with few users and/or no hope of making money. Between iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry, there are approximately 1,580,000 (or so) apps – and 80% of them make next to nothing. Only the top 10% considered successful. The Web is a similar landscape. For every Google, there are companies like Microsoft that lose millions every quarter on their online properties. The concept is not that HTML5 cannot be monetized, but rather that it is very difficult to make big money in mobile in general.Performance & CapabilitiesHeilmann contends that HTML5 can perform just as well as native apps, except that closed mobile operating systems do not allow hardware acceleration and integration through the browser to outside apps. This is true – and one reason that Facebook decided to turn away from HTML5.Fundamentally, the concept of “write once, run everywhere” is easy to achieve in HTML5. It is more difficult to achieve, “write once, perform well everywhere.” HTML5 apps for Web and mobile are often targeted towards a specific platform, such as a certain browser. When those apps are not running on that browser, the performance suffers.The problem is not a matter of whether or not the HTML5 app can perform, but rather that of user experience. Facebook’s HTML5-first vision for mobile meant that the core of its app was built around its mobile m.facebook.com site and then “wrapped” for native stores such as iOS and Android. Many users complained that the Facebook mobile application was nearly unusable on some smartphones, especially for Android users on older devices. Mozilla shows off WebAPIs earlier this yearBut the onus for HTML5 performance and capabilities really has little to do with the HTML5 development community (presuming a developer’s code is well done, of course) but rather the individual mobile operating systems. It’s the operating system and platform providers who need to open up hardware integration and acceleration so that HTML5 developers can tune to them. This lack of cooperation between the OS providers and HTML5 is a key reason that Mozilla is creating its own operating system, the Firefox OS (formerly “Boot2Gecko”) which will be completely Web-based and deployed internationally in 2013. As for capabilities, Mozilla is recreating many of the custom features of native apps – such as camera, contacts, calendar etc. – with its WebAPI initiatives, which tie a smartphone browser to hardware features. Mozilla Has An AgendaIt is understandable that Heilmann is intense in his support of HTML5. The capabilities of the technology stack mixed with the obstacles it faces create all the ingredients for an impassioned plea.But Heilmann has an agenda here. Mozilla started in the late 1990s to counteract the Microsoft Internet Explorer monopoly. That battle has now switched to mobile, with HTML5 the primary weapon in Mozilla’s arsenal. So Mozilla has to rally the troops against the closed platforms. The continued existence of Mozilla depends upon an open Web. As the Web goes mobile, the closed nature of operating systems like Apple’s iOS and its App Store threaten Mozilla to its core. The fact is that HTML5 is not for everybody. Some developers will gladly take the advantage of the native approach and its closed ecosystem… and laugh all the way to the bank. Then again, native is not for everybody, especially for media brands or large enterprises that cannot or will not invest in the developer resources to create a native app for every platform. Will Mobile OS Makers Play Along?Heilmann makes a significant point in noting how closely the future of HTML5 is tied to the goodwill of the native operating systems. “The main reason why HTML5 is not the obvious choice for developers now is the above mentioned lockout when it comes to hardware. An iOS device does not allow different browser engines and does not allow HTML5 to access the camera, the address book, vibration, the phone or text messaging. In other words, everything that makes a mobile device interesting for developers and very necessary functionality for Apps,” Heilmann wrote. There is no certainty that the native platforms will move an inch to support pure HTML5 apps (unwrapped for native performance) outside of their own purposes. For Apple specifically, there is little incentive to do so. That’s why it makes sense for companies like Mozilla to take its future into its own hands with projects like Firefox OS. Yet there is no guarantee that Firefox smartphones will sell well – and it is impossible to monetize without attracting eyeballs.When it comes to mobile users, the goal is for none of this to matter. If I want use Firefox OS or HTML5 apps, I need to trust that those apps will work as well as the native versions I am already used to from the closed app store models. Consumers should not even have to know if an app is native or HTML5 Web-based at all. The goal is to trust that any app, no matter how it is made, will work well on your device. With the complex relationship between the mobile operating systems, native app creation and the Web, there is no guarantee of that right now. That has to change. Outside of the specific Mobile Web App vs. Native App argument and the uncertainties it creates, there is a growing place in app development for HTML5 in the near and long term. The biggest problem – user experience – is conquerable. It will just take more cooperation among the various players to achieve.Top image from HexGL racer by Thibaut Despoulain. dan rowinski Tags:#HTML5#Mozilla Related Posts What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech …center_img Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more

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Talking to Military Kids About Money

first_imgThe Personal Finance concentration group of the Military Families Learning Network will present a web conference for personal financial management professionals, as well as other professionals, working with military families on Thursday, Feb. 23 at 2:30 p.m. AFC and CHC-credentialed financial professionals are eligible to receive 1.5 AFCPE CEUs from this 90-minute presentation.Anita McKinney and Dr. Kate Fogarty will present this session on teaching children financial skills.McKinney is a faculty member with the University of Florida IFAS. She teaches basic financial literacy topics for clients of social service agencies, conducts worksite educational programs, trains social service employees to work with clients on money issues and organizes mentors and volunteers for a Master Money Mentors program.Dr. Kate Fogarty works with Florida Extension / 4-H and has a teaching appointment at the University of Florida’s Department of Family, Youth, and Community Sciences. Her experience includes program implementation and evaluation of youth leadership and character education programs.This presentation will help PFMs working with military parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles understand developmentally appropriate ways to create daily conversations about money with their child by:• Modeling good financial habits and attitudes.• Providing opportunities to help children practice financial skills.Selected research articles and online resources have been identified to enhance this web conference for participants. These readings can be found here.Instructions on how to get the credits will be given at the end of the web presentation.Please join the session by clicking here a few minutes before 2:30 p.m. on the 23rd.Author: Molly C. Herndon (+Molly Herndon)last_img read more

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Could You Sell Without the Tools and Trappings

first_imgWhat if you didn’t have access to email as a medium available to you as a sales tool? What if you couldn’t send an email as a way to warm yourself up to make an unexpected phone call to your prospect to ask for an appointment? What if you couldn’t email information to your clients, especially the unwanted emails, the ones where you expect your company and product to do all the value-creating you are supposed to be doing?What if there was no CRM? What if there was no electronic method for storing the information about your dream clients and clients in a way that makes it easy and efficient to communicate with them? Where would you keep your notes? How would you manage your deals (let’s say there is no Excel spreadsheet either)?If LinkedIn disappeared and you could no longer research the contacts inside your dream clients, how would you go about learning something about them? How would you discover what they believe is important enough to share with the world if there was nowhere to share it?As cruel as it might seem, pretend that the entire $999 a month per person worth of sales tools that make up your tech stack disintegrated. No more technological tools to manage your sequence, to find your contact information, to dial your phone, to record and transcribe your call, and to track the clicks on your collateral and your slide decks? How well would you sell without the tool?What if you had no marketing? What if there was no lead generation? What if the word “Inbound” was a way to describe your sales manager tossing a phone book onto your desk? What if those phone numbers were your “leads,” and what if they were as warm as they would ever be without you taking action? How would you create opportunities?How about eliminating demos? What would you do if there was literally no way to demonstrate your product, service, or solution to your prospective client? What if you had to sell something truly intangible? Could you get ink on paper sight unseen?What if you had to sell? What if you were the value proposition? What if you were responsible for creating opportunities without any of these things? Could you do it? What if you had to win deals with a pen, a legal pad, a business card, and your wits?The salesperson who has developed themselves to be able to win without any of these things will be even more effective with the tools. The salesperson who cannot sell with without them will be no better with them.Put the mindset and skill sets before tool kits. Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

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Wimbledon 2011: Painful exit for Sania in first round

first_imgSania Mirza’s form kept changing just like the London weather, sunny to start with and gloomy towards the end as the tired Indian diva lost 6-7, 6-2, 3-6 to Virginie Razzano in the ladies singles first round on Tuesday.As one who has been playing virtually non-stop tennis in the last one year, Sania stepped on Court No. 9 in a spotless white skirt and tee. She looked in great touch to start with, reeling off three games in a row before something wrong happened.”I cannot figure out if something happened with my left hamstring or knee at that stage. After that, I could only serve and return,” said Sania, who played her hearts out before losing.Razzano is the typical battle-hardened pro. Playing for the ninth time at Wimbledon, she was a picture of confidence, though for a short spell in the second set, she was flummoxed by the Indian’s aggression.The Frenchwoman does not have a great serve and she relies more on her height (5 feet and 9 inches) to get a sharp trajectory when she fires the ball. If you look it from a technical point of view, there is no racquet head acceleration. Yet, she is consistent, which helped her in the third set against Sania.For her part, Sania could have served better. However, considering the pain barrier she did well to stand on court and win the second set at a fast clip. The third set, too, was full of ups and downs and the big moment came in the seventh game after Sania was broken after five deuces.advertisement”To be honest, even if I had pulled this win, I would possibly not have been ready for (Caroline) Wozniacki,” said Sania.Sania goes for an ultrasound and MRI scan to check where the problem is. “I have been playing in pain since the French Open. It was 21 days of non- stop tennis from Paris to Birmingham. Such kind of abuse was going to hurt,” Sania told Mail Today.Reflecting on her comeback in tennis after marrying Shoaib Malik last year, Sania said being on the court without a break was taxing. “I played the Commonwealth Games, the Asian Games, WTA Tour events and also the Fed Cup. Add to it singles, doubles and qualifying, it has been a hard grind,” said Sania.However, the Indian superstar is not sure about the immediate future. “If you ask me now how it feels now, it is bad. I haven’t decided on the women’s doubles and mixed doubles,” added Sania.Talking about her opponent, Sania said: “Razzano is a tough player. You cannot go by her ranking now, she has been at the Wimbledon fourth round and she fought well today. She is a very strong player.”Asked to comment on the emotional comeback by Serena Williams, Sania said she could understand how the American felt.”Tennis takes a lot out of you. It’s great to see Serena back as she loves tennis. When you are forced to do something you love doing, it’s painful. So I can understand the emotions Serena felt in her comeback,” added Sania.For more news on India, click here.For more news on Business, click here.For more news on Movies, click here.For more news on Sports, click here.last_img read more

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