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first_imgOrganisers of a unique event which aims to link Falcarragh with Gortahork say they need almost 2,500 volunteers to pull it off.The Chain Of Life event in support of the Relay for Life event on May 26th/27th takes place today at 2pm.Organisers are hoping up to 2,500 volunteers will join hands to form a unique human link between the towns. People are not been asked to pay but a donation is being encouraged on the day no matter how large or small.The event itself is expected to take two hours but the good news is that there is a real family day after the human link effort.As well as the Ester bunny, there will be a family barbeque and much, much more.  ORGANISERS OF CHARITY EVENT HOPING FOR A CHAIN REACTION! was last modified: April 8th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Chain of LifeFalcarraghgortahorklast_img read more

Your Need for Revenue Doesn’t Trump the Buying Cycle

first_imgYou’ve fallen behind on your number. Certain events have transpired against you, and now you are way behind where you need to be. Maybe it was the loss of a major account. Maybe your pipeline evaporated right before your eyes. Maybe you never had the pipeline of opportunities you needed in the first place.It doesn’t matter. Now, the pressure is on. You need to close deals, and you need to close them fast. The good news is that you have prospects that are absolutely going to buy from you. The bad news is that they are early in their process.You need deals now. Something must be done. Management suggests that you push hard to close these deals. But your need for revenue does not trump the buying cycle.The Poor Idea That Is: Always Be ClosingIn a low dollar, low-risk sale, closing early and often is a great idea. It’s effective, and asking for the business increases sales. You can get away with closing early and often, because there isn’t much at risk. The decision-making process is simple.But in larger, more complex sales, closing early and often is a bad idea. It’s ineffective. Here’s why.You have a sales process. Your client has a buying process. When these two processes are aligned, opportunities move smoothly from target to close. When these two processes aren’t in sync, deals don’t move so neatly. You may be ready to move forward, but gaining agreement to move forward requires that your client is also ready. When you push hard before your dream client is ready, trust is lost—and with it, quite possibly, so is your deal.It takes time to explore and understand your dream client’s needs. Your dream client wants to take time to understand their needs and the options available to them. When you blow past discovery, you violate the trust that comes with developing an understanding.It takes time to develop the right solution. Your dream client wants to ensure that the decision they take will produce the results that they need before they decide. If you don’t ensure your solution matches their needs, presenting only gets you to a “no” faster.It takes time to build consensus. Many of the decisions made within your larger dream client accounts require that time is spent with the people who have something at stake in the decision. If you aren’t known and trusted, you make it difficult to say “yes” to your solution.It takes time to negotiate changes. Your deal is going to modified. It’s going to go through risk and legal. It’s going to be scrutinized. All of this takes time.You can’t easily or effectively push past what is necessary to win. This is why it is so critical that you focus your time and energy on creating opportunities. Prospecting opens the relationships that open opportunities. It’s the safest and most effective plan when it comes to making your number.A full pipeline inoculates you against the disease that is desperation.The fact that you need a deal now doesn’t do anything to change what your buyer needs from you. Your urgency isn’t your dream client’s urgency.QuestionsWhat mistakes cause you to urgently need deals?What impact does your desperation have on the natural sales and buying cycles?What do you risk by skipping steps in your sales process or your client’s buying process?How do you compress the sales cycle?Why should you make the compression of your sales cycle your everyday routine, instead of waiting until you are desperate? Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

In God They Trust

first_img“Like the 63 nayanmars (Tamil Shaivaite saints), you have been given the 63 seats. You should accept it with the same amount of bhakti like the nayanmars,” declared M. Karunanidhi while climbing down from his three-day-long game of brinksmanship over seat-sharing with the Congress.(From left) Stalin, Rajathi and Kanimozhi with Karunanidhi (sitting)The invocation of religion by the staunchly atheist DMK patriarch reveals his acute vulnerability. This is not the first time that Karunanidhi has played the politics of threat and blackmail with an ally. He has done it before with the UPA and he did it earlier with the NDA. He is used to coming out on top, but in this latest battle with the Congress, it would seem that he has finally lost, whatever the pretence might be.The 2G scam has taken a heavy toll on the DMK and the Kalaignar. More than former telecom minister A. Raja, the ageing DMK chief is worried about the fallout of the scam on immediate members of his family. The corridors of Delhi are abuzz with talk that the CBI may summon his daughter Kanimozhi, a Rajya Sabha MP, and wife Rajathi for questioning in the fast-expanding probe into the 2G scam. The direct implication of either Kanimozhi or Rajathi in the scam will be disastrous for the party and for Karunanidhi personally. CBI will submit a status report to the Supreme Court on March 15 and a chargesheet on March 31. Karunanidhi’s decision to accept the 63- seat demand of the Congress, after threatening to withdraw his ministers from the UPA Government over the same demand, came only after he received assurances from the Congress on his family and the 2G probe, say sources involved in the negotiations.advertisementAssurances from the Congress are clearly not enough in difficult times. The first family of Tamil Nadu politics, in a sharp departure from the party’s traditions, is seeking divine help and astrological advice in its effort to win the Assembly elections, despite all the negative publicity that the party has earned from the 2G scam.As a leading scriptwriter in the 1960s, Karunanidhi had penned fiery dialogues in film after film that conveyed a strong sense of rationality, and questioned several superstitions. That was in keeping with the tradition of the Dravidian movement, which was built on the foundation of rationalist ideology. Today, the DMK patriarch sports a yellow shawl, some say on the suggestion of an astrologer.Karunanidhi with his family at the millennium celebration of Thanjavur’s Big Temple in 2010It isn’t just Karunanidhi who is looking to astrologers for advice. The DMK leader’s second family (wife Dayalu and son M.K. Stalin) and third family (wife Rajathi and daughter Kanimozhi) have also sought the advice of astrologers. The predictions of one family astrologer will bring little comfort to the beleaguered family. “I had already predicted this downfall for the DMK a few years ago. Based on the stars, I had advised them to perform certain poojas at some of the famous temples, only to slow down the effect,” a family astrologer told India Today on the condition of anonymity. He says though the stars are good for Karunanidhi now, the stars of his son Stalin and daughter Kanimozhi do not show signs of victory.Recently, Rajathi embarked on a spiritual tour across Tamil Nadu. A few weeks ago, she visited the famous Nellaiyappar temple in Tirunelveli to offer prayers. Accompanied by state it Minister Poongothai Aladi Aruna, she offered prayers to Goddess Sri Gandhimathy and Lord Nellaiappar (Lord Shiva) at the temple. Priests performed archana and special deeparadhana during her 50-minute visit. Rajathi also visited the Nava Tirupathi (nine sacred Vaishnavite) temples near Tirunelveli during her state-wide tour.Karunanidhi has been following other superstitions in the last year. During the millennium celebrations at Thanjavur’s big temple in 2010, he avoided the main entrance because of a political jinx. It is believed that Indira Gandhi had to step down from power and M.G. Ramachandran suffered a stroke after they visited the big temple through the main entrance. That has prompted political leaders visiting the Shiva shrine to enter from the side entrance instead.Recent events have only strengthened a growing trend towards religiosity in Karunanidhi’s clan. During the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, the wily patriarch’s son and DMK strongman from Madurai, M.K. Alagiri, launched his election campaign from a famous temple in Madurai after receiving full temple honours. Kanimozhi visited the famous Vaishnavite shrine Shri Rangam a few months ago. She and her mother Rajathi offered prayers at the Punnainallur Mariamman temple in Thanjavur when they visited the city for the temple’s millennium celebrations in 2010.advertisementKarunanidhi’s heir apparent and state Deputy Chief Minister Stalin visited the godman Sathya Sai Baba to seek his blessings. Rajathi even touched his feet. Kalaignar has also met Mata Amritanandamayi and Isha foundation’s Jaggi Vasudev in the recent past. When questioned about his new found affiliation to religious and spiritual leaders, Karunanidhi said he found nothing wrong in coordinating with religious persons willing to contribute to the welfare of the people.Hindu mythological metaphors are playing an important part in the DMK’s election campaign-there are several instances where Karunanidhi and Stalin are pictured as Lord Krishna and Arjuna, from the Bhagvad Gita, in the party’s election posters. The DMK has on earlier occasions used religious metaphors to propagate its own government’s programmes. In October 2009, an advertisement in the print media marking the launch of the government’s flagship medical insurance scheme had the Hindu god of death ‘Yama’ on a ferocious bull, slinging a rope on an old man in his death bed. But just before Yama’s rope reaches the old man, a hand with a full-sleeved white shirt and betraying just a hint of a yellow shawl grabs the rope to save the ailing man. The advertisement read, ‘Kaalamveesum kaiyetrai thadukka kalaignar kaapeetu thittam’, meaning Kalaignar insurance scheme to thwart the rope of Yama.For the moment, it is the Congress that has thwarted what could be 86-year-old Karunanidhi’s last act of drama in a long career in politics. The DMK chief must hope that the theatrics would help drum up the morale of the party rank and file who have the difficult task of defending the party and Raja against corruption charges. Karunanidhi’s brinksmanship with the Congress may have served some purpose in signalling to the cadres that it was the DMK that had the power to spurn the Congress, and therefore still held the upper hand in seat-sharing negotiations.The assurance that he reportedly received from the Congress party on the 2G probe may not mean much since the CBI is reporting directly to the Supreme Court on the investigation. But the DMK chief has few options. He is facing the prospect of losing power to Jayalalithaa. His arch-rival will go after his family tainted by the 2G scam. Losing power at the Centre at the same time would only make the DMK more vulnerable. That is a scenario from which even gods would find it difficult to rescue Karunandhi, his wives, sons and daughter. After six decades in politics, Karunanidhi should have known that reality when he finally accepted the Congress party’s “unreasonable” demand for 63 seats on March 8.- with Anand Natarajanlast_img read more

Jammu & Kashmir: Even as terror takes centrestage, people push ahead with elections

first_imgRallying ground: Parties like the NC are drawing crowds, as at this rally for Omar Abdullah in Kupwara town. But even a small gathering would be unsafe without security firepowerOmar Abdullah shifts the brand new silver-grey Scorpio Turbo into fifth gear. Noisy Srinagar has disappeared, the frequency-jamming car ahead is,Rallying ground: Parties like the NC are drawing crowds, as at this rally for Omar Abdullah in Kupwara town. But even a small gathering would be unsafe without security firepowerOmar Abdullah shifts the brand new silver-grey Scorpio Turbo into fifth gear. Noisy Srinagar has disappeared, the frequency-jamming car ahead is setting the pace and in cars behind there are more than a dozen guards bristling with automatic weapons.The sun-dappled, poplar-lined highway to Baramulla, from which he will veer off to address the day’s three political rallies in Kupwara district, is hauntingly beautiful. The company of Rashtriya Rifles by a stretch of apple orchards near the highway, checking for landmines, belong in a picture postcard from the edge. It’s a lovely day to drive.So Omar, son of Farooq, recently crowned king of the ruling National Conference (NC) and its chief minister-in-waiting, does what any urbane young man with a punishing poll schedule, troubled inheritance, tense future and life on the line-he now ranks after Farooq on the terrorist hit list-might do to unwind. He reaches out, taps a switch on the dash and plays a tape of Buddha Bar.As soothing lounge music fills the car, I tease him about how the day before, Mehbooba Mufti had complimented the “generosity of the Crown Prince who campaigns in helicopters and luxury cars”.It was in response to Omar’s own dig earlier, when he said he had to leave some space in newspapers for Mehbooba, archrival and leader of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) that is riding on the promise of ridding the state of the “misrule, nepotism and corruption” of the NC. Omar laughs. He’s enjoying this. “She should talk,” he says. “She’s a political inheritor as well.”advertisementVILLAGE VOICEIndependent candidate Sofi on the trail in Handwara. He draws spontaneous, rapt crowds.Then he gets reflective. “In Kashmir, there are four or five of us in our late 20s to mid-30s.” There’s Mehbooba. There’s Mirwaiz Omar Farooq, a leader in the separatist Hurriyat Conference that is boycotting the polls.There are the Lone brothers, Sajjad and Billal, sons of recently assassinated Abdul Ghani Lone, whose Hurriyat-aligned but moderate People’s Conference have spawned two breakaway, independent candidates. “And there’s me,” says Omar, “We’ll be around for the next few years.” Pause. “After these elections, nobody will be able to say that I haven’t earned my place. It’s an extremely difficult election and I’m working very hard for it.”He and everybody else. On the afternoon of September 11, just five days from the first phase of polling, the state’s Law Minister Mushtaq Ahmad Lone was gunned down by Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorists at an election rally in Kupwara district.A little later, militants fired at a crowd in Poonch district to the south, gathered at a political rally of an independent candidate. They killed a dozen innocents, including a 12-year-old boy.Though the administration is prepared for violence, the incidents have severely jolted the veneer of security, leading both Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani and state Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah to declare that security would be beefed up with half a million state and Central forces deployed across the state.Till the fourth and last phase of elections are held on October 8 in Jammu’s terrorist-infested Doda district, the grisly, deliberate toll will continue to rise, pushed by an estimated 3,000 militants spread across Jammu and Kashmir barring Ladakh.Already, since the assembly elections were notified on August 22, about 150 people have died, almost 120 split evenly among militants and civilians, the remaining security folk.Crown prince: Omar Abdullah plays it cool. The NC’s chief ministerin-waiting drives himself wherever he goes. He dresses casually, speaks forcefully, promises clean governance and smoothly trashes the opposition.This land, which ancient Chinese traveller Hsuan Tsang and medieval Kashmiri historian Kalhan raved about as heaven on earth, is now a place where just contesting elections is an act of immense bravery. It will come a close second to the crucial act of actually getting out there and voting.In 1996, the government tom-tommed a 40 per cent turnout of the state’s electorate, but in places, actual turnout was reported as low as 8 per cent.This time, if 40 per cent of the state’s 56 lakh voters actually vote, backed by boosted security, the Election Commission’s statement of dealing sternly with incidents of rigging votes and Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s pledge of “free and fair” elections, it will be regarded globally as an amazing success story.So far, contestants have come forward for elections in hundreds. In just 15 assembly constituencies in the two first-phase districts of Kupwara and Baramulla, bordering the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan, the hills teeming with terrorists, there are over a hundred candidates.advertisementAcross the state, all major national parties have fielded candidates. There are active state behemoths like the NC that earned a majority of 57 out of 87 assembly seats in the last elections in 1996, though by Omar’s own admission, anything above 40 seats this time will be a bonus.Congress punters scale it down to 35-37, predicting a NC wipe-out in Jammu. As if to pre-empt this, Omar plays direct at rallies. At a 5,000-strong meet in Kupwara town, after the customary pasting of his opponents- “those who use India’s machinery and then cry for azadi” and “those who owned disco-dancing clubs in Dubai”, this one aimed at Sajjad Lone-he lists out promises: district hospital, sports stadium, higher secondary school and a water-supply scheme.There is the three-year-old PDP of former Union home minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. There are breakaway Independents such as the iconic Ghulam Mohiuddin Sofi, the key contestant in Handwara who recently left the People’s Conference and whose popular election line, “I can have my head cut of f, but I can’t bow my head” draws spontaneous, cheering, rapt crowds numbering hundreds in his home village of Machipora and elsewhere, his strident speech filled with hate for the NC.Ballot ready: Doda is so rugged and dangerous that it will be the only district to go for voting on October 8- to better focus security. These village defence committee volunteers will help regular troops.There is former militant Kuka Parray who is representing the Awami League from Sonawari in Baramulla; and dozens of traders, teachers and wealthy farmers.It is similar in the Jammu region, with the addition of pro-Hindutva parties like the Shiv Sena and a new coalition of 21 small parties and Independents, the Jammu State Morcha.The Morcha is being guided by the staunchly nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and vows to fight for statehood for the Jammu region, a part of the Union of India without the umbrella of Article 370 of India’s Constitution that bestows special status on Jammu and Kashmir.All this, because even a Kashmir in autumn has more promise of spring in one state election, and stakes big enough for entire nations. There’s something in it for everybody.Pakistan calls it a farce and its President Pervez Musharraf says he can’t stem the tide of militants from his country, which intelligence officials in Srinagar confirm is steady. (“You can’t really stop it,” says one.”If we kill 10, Pakistan will push in 15 so even if five die in the crossing, the strength remains con- stant.”) For India, elections signal free will and democracy are alive and well in its dominion, a crucial play against Pakistan’s claims over Jammu and Kashmir, especially the Muslim-majority Kashmir Valley.For Omar, it’s a chance to seal his inheritance, overcome his still halting Kashmiri and reverse nepotism in government, sloth, misappropriation and the overbearing attitude of the state’s security apparatus that he freely admits is part of his inheritance.advertisementFor the Hurriyat, it’s an opportunity lost. For people of Ladakh, where two independent candidates from Leh and Nubra constituencies have already been elected unopposed, it’s just a matter of time before the region is by general consensus and Central legislation declared a Union territory.Blood price: Abdul Rahman (right), a candidate from Handwara, was shot dead by militants a day after this photograph was takenFor those in the Jammu State Morcha, essentially a flanking manoeuvre by the BJP, it’s the first step to what many feel is inevitable, whether it comes next year or a decade later: statehood for Jammu. And for Independents, many thrust forward by hopeful groups of villagers or townsfolk to voice their crushed opinion, it is a chance to be part of what should be.It is time for a campaign pit stop. In the garden of the Showqueen Hotel and Restaurant in Handwara, Sheikh Abdul Rahman, independent candidate, sips tea. Next to him, unwinding with a hookah is Ali Mohammad Dar, the Congress’ district president and Rahman’s opponent-both are Sofi’s rivals.Dar is trashing the NC. “They keep switching between being with India and wanting autonomy for Kashmir.” He rants on about the Ikhwani, surrendered militants who now form part of J&K Police’s feared counter-terrorist Special Operations Group, and are known to lean on civilians.Rahman takes a different route. “It would have been better to provide four lakh jobs than hold elections.” If elections aren’t worth it, why fight? “We have to fight for our rights. Unless people have jobs they will pick up the gun.” And what of the threat to his life from the guns of fear and loathing militants are aiming at the elections? “The risk is always there.”The next day, he’s dead. Hizb-ul Mujahideen terrorists ambushed his Sumo, and as his hapless guards dropped their weapons and ran for their lives, the attackers riddled Rahman, his two nephews and his driver with bullets.A Kashmiri will wish for you zindagi, life. He will unashamedly crow about mohabbat, love-a shikara on Srinagar’s Dal Lake is christened “Hello My Sweetheart”, and farm tractors adorn stickers that proclaim, “Kiss”.But “miltan” still call the shots after 13 years of war. And they are doing their damnedest to destroy the elections of 2002, potentially the one that will undo the injustices of 1987 polls, widely believed to have been rigged, and that sparked the firestorm of militant hate that has so far killed 30,000, more than military casualties of independent India’s wars.Today, the terms high BP and low BP have as much to do with high or low blood pressure triggered by tension as they signify high or low levels of bullet-proofing. A phrase during an election speech, or even a simple belief in the concept of polls, can result in death.”In Kashmir, we have all become demons,” blaz es Sajjad Lone. “All of us. We can kill with mere words.” He’s remembering his father. Sajjad regains composure. “Kashmir is not about making India or Pakistan happy, but about making the people of Kashmir happy. We shouldn’t overestimate ourselves.”That theory will be tested over the next month. As Ghulam Mohammad Bhat, a sharecropper outside Baramulla, staring at the wake of Omar’s motorcade says, “I’ll vote in the name of Allah, but that day I don’t know where my finger will travel, to press the button for which party.” And so it shall come to pass.-Photographs by Narendra Bishtlast_img read more

Priyanka Chopra croons lullaby for Mary Kom

first_imgActress-singer Priyanka Chopra has sung a lullaby in her forthcoming film Mary Kom, a biopic on the five-time World Champion boxer.”I have sung a lori (lullaby) in the film, which comes in the important part of the film. It’s a very intimate conversation between the mother and child and yes, it was fun. It has a good tune,” said Priyanka. She was speaking at the trailer launch of Mary Kom.Priyanka Chopra at Mary Kom trailer launchDirector Omung Kumar got ample support from Mary Kom during the making of the movie, which will release September 5.In the last few years, Bollywood has successfully churned out films based on sportsmen like Paan Singh Tomar and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag.Many feel that sports based films have become trendy in filmdom, but Priyanka begs to differ.She said: “This is the first film on a female athlete and it is very disrespectful to say it’s a trend.”last_img read more

Gov’t Looking to Speed up Wage Talks

first_img He said he has held discussions with Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, and his team to see “how we can improve that dialogue, improve the communication and build the trust and credibility on both sides of the conversation”, adding that “that exercise will have to be intensified”. Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the Government is working to quickly resolve issues relating to the 2017/19 public sector wage negotiations. Story Highlights Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the Government is working to quickly resolve issues relating to the 2017/19 public sector wage negotiations.He noted that while it was not expected that unions and other stakeholders would immediately accept the offer put forward by the Government, the negotiations have not been progressing at a reasonable pace.“There will always be a period of negotiation, a period of dialogue and communication and an exploration of what possibilities there might be that could ease the acceptance. That process has not moved apace as I… the International Monetary Fund (IMF)… and other stakeholders looking on would have liked,” he said.Mr. Holness was speaking at a joint Government/IMF media briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister on Friday (November 17).He said he has held discussions with Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, and his team to see “how we can improve that dialogue, improve the communication and build the trust and credibility on both sides of the conversation”, adding that “that exercise will have to be intensified”.Mr. Holness stressed that it is crucial to conclude the negotiations, noting that “some amount of fiscal uncertainty” is created if the Government does not know what its wage obligations will be going into the new fiscal year.The Prime Minister appealed to the unions to consider the offer, reassuring that the Government “will always maintain a respectful and collaborative stance in the negotiations”.Public sector workers are being offered a six per cent wage increase over two years.The media briefing was held following bilateral talks with the IMF’s Managing Director, Christine Lagarde.Ms. Lagarde participated in a one-day IMF 2017 High Level Caribbean Forum at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on November 16.She also met with women leaders today, and visited the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI) where she engaged in an interactive session with students. He noted that while it was not expected that unions and other stakeholders would immediately accept the offer put forward by the Government, the negotiations have not been progressing at a reasonable pace.last_img read more

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