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Personal Empowerment | SkillsYouNeed

Personal empowerment is about looking at who you are and becoming more aware of yourself as a unique individual.

Personal empowerment involves developing the confidence and strength to set realistic goals and fulfil your potential.Everyone has strengths and weaknesses and a range of skills that are used in everyday situations, but all too often people remain unaware of, or undervalue, their true abilities.

A person aiming for empowerment is able to take control of their life by making positive choices and setting goals. Developing self-awareness, an understanding of your strengths and weaknesses – knowing your own limitations is key to personal empowerment.

Taking steps to set and achieve goals – both short and longer-term and developing new skills, acts to increase confidence which, in itself, is essential to self-empowerment.

Personal Empowerment and Personal Development are two areas that overlap and interweave, it is recommended that you read this page in conjunction with our page: Personal Development.

At a basic level, the term ’empowerment’ simply means ‘becoming powerful’. Building personal empowerment involves reflecting on our personal values, skills and goals and being prepared to adjust our behaviour in order to achieve our goals. Personal empowerment also means being aware that other people have their own set of values and goals which may different to ours.

Many other, more detailed, definitions exist. These usually centre on the idea that personal empowerment gives an individual the ability to:

Developing personal empowerment usually involves making some fundamental changes in life, which is not always an easy process.The degree of change required will differ from person to person, depending on the individual starting point.

The following dimensions of personal empowerment are based on the belief that the greater the range of coping responses an individual develops, the greater their chance of coping effectively with diverse life situations.

These dimensions are:

Self-awareness involves understanding our individual character and how we are likely to respond to situations.

This enables us to build on our positive qualities and be aware of any negative traits which may reduce our effectiveness. Self-aware people make conscious decisions to enhance their lives whenever possible, learning from past experiences.

Values are opinions or beliefs that are important to us but of which we are not always aware.

They can be any kind of belief or perceived obligation, anything we prefer and for any reason.The reasons we may prefer one thing over another, or choose one course of action over another, may not always be obvious or known; there may be no apparent reason for our values.Nevertheless our values are important to us as individuals.In order to be self-aware it is necessary to be aware of our values, to critically examine them and to accept that our values may be different from those of others.

An individual’s skills are the main resource which enables them to achieve their desired goals.

Skills can be gained through experience, practice, education and training.It is only by developing such skills that individual values can be translated into action.

Knowledge or information is necessary in the development of self-awareness and skills.

Knowing where to find appropriate information is in itself an essential skill.Without information, the choices open to people are limited, both in their personal and working lives.The internet has provided an easy way for everybody to access huge amounts of information very quickly and easily. The problem is then centred around the quality of the information found, and the skill set is concerned with finding accurate and reliable information.

Setting goals is a means by which an individual can take charge of their life.

The process of setting a goal involves people thinking about their values and the direction that they would like their lives to follow.Choices are made through reflection followed by action.Goals should always be both specific and realistic. Setting personal goals gives us a sense of direction in life, this direction is essential to personal empowerment.

Language is the main medium of human communication whether used in spoken or written form.

The use of language, how individuals express themselves verbally and non-verbally to others, can be empowering to both themselves and the people with whom they are communicating. Looking at how language is used is important in terms of self-empowerment and when attempting to empower other people.

In terms of personal empowerment and communication the following ideas are helpful and their use can be both self-affirming and positive:

Use Positive Language: Research into language suggests that a person’s self-image is reflected in the words that they use.For example, people who say they ‘should’ behave in a certain way implies passivity and can detract from them seeming to be in control and taking responsibility for their actions.Talking about yourself in a positive way, acknowledging strengths and weaknesses, can be empowering.

Use Active Language: Use terms which imply positive action rather than making vague statements, particularly when talking about the future.For example, ‘I will…’ and ‘I can…’.

Use Words to Define Your Own Space and Identity: If you fail to use words to define your own space and identity then others will tend to define you and set standards by which you evaluate yourself.Furthermore, they will try to persuade you to conform to their demands.Be clear about who you are and what your values and goals are do not let others define you.

In order to use language to help empower others:

Do not use jargon or complex terminology The use of jargon and complex terminology can be both alienating and dis-empowering.When working with others the use of jargon can create feelings of intimidation and inferiority.Without shared understanding of the words you use, effective and empowering communication cannot take place. Choose words with care, which give clarity to what you are trying to express.

Focus on the words people use Mirror words people use, see our pages:Reflection and Clarification for more information. Using shared terminology appropriately can enable you appear more in tune with the other person and what they are saying.

Choose positive words Choosing positive or active words such as ‘will’ or ‘can’ indicates that you have control in your life and is more likely to induce positive action in others.Compare the use of these words with others such as might’ or ‘maybe’ which suggest hesitancy.Using words and statements which carry responsibility are empowering as they suggest a determined rather than a passive approach.

Avoid criticism and negativity: Criticism should always be given with extreme care and only when absolutely necessary.Once words have been spoken they cannot be easily taken back.If criticism is necessary then it can be given in a constructive way, through the use of positive and supporting words and phrases.Always attempt to cushion criticism with positive observations. Our page, Offering Constructive Crictism has lots more infomation.

Use open questions when appropriate: The use of closed questions will restrict responses to ‘yes’ and ‘no’ answers.This type of question can leave people feeling powerless because there is no opportunity to explain their response.On the other hand, open questions give the person being asked the chance to explore the reasons behind their answers.Open questions encourage a person to take responsibility for their thoughts and actions and can therefore aid empowerment.Open questions can also help people to solve problems through their own devices, help them to set their own goals and work out an appropriate plan of action.

See our pages: Questioning and Question Types for more information.

We all have opportunities to explore and develop new skills. In order to become more empowered we can, in our interactions with others, aim to:

Developing trust can be a difficult and lengthy process. In order to develop trust with others you may choose to:

In the workplace, and in any professional working relationship there are three basic components of trust:

Trust can be broken very quickly and may never be restored to its former level. Think about the points above and try to build and maintain trusting relationships in both your personal and professional life.

Avoid the following actions that may destroy trust and have a detrimental effect on personal empowerment:

See our page on Trustworthiness and Conscientiousness for more information.

Becoming empowered includes knowing your own strengths and weaknesses: identifying these will enable you to work on improving your weaknesses and build on your strengths.

It is not uncommon for other people to have misjudged your strengths and weaknesses, or for you to misjudge those of others.This can lead to opportunities being limited due to the misconception of abilities.It is important, therefore, to know your own strengths and weaknesses and to communicate them clearly to others, whilst encouraging others to communicate their strengths and weaknesses to you.

In some circumstances you may feel that you face problems that are truly beyond your capabilities.In such cases you should seek help.Empowered people know their own limits and have no problems with asking for help or guidance.Self-knowledge, often referred to as self-awareness, is a strength which enables you to set personal improvement goals in order to make a more substantial contribution.The more empowered you become, the more you will be able to help others to become empowered.

Confidence acts as one of the greatest motivators or most powerful limitations to anyone trying to change their behaviour and become more empowered.

Most people only undertake tasks that they feel capable of doing and it takes great effort to overcome a lack of confidence in one’s capabilities. Self-empowerment involves people constantly challenging their own beliefs and what they are capable of undertaking.

See our pages on Building Confidence and Self Esteem for more information.

Personal empowerment is not a static thing that you can do once in your life.

You should view personal empowerment as ongoing personal development. As circumstances change and develop, and as we ourselves change and develop, so do our needs for development and empowerment.

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Personal Empowerment | SkillsYouNeed

Empowerment – Wikipedia

The term empowerment refers to measures designed to increase the degree of autonomy and self-determination in people and in communities in order to enable them to represent their interests in a responsible and self-determined way, acting on their own authority. Empowerment as action refers both to the process of self-empowerment and to professional support of people, which enables them to overcome their sense of powerlessness and lack of influence, and to recognize and use their resources.

The term empowerment originates from American community psychology and is associated[by whom?] with the social scientist Julian Rappaport (1981).[1]

In social work, empowerment forms a practical approach of resource-oriented intervention. In the field of citizenship education and democratic education, empowerment is seen[by whom?] as a tool to increase the responsibility of the citizen. Empowerment is a key concept in the discourse on promoting civic engagement. Empowerment as a concept, which is characterized by a move away from a deficit-oriented towards a more strength-oriented perception, can increasingly be found in management concepts, as well as in the areas of continuing education and self-help.[citation needed]

Robert Adams points to the limitations of any single definition of ’empowerment’, and the danger that academic or specialist definitions might take away the word and the connected practices from the very people they are supposed to belong to.[2] Still, he offers a minimal definition of the term: ‘Empowerment: the capacity of individuals, groups and/or communities to take control of their circumstances, exercise power and achieve their own goals, and the process by which, individually and collectively, they are able to help themselves and others to maximize the quality of their lives.'[3]

One definition for the term is “an intentional, ongoing process centered in the local community, involving mutual respect, critical reflection, caring, and group participation, through which people lacking an equal share of resources gain greater access to and control over those resources”.[4][5]

Rappaport’s (1984) definition includes: “Empowerment is viewed as a process: the mechanism by which people, organizations, and communities gain mastery over their lives.”[6]

Sociological empowerment often addresses members of groups that social discrimination processes have excluded from decision-making processes through for example discrimination based on disability, race, ethnicity, religion, or gender. Empowerment as a methodology is also associated with feminism.

Empowerment is the process of obtaining basic opportunities for marginalized people, either directly by those people, or through the help of non-marginalized others who share their own access to these opportunities. It also includes actively thwarting attempts to deny those opportunities. Empowerment also includes encouraging, and developing the skills for, self-sufficiency, with a focus on eliminating the future need for charity or welfare in the individuals of the group. This process can be difficult to start and to implement effectively.

One empowerment strategy is to assist marginalized people to create their own nonprofit organization, using the rationale that only the marginalized people, themselves, can know what their own people need most, and that control of the organization by outsiders can actually help to further entrench marginalization. Charitable organizations lead from outside of the community, for example, can disempower the community by entrenching a dependence charity or welfare. A nonprofit organization can target strategies that cause structural changes, reducing the need for ongoing dependence. Red Cross, for example, can focus on improving the health of indigenous people, but does not have authority in its charter to install water-delivery and purification systems, even though the lack of such a system profoundly, directly and negatively impacts health. A nonprofit composed of the indigenous people, however, could ensure their own organization does have such authority and could set their own agendas, make their own plans, seek the needed resources, do as much of the work as they can, and take responsibility and credit for the success of their projects (or the consequences, should they fail).

The process of which enables individuals/groups to fully access personal or collective power, authority and influence, and to employ that strength when engaging with other people, institutions or society. In other words, “Empowerment is not giving people power, people already have plenty of power, in the wealth of their knowledge and motivation, to do their jobs magnificently. We define empowerment as letting this power out.”[7] It encourages people to gain the skills and knowledge that will allow them to overcome obstacles in life or work environment and ultimately, help them develop within themselves or in the society.

To empower a female “…sounds as though we are dismissing or ignoring males, but the truth is, both genders desperately need to be equally empowered.”[8] Empowerment occurs through improvement of conditions, standards, events, and a global perspective of life.

Before there can be the finding that a particular group requires empowerment and that therefore their self-esteem needs to be consolidated on the basis of awareness of their strengths, there needs to be a deficit diagnosis usually carried out by experts assessing the problems of this group. The fundamental asymmetry of the relationship between experts and clients is usually not questioned by empowerment processes. It also needs to be regarded critically, in how far the empowerment approach is really applicable to all patients/clients. It is particularly questionable whether mentally ill people in acute crisis situations are in a position to make their own decisions. According to Albert Lenz, people behave primarily regressive in acute crisis situations and tend to leave the responsibility to professionals.[9] It must be assumed, therefore, that the implementation of the empowerment concept requires a minimum level of communication and reflectivity of the persons involved.

In social work, empowerment offers an approach that allows social workers to increase the capacity for self-help of their clients. For example, this allows clients not to be seen as passive, helpless ‘victims’ to be rescued but instead as a self-empowered person fighting abuse/ oppression; a fight, in which the social worker takes the position of a facilitator, instead of the position of a ‘rescuer’.[10]

Marginalized people who lack self-sufficiency become, at a minimum, dependent on charity, or welfare. They lose their self-confidence because they cannot be fully self-supporting. The opportunities denied them also deprive them of the pride of accomplishment which others, who have those opportunities, can develop for themselves. This in turn can lead to psychological, social and even mental health problems. “Marginalized” here refers to the overt or covert trends within societies whereby those perceived as lacking desirable traits or deviating from the group norms tend to be excluded by wider society and ostracized as undesirables.

According to Robert Adams, there is a long tradition in the UK and the USA respectively to advance forms of self-help that have developed and contributed to more recent concepts of empowerment. For example, the free enterprise economic theories of Milton Friedman embraced self-help as a respectable contributor to the economy. Both the Republicans in the US and the Conservative government of Margaret Thatcher built on these theories. ‘At the same time, the mutual aid aspects of the concept of self-help retained some currency with socialists and democrats.'[11]

In economic development, the empowerment approach focuses on mobilizing the self-help efforts of the poor, rather than providing them with social welfare. Economic empowerment is also the empowering of previously disadvantaged sections of the population, for example, in many previously colonized African countries.[12]

Legal empowerment happens when marginalised people or groups use the legal mobilisation i.e., law, legal systems and justice mechanisms to improve or transform their social, political or economic situations. Legal empowerment approaches are interested in understanding how they can use the law to advance interests and priorities of the marginalised.[13]

According to ‘Open society foundations’ (an NGO) “Legal empowerment is about strengthening the capacity of all people to exercise their rights, either as individuals or as members of a community. Legal empowerment is about grass root justice, about ensuring that law is not confined to books or courtrooms, but rather is available and meaningful to ordinary people.[14]

Lorenzo Cotula in his book ‘ Legal Empowerment for Local Resource Control ‘ outlines the fact that legal tools for securing local resource rights are enshrined in legal system, does not necessarily mean that local resource users are in position to use them and benefit from them. The state legal system is constrained by a range of different factors from lack of resources to cultural issues. Among these factors economic, geographic, linguistic and other constraints on access to courts, lack of legal awareness as well as legal assistance tend to be recurrent problems.[15]

In many context, marginalised groups do not trust the legal system owing to the widespread manipulation that it has historically been subjected to by the more powerful. ‘To what extent one knows the law, and make it work for themselves with ‘para legal tools’, is legal empowerment; assisted utilizing innovative approaches like legal literacy and awareness training, broadcasting legal information, conducting participatory legal discourses, supporting local resource user in negotiating with other agencies and stake holders and to strategies combining use of legal processes with advocacy along with media engagement, and socio legal mobilisation.[15]

Sometimes groups are marginalized by society at large, with governments participating in the process of marginalization. Equal opportunity laws which actively oppose such marginalization, are supposed to allow empowerment to occur. These laws made it illegal to restrict access to schools and public places based on race. They can also be seen as a symptom of minorities’ and women’s empowerment through lobbying.

Gender empowerment conventionally refers to the empowerment of women, which is a significant topic of discussion in regards to development and economics nowadays. It also points to approaches regarding other marginalized genders in a particular political or social context. This approach to empowerment is partly informed by feminism and employed legal empowerment by building on international human rights. Empowerment is one of the main procedural concerns when addressing human rights and development. The Human Development and Capabilities Approach, The Millennium Development Goals, and other credible approaches/goals point to empowerment and participation as a necessary step if a country is to overcome the obstacles associated with poverty and development.[16] The UN Sustainable Development Goals targets gender equality and women’s empowerment for the global development agenda.[17]

According to Thomas A. Potterfield,[18] many organizational theorists and practitioners regard employee empowerment as one of the most important and popular management concepts of our time.

Ciulla discusses an inverse case: that of bogus empowerment.[19]

In the sphere of management and organizational theory, “empowerment” often refers loosely to processes for giving subordinates (or workers generally) greater discretion and resources: distributing control in order to better serve both customers and the interests of employing organizations.

One account of the history of workplace empowerment in the United States recalls the clash of management styles in railroad construction in the American West in the mid-19th century, where “traditional” hierarchical East-Coast models of control encountered individualistic pioneer workers, strongly supplemented by methods of efficiency-oriented “worker responsibility” brought to the scene by Chinese laborers. In this case, empowerment at the level of work teams or brigades achieved a notable (but short-lived) demonstrated superiority. See the views of Robert L. Webb.

During the 1980s and 1990s, empowerment has become a point of interest in management concepts and business administration. In this context, empowerment involves approaches that promise greater participation and integration to the employee in order to cope with their tasks as independently as possible and responsibly can. A strength-based approach known as “empowerment circle” has become an instrument of organizational development. Multidisciplinary empowerment teams aim for the development of quality circles to improve the organizational culture, strengthening the motivation and the skills of employees. The target of subjective job satisfaction of employees is pursued through flat hierarchies, participation in decisions, opening of creative effort, a positive, appreciative team culture, self-evaluation, taking responsibility (for results), more self-determination and constant further learning. The optimal use of existing potential and abilities can supposedly be better reached by satisfied and active workers. Here, knowledge management contributes significantly to implement employee participation as a guiding principle, for example through the creation of communities of practice.[20]

However, it is important to ensure that the individual employee has the skills to meet their allocated responsibilities and that the company’s structure sets up the right incentives for employees to reward their taking responsibilities. Otherwise there is a danger of being overwhelmed or even becoming lethargic.[21]

Empowerment of employees requires a culture of trust in the organization and an appropriate information and communication system. The aim of these activities is to save control costs, that become redundant when employees act independently and in a self-motivated fashion. In the book Empowerment Takes More Than a Minute, the authors illustrate three keys that organizations can use to open the knowledge, experience, and motivation power that people already have.[7] The three keys that managers must use to empower their employees are:

According to Stewart, in order to guarantee a successful work environment, managers need to exercise the “right kind of authority” (p.6). To summarize, “empowerment is simply the effective use of a managers authority”, and subsequently, it is a productive way to maximize all-around work efficiency.[22]

These keys are hard to put into place and it is a journey to achieve empowerment in a workplace. It is important to train employees and make sure they have trust in what empowerment will bring to a company.[7]

The implementation of the concept of empowerment in management has also been criticised for failing to live up to its claims.[23]

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Empowerment – Wikipedia

Personal Empowerment Programs – Empowerment Institute

A Methodology for Creating Your Life As You Want It

Three decades ago, the idea of empowerment was fresh and daring. As young as the word itself, we, (David and Gail) both felt that empowerment would be at the heart of our lifes work. In our earliest days together, sitting with yellow legal pads at our kitchen table overlooking the Ashokan Reservoir and the Catskill Mountains, we planned our wedding ceremony and then seamlessly turned to designing our fledgling Empowerment Workshop. So intertwined was our love with our passion for this work, that ten days after we were married, we launched our first workshop. As we celebrate our third decade of marriage, our bond of love is stronger than ever and our passion for empowerment more compelling than ever.

All those years ago, neither we, nor the world, knew what empowerment really meant. We knew it was about helping people to grow and realize their full potential. We also knew that it was about more than just healing and fixing problems. But what exactly was its purpose? Why was this idea entering the lexicon of change strategies with such force? Over these three decades, an extraordinarily diverse, visionary, and committed community of people was attracted to our training programs to help us discover the answers to these questions.

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Personal Empowerment Programs – Empowerment Institute

Infosys’ Sikka’s resignation letter: ‘I now need to… return to an environment of respect, trust and empowerment’ – Khaleej Times

Vishal Sikka quit as Infosys CEO on Friday, following a public battle with the tech giant’s founders that spanned for months.

In his blog, Timelessness, Sikka posted his resignation letter in full, under the title ‘Moving On…” and which we are republishing below.

Dear Friends,

After a lot of reflection, I have resigned from my position as your MD & CEO effective today.A succession process has been initiated, with Pravin serving as interim MD & CEO, and I will work closely with the Board and management team over the next few months to ensure a smooth transition. In addition, I have agreed to serve as Executive Vice Chairman on the Board to further ensure continuity until the new management is in place.

For days, indeed weeks, this decision has weighed on me. I have wrestled the pros and cons, the issues and the counterbalancing arguments. But now, after much thought, and considering the environment of the last few quarters, I am clear in my decision. It is clear to me that despite our successes over the last three years, and the powerful seeds of innovation that we have sown, I cannot carry out my job as CEO and continue to create value, while also constantly defending against unrelenting, baseless/malicious and increasingly personal attacks.

In 2014, we started with a very challenging set of conditions, and in the last three years, we have decisively turned things around.

Three years ago, I started this journey with a calling, to help reshape the company around innovation and entrepreneurship, to deliver breakthrough value for clients, and to help elevate our work, our standing, our selves, on the basis of a dual strategy, bringing together dualities of renew and new, automation and innovation, people and software, to show a new path forward in a time of unprecedented disruption within the industry and beyond. That time, around and before June 2014, was a difficult time. Our growth rates were low and attrition was high. There was a sense of apprehension all around and I came here to help enable a great transformation as our core business faced intense pricing pressure, and clients looked increasingly to innovative partners to help shape their digital futures. Now, a bit more than three years later, I am happy to see the company doing better in every dimension I can think of.

We have grown our revenues, from $2.13B in Q1FY15 to $2.65B this past Q1. We did so while keeping a strong focus on margins, closing this past quarter at 24.1% operating margin, beating some competitors for the first time in many years, and improving against most in our industry.Perhaps more importantly, our revenue per employee has grown for six quarters in a row. Our attrition has fallen, from 23.4% in Q1FY15 to 16.9% this past Q1, and high performer attrition is hovering at or below the single-digit threshold for a while now.We grew our $100M+ clients from 12 when I started, to 19, and increased our large deal wins from ~$1.9B in FY15 to ~$3.5B this past year. We’ve done all this while improving our overall utilization, to a 10-yr high this past quarter, and an all time high including trainees, while improving our cash reserves, rewarding employees with a new equity plan, and returning cash to our stakeholders. And we have done all this while improving our standing with clients to the highest ever in the 12 years since we’ve done our client satisfaction survey, and a jump of 22 points in CxO satisfaction.

A few days ago, Nitesh, Radha, and I met a client in our office in Palo Alto. It is one of the largest companies in the world – and the CIO was excited and proud about seeing automation come to life in their landscape.Her reaction to seeing many of our innovation projects, as well as our workspace itself, was thoroughly rewarding, and a testament to all we have achieved. She requested us to bring our innovative work and processes to everything we do with her team in a similar space, and even that we help them establish a similar presence for their company in the valley!This is a sentiment I’ve often heard from clients who’ve visited our 12,000 sqft space here, that has seen 2200 visits over its ~27 months; clients where we saw much faster than average revenue growth following their visits. So, as I look back on the three years as CEO, what brings me the most joy is the new roads that all of you have traveled, the new frontiers that all of you have enabled.From embracing the new ideas in education, teaching ourselves Design Thinking like no one else ever has, learning AI, new development processes, and more, to applying these learnings via Zero Distance, a one-of-a-kind program of massive grassroots innovation, powered by education, by the amazing Zero Bench, and by your creative confidence.With 16500+ ideas generated, 2200+ of which have already been implemented, ZD is proof that innovation need not be the domain of a chosen few in some elite department, but is the prerogative of us all; proof that the extraordinary within each one of us can indeed be unleashed. To complement this grassroots innovation, we’ve launched 25+ new services that contributed 8.3% of our revenue last quarter, up from zero in April 2015.And our own new software business is now at 1.6% of revenue.Our AI platform, Nia, now with 160+ scenarios deployed at more than 70 clients, is helping drive both automation within the company, and breakthrough new business scenarios outside.Beyond new services and new software, we’ve ventured into new horizons, from our startup fund’s investments in promising new businesses, to the work we’ve done in the last 3 years in local hiring around the world, especially in the US, to the exemplary and inspiring work our US foundation has done in bringing computer science education and a culture of making, to the masses.

And I am proud of how we have upheld our values, our culture, our integrity, whilst we have gone about this massive transformation.I am proud of how our Board has worked, tirelessly, selflessly, these past quarters, despite intense, unfair, and often malicious and personal, criticism, in not only upholding our standards of governance and integrity, but also indeed raising these.None of our successes would be worthwhile for a moment, if this was not the case.

I was, and remain, passionate about the massive transformation opportunity for this company and industry, but we all need to allow the company to move beyond the noise and distractions.

Back in May 2014, when I first met many board colleagues, I thought of the road ahead as a road for the next 33 years of this iconic company. For Infosys is more than a company: it is an idea, a dream, a pioneering possibility.Back then I thought, just as I do today, that the time ahead called for a company that could show the way to a digital future, a future where our humanity, amplified by automation and software, would unleash our creativity, our imagination, to construct great worlds of our futures, and would do so powered by education, by our timeless value of learnability.Such an Infosys, whilst staying true to its core, to her values and timeless principles, would shine the light in an altogether different context, a different reality. Such an Infosys would be one where an individual’s entrepreneurship, ability to imagine and create, ability to learn, and to amplify themselves with software, with AI, would create a greater whole. Rather than an overarching system enabling the people, the people’s agility and imagination would create a greater system. Three years later, we can clearly see that the seeds of this idea have taken root and are growing, into beautiful new flowers and plants, and I see no reason why these cannot continue, and help shape our company’s future.

For sure this journey has been a difficult one.No one, especially me, thought it would be easy.Transformations are hard to begin with.A massive transformation, of such an iconic institution, with such groundbreaking achievements behind her, would be even tougher, and the exponential rates of change all around us, further amplified by geopolitical matters, would add that much more headwind.But all this was known, and clear, and in many ways added to the calling that I felt.For as the legendary architect Daniel Burnham said, “Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir man’s blood.”

But after much contemplation I have decided to leave because the distractions, the very public noise around us, have created an untenable atmosphere. I deeply believe in creating value in an atmosphere of freedom, trust and empowerment. Life is too short to engage in battles of opinions in the public, these add no value, take critical time and focus away from the business, and indeed add more to the noise, to the eardrum buzz, as I wrote to you a few months ago. The founding principle of the strategy I laid out for our renewal was personal empowerment, working in an entrepreneurial environment.I need this for my own work as well.Steve Jobs, in his famous commencement speech at my alma mater, said:

“Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other opinions drown your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become.”

I now need to move forward, and return to an environment of respect, trust and empowerment, where I can take on new lofty challenges, as can each of you.

As Steve Jobs said, I must follow my heart and my intuition, build my buildings, give my givings, and do something else. Over the next weeks and months, I look forward to working with the Board and management to create a smooth transition, and simultaneously staring into the great unknown, and to doing something great, something purposeful, for the times ahead. And also to spend some time with my loved ones.I’ve been away from home far too often and far too long.

As I completed my three years recently, many people asked me if I have any regrets. This question is more apt today and the answer is a clear NO. Not for a second.However difficult the noise of the last several months has been, I wouldn’t trade our time together for anything. I would not give up the experience of seeing the gleam in your eyes as you described a new idea, invention, or contribution. You worked on these confidently, without reward, without arrogance, showing exactly the kind of creative confidence that David Kelley talked about in Design Thinking – a wonderful thing to witness.

I am deeply grateful for the immense support and love I’ve received from all of you, from our worthy clients for whom we do our life’s work, and by our shareholders across the globe.I am grateful for your trust, confidence and friendship, and am thankful to our team of amazing leaders, who will help lead our company to greatness.To my first Infoscion colleague and trusted friend Ranga, who enabled us to achieve the things we achieved, to the amazing Ravi, a pocket of passion and energy and execution excellence, to the calm and steadfast Mohit, who introduced me to the band of brothers and lived it, day after day, to the larger than life Rajesh, with his great heart and big laugh, to Binod, a veritable bulldozer brother with his broad shoulders and broader smile, to the one of a kind Ramadas, the architect and protector of our magnificent campuses with his indomitable spirit and world-class excellence, to the always smiling Deepak who helped live the strategy, to Krish and the best HR team in the world, especially the extraordinary Richard, Nanju, Shruthi and their amazing team for helping to carry out some of the craziest and most amazing people initiatives, to Inderpreet, a new voice to the team, a voice of calm, strength, integrity and a stability that far belies the little time she’s been with us, to Jayesh and our entire finance team for their dedication, their impeccable meticulous integrity and world-class excellence, and especially to my partner, friend, and pillar of strength, Pravin, who carried all the load in the world, with a smile, impeccable integrity and the most amazing grace, and will now lead you to the next phase of our company’s growth.To Zaiba, Bala sir, Nagaraju, Hari and many others for making it possible for me to be me and to do my work, to my Palo Alto family: Sanjay, Abdul, Navin, Ritika, Barbara, Tao, Vinod, Shabana, April, Sudhir and others who have stood by me and have given up so much to be a part of this journey and contributed so much to it, and indeed to thousands of Infoscions who’ve made it all matter.I am thankful to Sesh and our entire board for their unfailing support and confidence in me throughout this journey.

Together we have achieved a lot.Even in the midst of all of the distractions, even as the tendency was to return to the familiar, we still managed to persevere and make wonderful progress. We have laid the foundation for the next 30 years of Infosys, and I feel deeply proud to have worked alongside all of you in sowing the seeds that will return this company to the bellwether it once was.As you’ve all often reminded us, Infosys is no bigger and no smaller than any of us, the people, the Infoscions.You are the ones that will take Infosys to the next 30 years and beyond.As I think about the time ahead, for all of us, I can only see us powered by a freedom from the known, of renewing ourselves to thrive in the time ahead. Each one of you has vindicated my deeply held belief that people are capable of doing more, achieving more, being more, than they ever imagined possible. So, keep pushing yourself to do better at whatever you are good at, but also learning to do things you have never done before, indeed, nobody has ever done before. I know I will be doing the same.

The Board, Pravin, and I will communicate additional details as we move forward in this transition, and meanwhile, we continue our work as is. I wish all of you the very best in your journeys ahead.

V

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Infosys’ Sikka’s resignation letter: ‘I now need to… return to an environment of respect, trust and empowerment’ – Khaleej Times

Helping others is not about personal gain – POST-COURIER

August 22, 2017

BY SIMON KESLEP

The ability to help others is not about gaining recognition because one needs to be passionate about what he or she does in their dream job.

Aspiring 23-year-old Eileen-May Kehena Murepe, who hails from Kikori in Gulf Province, is one of those young Papua New Guineans who has the passion to help others.

My desire to help people and give back is entirely driven by the lack of development and provision of basic and essential services in the rural areas. I come from one of the most remote places in PNG and I know the hardship my people are going through, Ms Murepe said.

As a young Papua New Guinea, Ms Murepe strives to impact the lives of others by doing what she is passionate about.

Ms Murepe had a glimpse of the employment world when she was an intern at Mineral Resources Development Company, 7 News Sydney, Australia, and Oil Search Sydney, Australia.

She is not so much a job dreamer as she is interested and passionate about a lot of things.

I would take any job that enables me to help my people of Kikori, especially the women, where gender inequality is rampant, Ms Murepe said.

Asked how her dream job would encourage other young Papua New Guineans to strive in their respective walks of life, she said her dream job would possibly be her passion.

My passion would encourage and inspire people around me to pursue their passion so they will enjoy and love doing what they do, she adds.

Ms Murepes educational journey has brought her into contact with a lot of amazing people that she tends to look up to. She thinks anyone who inspires you in any way is your role model and so she has a lot of role models.

My parents are my role models because they have proved that from nothing and through hard work and sacrifices, you can be somebody and you can make something for yourself, she said.

Some iconic role models that Ms Murepe also feels inspired by are one of Americas earlier presidents, Abraham Lincoln and talk show host, Oprah Winfrey for women empowerment and giving back to the people.

She also feels inspired by British actress, model and activist Emma Watsons fight for gender equality.

Ms Murepe is currently studying at the University of Papua New Guinea as a communication and arts student. She has keen interests in photography, video, events planning, community work, volunteering, leadership and advocating mainly in women empowerment, gender equality, equal distribution of wealth, childrens rights, entrepreneurship, travelling and adventures and enjoys reading books on crime and investigation.

As a young woman keen to make a difference in her community, Ms Murepe was not happy with how the results of the 2017 National Election, especially without a woman in the 10th Parliament, which meets for the first time today.

She posed the questions: What happened to the female population of voters? What happeneed to supporting each other?

The National Government has been urged to engage proactively with the business sector and community to provide and enable policies to successfully deal with challenges that they are currently encountering.

Papua New Guineas economy is in a strong position compared to similar economies around the world, Prime Minister Peter ONeill said in Parliament yesterday.

The Government does not really know how many people live in Papua New Guinea as there had only been estimates.

The National Government has been urged to engage proactively with the business sector and community to provide and enable policies to successfully deal with challenges that they are currently encountering.

Papua New Guineas economy is in a strong position compared to similar economies around the world, Prime Minister Peter ONeill said in Parliament yesterday.

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Helping others is not about personal gain – POST-COURIER

Personal leadership to give cos competitive advantage – Times of India

By Anuranjita Kumar

Technology has come to play a vital role in the lives of many and has significantly shaped consumer perceptions, behaviours, and preferences. Technology is driving a host of disruptive innovations lately, also aided by the interesting demographic changes witnessed globally. Initially, driven by the younger populations of the world, the uptake of digitisation is slowly spreading far and wide sans boundaries, sans demographic or age barriers. On the other hand, evolving geopolitical equations are also shaping the world significantly, giving rise to newer opportunities. Yet also, in some cases, raising unforeseen barriers.

These are just a few things adding to the complexity of the environment businesses function in. It demands leaders to be nimble in evaluating the emergent situations and making prompt decisions. ‘Speed to market’ is critical to the success of organisations today. It allows them to reach their clients faster with better products, offers and services ahead of their competition and also being able to stay on their toes to constantly evolve these very products and services, sometimes even on the go, to give business as well as the stakeholders an edge.

Previously, major changes or transformations have been led by the executive teams of the organisation. The new realities, however, require organisations to be more agile by adopting the concept of distributed leadership. In order to deftly respond to market changes and exceed customer expectations, organisations need employees across locations to promptly make important decisions that impact ‘speed to market’.

This calls for organisations to leverage ‘individual leadership’ which, simply put, means individuals who are ready to take decisions and hold the courage and integrity to not only stand by them but also bring with it the conviction to drive others to rally and succeed. No longer is leadership confined to the traditional definition of ‘people management’. The ‘individual leadership’ concept inspires organisations to develop the leadership ability of its employees regardless of their work location, or position in the hierarchy. It aims to build the capabilities of employees across levels through the levers of empowerment and engagement.

Originally posted here:

Personal leadership to give cos competitive advantage – Times of India

Redlands East Valley student represents city at state, national Girl State mock government camps – Redlands Daily Facts

REDLANDS >> The role of women in government and female empowerment is driving Caroline Irvings passion for getting involved.

The Redlands East Valley High School senior spent much of her summer learning about women in influential roles as a participant in American Legion Auxiliary-sponsored programs in California and Washington, D.C.

The programs, known as Girls State, are dedicated to developing leadership skills, confidence and action-based understanding of the government process to give young women a lasting foundation for success, both personally and professionally, according to the programs website. Caroline, 17, said her interest in politics and government began at a young age.

Her biggest inspiration is Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a woman she has idolized since the age of 8.

It was back when the Notorious RBG campaign was going on, Caroline said. I was enticed by it and thought, I think Im going to check out what she stands for.

Ginsburgs long track of court success and the personal battles she has overcome inspires Caroline to pursue her long-term goal of working on the preservation of ecological diversity in South America.

Caroline represented REV at Girl State in late June after receiving a nomination to attend the mock government camp.

There, she ran for higher office and was elected as the camps lieutenant governor.

At the end of the week she learned she was one of two girls selected to attend the national camp in late July.

The nomination came as a surprise, Caroline said.

It was awesome and one of the craziest experiences of my life, she said. It changed my life.

Back at REV, Caroline is heavily involved in mock trial and speech and debate. She hopes to continue to develop her passion and love for politics and government after she graduates. And she hopes to inspire others to get involved, as she was inspired by Ginsburg.

I hope I can bring the role of leader, friend, mentor and (advocacy for) female empowerment to REV, she said. I want to be (an example) to other girls that as a senior I am not afraid to be outspoken and hope it becomes more normal and less taboo.

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Redlands East Valley student represents city at state, national Girl State mock government camps – Redlands Daily Facts

Accessible Public Transport: The Whole Journey – Sourceable

These are of course the standards related to transport systems including aircraft, buses and coaches, ferries, taxis, trains, trams, light rail, motor rail, rack railways, and other rolling stock, and are formulated under the Disability Discrimination Act (1992).

The review, which began in 2012, recognised a number of areas where improvements could be made, with one of the recommendations being to develop accessibility guidelines for a whole-of-journey approach to public transport planning.

The resulting guideline which was recently published in draft form by the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development is The Whole Journey: a guide for thinking beyond compliance to create accessible public transport journeys.

Comments were sought with regard to the guideline, the period for which has since closed. The guideline is therefore subject to change further the Departments assessment and implementation of any feedback gained.

The guide states that it has been “designed to encourage policy makers, planners, designers, builders, certifiers and operators to think beyond compliance and the physical and governance boundaries of services and infrastructure, and to focus instead on peoples accessibility needs across their whole journey.”

The report acknowledges that Australians reporting a disability represent 18.3 per cent of the population, and that numerous previous reports and studies continually identify that people with a disability are more likely to experience social and economic disadvantage. Access to public transport is identified as a key factor in creating opportunities for personal empowerment, social inclusion and participation. A key factor in reducing dependence on families, friends and taxi services, and to participate actively and independently in the community be it for recreation, training or employment.

In addressing the identified gaps in the Whole Journey, the guide identifies eight key stages and elaborates on strategies, solutions, technologies and opportunities as they relate to each stage. The points below are offered as summary of some of the items and solutions raised.

Pre-journey planning

Journey start and end

Public transport stop/station

Public transport service

Interchange

Return journey planning

Disruption to business-as-usual

Supporting infrastructure

The guideline can be downloaded here

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Accessible Public Transport: The Whole Journey – Sourceable

Helping others is not about personal gain – POST-COURIER

August 22, 2017

BY SIMON KESLEP

The ability to help others is not about gaining recognition because one needs to be passionate about what he or she does in their dream job.

Aspiring 23-year-old Eileen-May Kehena Murepe, who hails from Kikori in Gulf Province, is one of those young Papua New Guineans who has the passion to help others.

My desire to help people and give back is entirely driven by the lack of development and provision of basic and essential services in the rural areas. I come from one of the most remote places in PNG and I know the hardship my people are going through, Ms Murepe said.

As a young Papua New Guinea, Ms Murepe strives to impact the lives of others by doing what she is passionate about.

Ms Murepe had a glimpse of the employment world when she was an intern at Mineral Resources Development Company, 7 News Sydney, Australia, and Oil Search Sydney, Australia.

She is not so much a job dreamer as she is interested and passionate about a lot of things.

I would take any job that enables me to help my people of Kikori, especially the women, where gender inequality is rampant, Ms Murepe said.

Asked how her dream job would encourage other young Papua New Guineans to strive in their respective walks of life, she said her dream job would possibly be her passion.

My passion would encourage and inspire people around me to pursue their passion so they will enjoy and love doing what they do, she adds.

Ms Murepes educational journey has brought her into contact with a lot of amazing people that she tends to look up to. She thinks anyone who inspires you in any way is your role model and so she has a lot of role models.

My parents are my role models because they have proved that from nothing and through hard work and sacrifices, you can be somebody and you can make something for yourself, she said.

Some iconic role models that Ms Murepe also feels inspired by are one of Americas earlier presidents, Abraham Lincoln and talk show host, Oprah Winfrey for women empowerment and giving back to the people.

She also feels inspired by British actress, model and activist Emma Watsons fight for gender equality.

Ms Murepe is currently studying at the University of Papua New Guinea as a communication and arts student. She has keen interests in photography, video, events planning, community work, volunteering, leadership and advocating mainly in women empowerment, gender equality, equal distribution of wealth, childrens rights, entrepreneurship, travelling and adventures and enjoys reading books on crime and investigation.

As a young woman keen to make a difference in her community, Ms Murepe was not happy with how the results of the 2017 National Election, especially without a woman in the 10th Parliament, which meets for the first time today.

She posed the questions: What happened to the female population of voters? What happeneed to supporting each other?

Buimo jail in Lae, Morobe Province, should be relocated because most of the jail premises have been washed away by the flooding Bumbu River.

The fraternity of people living with disabilites in Lae is calling for continued and meaningful skills training development.

Elections for the Southern Highlands Provincial seat cannot fail, Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato said yesterday.

Buimo jail in Lae, Morobe Province, should be relocated because most of the jail premises have been washed away by the flooding Bumbu River.

The fraternity of people living with disabilites in Lae is calling for continued and meaningful skills training development.

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Helping others is not about personal gain – POST-COURIER

Africa’s second liberation will be women’s empowerment | News … – Mail & Guardian

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Graa Machel said the forum will help to establish networks among women with a common interest in developing their countries using pan-African ideas. (Gallo)

The Women Advancing Africa (WAA) Forum launched this weekend in the Tanzanian capital Dar es Salaam with a call on women to take centre stage in Africas economic liberation. The forum is an initiative of the Graa Machel Trust and celebrates the critical role women play in development. It will also provide a platform to showcase womens leadership and how that can be used for social change and economic transformation. Suzgo Chitete was at the launch.

The platforms launch attracted nearly 300 professional women from across Africa, representing business, politics, law, civil society, and media. Speakers at the forum said that the political liberation achieved decades ago is not good enough for Africa to move forward, and therefore there was a push for what they are calling the second liberation with a focus on making the continent economically independent.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Graa Machel said the forum will help to establish networks among women in the region with a common interest in developing their countries using pan-African ideas.

Our networks are rooted in each country where we are represented. We believe that any social, cultural and economic transformation has to be driven by women in the context of the country they belong to, but a country alone is not enough. Hence, we encourage sub-regional cooperation, explained Machel.

She said the choice of Tanzania as the host of the event was deliberate, as the country was a sanctuary of early African liberation struggles. Machel said the delegates came to Tanzania to pay respect to the East African countrys role in achieving African liberation, and to embark on a second liberation which will set the continent on a path to economic independence, with women as central drivers of change.

In her opening address at the conference, Tanzanian vice-president, Samia Suluhu Hassan, commended the initiative saying ideas shared there could help inform policies and bring about gender parity. She agreed with other speakers that it would be a mistake to ignore women in pushing forward Africas transformation agenda. The Tanzanian deputy leader, who is also a member of the UN High Level Panel on Womens Economic Empowerment, made a personal commitment to support women in her country in any way to ensure their effective participation in the WAA forum.

Tanzanian vice-president Samia Suluhu Hassan

Governments should provide an enabling infrastructure which seeks to promote gender parity. May I also call upon all of us here to ask our governments to take into account the implementation of [the United Nations] sustainable development goals for faster realisation of economic empowerment, especially for women, Hassan said.

The four-day event hosted several specialised discussions covering topics like agribusiness, energy and extractive industries, cross-border trade, financial inclusion, technology, and media in the context of changing the narrative on womens representation.

The discussions highlighted varied opinions, with some participants blaming men for monopolising power during the independence movement, thereby marginalising women. Other participants felt lessons could be drawn from the first stage of political liberation to succeed in the second struggle for economic independence.

Appearing on a conference panel, Hadeel Ibrahim, the executive director of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, stressed that the second liberation struggle needs to have an inclusive feminist agenda.

The first liberation was about gaining power while the second one is about empowerment. This liberation should aim at inclusiveness for marginalised groups while adhering to good governance, where everyone is treated with dignity regardless of gender, said Ebrahim.

The former president of the Pan-African Parliament, Gertrude Mongella, thinks that independence was achieved due to unity of purpose among nations, and that same spirit of unity should help to make the second liberation a success.

Male speakers at the forum also supported women taking a driving seat in the economic transformation of Africa. Studies have shown that investing in women has economic benefits because the global GDP can expand by $12 trillion. In sub-Saharan Africa alone, the GDP can expand by $300 billion, which is three times the amount of foreign aid to the continent, explained Sangu Delle, a Ghanaian entrepreneur and chief executive officer of the Golden Palm Investments Corporation.

Reporting by Suzgo Chitete, images by Gare Amadou

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Africa’s second liberation will be women’s empowerment | News … – Mail & Guardian

Infosys’ Sikka’s resignation letter: ‘I now need to… return to an environment of respect, trust and empowerment’ – Khaleej Times

Vishal Sikka quit as Infosys CEO on Friday, following a public battle with the tech giant’s founders that spanned for months.

In his blog, Timelessness, Sikka posted his resignation letter in full, under the title ‘Moving On…” and which we are republishing below.

Dear Friends,

After a lot of reflection, I have resigned from my position as your MD & CEO effective today.A succession process has been initiated, with Pravin serving as interim MD & CEO, and I will work closely with the Board and management team over the next few months to ensure a smooth transition. In addition, I have agreed to serve as Executive Vice Chairman on the Board to further ensure continuity until the new management is in place.

For days, indeed weeks, this decision has weighed on me. I have wrestled the pros and cons, the issues and the counterbalancing arguments. But now, after much thought, and considering the environment of the last few quarters, I am clear in my decision. It is clear to me that despite our successes over the last three years, and the powerful seeds of innovation that we have sown, I cannot carry out my job as CEO and continue to create value, while also constantly defending against unrelenting, baseless/malicious and increasingly personal attacks.

In 2014, we started with a very challenging set of conditions, and in the last three years, we have decisively turned things around.

Three years ago, I started this journey with a calling, to help reshape the company around innovation and entrepreneurship, to deliver breakthrough value for clients, and to help elevate our work, our standing, our selves, on the basis of a dual strategy, bringing together dualities of renew and new, automation and innovation, people and software, to show a new path forward in a time of unprecedented disruption within the industry and beyond. That time, around and before June 2014, was a difficult time. Our growth rates were low and attrition was high. There was a sense of apprehension all around and I came here to help enable a great transformation as our core business faced intense pricing pressure, and clients looked increasingly to innovative partners to help shape their digital futures. Now, a bit more than three years later, I am happy to see the company doing better in every dimension I can think of.

We have grown our revenues, from $2.13B in Q1FY15 to $2.65B this past Q1. We did so while keeping a strong focus on margins, closing this past quarter at 24.1% operating margin, beating some competitors for the first time in many years, and improving against most in our industry.Perhaps more importantly, our revenue per employee has grown for six quarters in a row. Our attrition has fallen, from 23.4% in Q1FY15 to 16.9% this past Q1, and high performer attrition is hovering at or below the single-digit threshold for a while now.We grew our $100M+ clients from 12 when I started, to 19, and increased our large deal wins from ~$1.9B in FY15 to ~$3.5B this past year. We’ve done all this while improving our overall utilization, to a 10-yr high this past quarter, and an all time high including trainees, while improving our cash reserves, rewarding employees with a new equity plan, and returning cash to our stakeholders. And we have done all this while improving our standing with clients to the highest ever in the 12 years since we’ve done our client satisfaction survey, and a jump of 22 points in CxO satisfaction.

A few days ago, Nitesh, Radha, and I met a client in our office in Palo Alto. It is one of the largest companies in the world – and the CIO was excited and proud about seeing automation come to life in their landscape.Her reaction to seeing many of our innovation projects, as well as our workspace itself, was thoroughly rewarding, and a testament to all we have achieved. She requested us to bring our innovative work and processes to everything we do with her team in a similar space, and even that we help them establish a similar presence for their company in the valley!This is a sentiment I’ve often heard from clients who’ve visited our 12,000 sqft space here, that has seen 2200 visits over its ~27 months; clients where we saw much faster than average revenue growth following their visits. So, as I look back on the three years as CEO, what brings me the most joy is the new roads that all of you have traveled, the new frontiers that all of you have enabled.From embracing the new ideas in education, teaching ourselves Design Thinking like no one else ever has, learning AI, new development processes, and more, to applying these learnings via Zero Distance, a one-of-a-kind program of massive grassroots innovation, powered by education, by the amazing Zero Bench, and by your creative confidence.With 16500+ ideas generated, 2200+ of which have already been implemented, ZD is proof that innovation need not be the domain of a chosen few in some elite department, but is the prerogative of us all; proof that the extraordinary within each one of us can indeed be unleashed. To complement this grassroots innovation, we’ve launched 25+ new services that contributed 8.3% of our revenue last quarter, up from zero in April 2015.And our own new software business is now at 1.6% of revenue.Our AI platform, Nia, now with 160+ scenarios deployed at more than 70 clients, is helping drive both automation within the company, and breakthrough new business scenarios outside.Beyond new services and new software, we’ve ventured into new horizons, from our startup fund’s investments in promising new businesses, to the work we’ve done in the last 3 years in local hiring around the world, especially in the US, to the exemplary and inspiring work our US foundation has done in bringing computer science education and a culture of making, to the masses.

And I am proud of how we have upheld our values, our culture, our integrity, whilst we have gone about this massive transformation.I am proud of how our Board has worked, tirelessly, selflessly, these past quarters, despite intense, unfair, and often malicious and personal, criticism, in not only upholding our standards of governance and integrity, but also indeed raising these.None of our successes would be worthwhile for a moment, if this was not the case.

I was, and remain, passionate about the massive transformation opportunity for this company and industry, but we all need to allow the company to move beyond the noise and distractions.

Back in May 2014, when I first met many board colleagues, I thought of the road ahead as a road for the next 33 years of this iconic company. For Infosys is more than a company: it is an idea, a dream, a pioneering possibility.Back then I thought, just as I do today, that the time ahead called for a company that could show the way to a digital future, a future where our humanity, amplified by automation and software, would unleash our creativity, our imagination, to construct great worlds of our futures, and would do so powered by education, by our timeless value of learnability.Such an Infosys, whilst staying true to its core, to her values and timeless principles, would shine the light in an altogether different context, a different reality. Such an Infosys would be one where an individual’s entrepreneurship, ability to imagine and create, ability to learn, and to amplify themselves with software, with AI, would create a greater whole. Rather than an overarching system enabling the people, the people’s agility and imagination would create a greater system. Three years later, we can clearly see that the seeds of this idea have taken root and are growing, into beautiful new flowers and plants, and I see no reason why these cannot continue, and help shape our company’s future.

For sure this journey has been a difficult one.No one, especially me, thought it would be easy.Transformations are hard to begin with.A massive transformation, of such an iconic institution, with such groundbreaking achievements behind her, would be even tougher, and the exponential rates of change all around us, further amplified by geopolitical matters, would add that much more headwind.But all this was known, and clear, and in many ways added to the calling that I felt.For as the legendary architect Daniel Burnham said, “Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir man’s blood.”

But after much contemplation I have decided to leave because the distractions, the very public noise around us, have created an untenable atmosphere. I deeply believe in creating value in an atmosphere of freedom, trust and empowerment. Life is too short to engage in battles of opinions in the public, these add no value, take critical time and focus away from the business, and indeed add more to the noise, to the eardrum buzz, as I wrote to you a few months ago. The founding principle of the strategy I laid out for our renewal was personal empowerment, working in an entrepreneurial environment.I need this for my own work as well.Steve Jobs, in his famous commencement speech at my alma mater, said:

“Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other opinions drown your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become.”

I now need to move forward, and return to an environment of respect, trust and empowerment, where I can take on new lofty challenges, as can each of you.

As Steve Jobs said, I must follow my heart and my intuition, build my buildings, give my givings, and do something else. Over the next weeks and months, I look forward to working with the Board and management to create a smooth transition, and simultaneously staring into the great unknown, and to doing something great, something purposeful, for the times ahead. And also to spend some time with my loved ones.I’ve been away from home far too often and far too long.

As I completed my three years recently, many people asked me if I have any regrets. This question is more apt today and the answer is a clear NO. Not for a second.However difficult the noise of the last several months has been, I wouldn’t trade our time together for anything. I would not give up the experience of seeing the gleam in your eyes as you described a new idea, invention, or contribution. You worked on these confidently, without reward, without arrogance, showing exactly the kind of creative confidence that David Kelley talked about in Design Thinking – a wonderful thing to witness.

I am deeply grateful for the immense support and love I’ve received from all of you, from our worthy clients for whom we do our life’s work, and by our shareholders across the globe.I am grateful for your trust, confidence and friendship, and am thankful to our team of amazing leaders, who will help lead our company to greatness.To my first Infoscion colleague and trusted friend Ranga, who enabled us to achieve the things we achieved, to the amazing Ravi, a pocket of passion and energy and execution excellence, to the calm and steadfast Mohit, who introduced me to the band of brothers and lived it, day after day, to the larger than life Rajesh, with his great heart and big laugh, to Binod, a veritable bulldozer brother with his broad shoulders and broader smile, to the one of a kind Ramadas, the architect and protector of our magnificent campuses with his indomitable spirit and world-class excellence, to the always smiling Deepak who helped live the strategy, to Krish and the best HR team in the world, especially the extraordinary Richard, Nanju, Shruthi and their amazing team for helping to carry out some of the craziest and most amazing people initiatives, to Inderpreet, a new voice to the team, a voice of calm, strength, integrity and a stability that far belies the little time she’s been with us, to Jayesh and our entire finance team for their dedication, their impeccable meticulous integrity and world-class excellence, and especially to my partner, friend, and pillar of strength, Pravin, who carried all the load in the world, with a smile, impeccable integrity and the most amazing grace, and will now lead you to the next phase of our company’s growth.To Zaiba, Bala sir, Nagaraju, Hari and many others for making it possible for me to be me and to do my work, to my Palo Alto family: Sanjay, Abdul, Navin, Ritika, Barbara, Tao, Vinod, Shabana, April, Sudhir and others who have stood by me and have given up so much to be a part of this journey and contributed so much to it, and indeed to thousands of Infoscions who’ve made it all matter.I am thankful to Sesh and our entire board for their unfailing support and confidence in me throughout this journey.

Together we have achieved a lot.Even in the midst of all of the distractions, even as the tendency was to return to the familiar, we still managed to persevere and make wonderful progress. We have laid the foundation for the next 30 years of Infosys, and I feel deeply proud to have worked alongside all of you in sowing the seeds that will return this company to the bellwether it once was.As you’ve all often reminded us, Infosys is no bigger and no smaller than any of us, the people, the Infoscions.You are the ones that will take Infosys to the next 30 years and beyond.As I think about the time ahead, for all of us, I can only see us powered by a freedom from the known, of renewing ourselves to thrive in the time ahead. Each one of you has vindicated my deeply held belief that people are capable of doing more, achieving more, being more, than they ever imagined possible. So, keep pushing yourself to do better at whatever you are good at, but also learning to do things you have never done before, indeed, nobody has ever done before. I know I will be doing the same.

The Board, Pravin, and I will communicate additional details as we move forward in this transition, and meanwhile, we continue our work as is. I wish all of you the very best in your journeys ahead.

V

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Infosys’ Sikka’s resignation letter: ‘I now need to… return to an environment of respect, trust and empowerment’ – Khaleej Times

Accessible Public Transport: The Whole Journey – Sourceable

These are of course the standards related to transport systems including aircraft, buses and coaches, ferries, taxis, trains, trams, light rail, motor rail, rack railways, and other rolling stock, and are formulated under the Disability Discrimination Act (1992).

The review, which began in 2012, recognised a number of areas where improvements could be made, with one of the recommendations being to develop accessibility guidelines for a whole-of-journey approach to public transport planning.

The resulting guideline which was recently published in draft form by the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development is The Whole Journey: a guide for thinking beyond compliance to create accessible public transport journeys.

Comments were sought with regard to the guideline, the period for which has since closed. The guideline is therefore subject to change further the Departments assessment and implementation of any feedback gained.

The guide states that it has been “designed to encourage policy makers, planners, designers, builders, certifiers and operators to think beyond compliance and the physical and governance boundaries of services and infrastructure, and to focus instead on peoples accessibility needs across their whole journey.”

The report acknowledges that Australians reporting a disability represent 18.3 per cent of the population, and that numerous previous reports and studies continually identify that people with a disability are more likely to experience social and economic disadvantage. Access to public transport is identified as a key factor in creating opportunities for personal empowerment, social inclusion and participation. A key factor in reducing dependence on families, friends and taxi services, and to participate actively and independently in the community be it for recreation, training or employment.

In addressing the identified gaps in the Whole Journey, the guide identifies eight key stages and elaborates on strategies, solutions, technologies and opportunities as they relate to each stage. The points below are offered as summary of some of the items and solutions raised.

Pre-journey planning

Journey start and end

Public transport stop/station

Public transport service

Interchange

Return journey planning

Disruption to business-as-usual

Supporting infrastructure

The guideline can be downloaded here

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Accessible Public Transport: The Whole Journey – Sourceable

Infosys’ Sikka’s resignation letter: ‘I now need to… return to an environment of respect, trust and empowerment’ – Khaleej Times

Vishal Sikka quit as Infosys CEO on Friday, following a public battle with the tech giant’s founders that spanned for months.

In his blog, Timelessness, Sikka posted his resignation letter in full, under the title ‘Moving On…” and which we are republishing below.

Dear Friends,

After a lot of reflection, I have resigned from my position as your MD & CEO effective today.A succession process has been initiated, with Pravin serving as interim MD & CEO, and I will work closely with the Board and management team over the next few months to ensure a smooth transition. In addition, I have agreed to serve as Executive Vice Chairman on the Board to further ensure continuity until the new management is in place.

For days, indeed weeks, this decision has weighed on me. I have wrestled the pros and cons, the issues and the counterbalancing arguments. But now, after much thought, and considering the environment of the last few quarters, I am clear in my decision. It is clear to me that despite our successes over the last three years, and the powerful seeds of innovation that we have sown, I cannot carry out my job as CEO and continue to create value, while also constantly defending against unrelenting, baseless/malicious and increasingly personal attacks.

In 2014, we started with a very challenging set of conditions, and in the last three years, we have decisively turned things around.

Three years ago, I started this journey with a calling, to help reshape the company around innovation and entrepreneurship, to deliver breakthrough value for clients, and to help elevate our work, our standing, our selves, on the basis of a dual strategy, bringing together dualities of renew and new, automation and innovation, people and software, to show a new path forward in a time of unprecedented disruption within the industry and beyond. That time, around and before June 2014, was a difficult time. Our growth rates were low and attrition was high. There was a sense of apprehension all around and I came here to help enable a great transformation as our core business faced intense pricing pressure, and clients looked increasingly to innovative partners to help shape their digital futures. Now, a bit more than three years later, I am happy to see the company doing better in every dimension I can think of.

We have grown our revenues, from $2.13B in Q1FY15 to $2.65B this past Q1. We did so while keeping a strong focus on margins, closing this past quarter at 24.1% operating margin, beating some competitors for the first time in many years, and improving against most in our industry.Perhaps more importantly, our revenue per employee has grown for six quarters in a row. Our attrition has fallen, from 23.4% in Q1FY15 to 16.9% this past Q1, and high performer attrition is hovering at or below the single-digit threshold for a while now.We grew our $100M+ clients from 12 when I started, to 19, and increased our large deal wins from ~$1.9B in FY15 to ~$3.5B this past year. We’ve done all this while improving our overall utilization, to a 10-yr high this past quarter, and an all time high including trainees, while improving our cash reserves, rewarding employees with a new equity plan, and returning cash to our stakeholders. And we have done all this while improving our standing with clients to the highest ever in the 12 years since we’ve done our client satisfaction survey, and a jump of 22 points in CxO satisfaction.

A few days ago, Nitesh, Radha, and I met a client in our office in Palo Alto. It is one of the largest companies in the world – and the CIO was excited and proud about seeing automation come to life in their landscape.Her reaction to seeing many of our innovation projects, as well as our workspace itself, was thoroughly rewarding, and a testament to all we have achieved. She requested us to bring our innovative work and processes to everything we do with her team in a similar space, and even that we help them establish a similar presence for their company in the valley!This is a sentiment I’ve often heard from clients who’ve visited our 12,000 sqft space here, that has seen 2200 visits over its ~27 months; clients where we saw much faster than average revenue growth following their visits. So, as I look back on the three years as CEO, what brings me the most joy is the new roads that all of you have traveled, the new frontiers that all of you have enabled.From embracing the new ideas in education, teaching ourselves Design Thinking like no one else ever has, learning AI, new development processes, and more, to applying these learnings via Zero Distance, a one-of-a-kind program of massive grassroots innovation, powered by education, by the amazing Zero Bench, and by your creative confidence.With 16500+ ideas generated, 2200+ of which have already been implemented, ZD is proof that innovation need not be the domain of a chosen few in some elite department, but is the prerogative of us all; proof that the extraordinary within each one of us can indeed be unleashed. To complement this grassroots innovation, we’ve launched 25+ new services that contributed 8.3% of our revenue last quarter, up from zero in April 2015.And our own new software business is now at 1.6% of revenue.Our AI platform, Nia, now with 160+ scenarios deployed at more than 70 clients, is helping drive both automation within the company, and breakthrough new business scenarios outside.Beyond new services and new software, we’ve ventured into new horizons, from our startup fund’s investments in promising new businesses, to the work we’ve done in the last 3 years in local hiring around the world, especially in the US, to the exemplary and inspiring work our US foundation has done in bringing computer science education and a culture of making, to the masses.

And I am proud of how we have upheld our values, our culture, our integrity, whilst we have gone about this massive transformation.I am proud of how our Board has worked, tirelessly, selflessly, these past quarters, despite intense, unfair, and often malicious and personal, criticism, in not only upholding our standards of governance and integrity, but also indeed raising these.None of our successes would be worthwhile for a moment, if this was not the case.

I was, and remain, passionate about the massive transformation opportunity for this company and industry, but we all need to allow the company to move beyond the noise and distractions.

Back in May 2014, when I first met many board colleagues, I thought of the road ahead as a road for the next 33 years of this iconic company. For Infosys is more than a company: it is an idea, a dream, a pioneering possibility.Back then I thought, just as I do today, that the time ahead called for a company that could show the way to a digital future, a future where our humanity, amplified by automation and software, would unleash our creativity, our imagination, to construct great worlds of our futures, and would do so powered by education, by our timeless value of learnability.Such an Infosys, whilst staying true to its core, to her values and timeless principles, would shine the light in an altogether different context, a different reality. Such an Infosys would be one where an individual’s entrepreneurship, ability to imagine and create, ability to learn, and to amplify themselves with software, with AI, would create a greater whole. Rather than an overarching system enabling the people, the people’s agility and imagination would create a greater system. Three years later, we can clearly see that the seeds of this idea have taken root and are growing, into beautiful new flowers and plants, and I see no reason why these cannot continue, and help shape our company’s future.

For sure this journey has been a difficult one.No one, especially me, thought it would be easy.Transformations are hard to begin with.A massive transformation, of such an iconic institution, with such groundbreaking achievements behind her, would be even tougher, and the exponential rates of change all around us, further amplified by geopolitical matters, would add that much more headwind.But all this was known, and clear, and in many ways added to the calling that I felt.For as the legendary architect Daniel Burnham said, “Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir man’s blood.”

But after much contemplation I have decided to leave because the distractions, the very public noise around us, have created an untenable atmosphere. I deeply believe in creating value in an atmosphere of freedom, trust and empowerment. Life is too short to engage in battles of opinions in the public, these add no value, take critical time and focus away from the business, and indeed add more to the noise, to the eardrum buzz, as I wrote to you a few months ago. The founding principle of the strategy I laid out for our renewal was personal empowerment, working in an entrepreneurial environment.I need this for my own work as well.Steve Jobs, in his famous commencement speech at my alma mater, said:

“Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other opinions drown your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become.”

I now need to move forward, and return to an environment of respect, trust and empowerment, where I can take on new lofty challenges, as can each of you.

As Steve Jobs said, I must follow my heart and my intuition, build my buildings, give my givings, and do something else. Over the next weeks and months, I look forward to working with the Board and management to create a smooth transition, and simultaneously staring into the great unknown, and to doing something great, something purposeful, for the times ahead. And also to spend some time with my loved ones.I’ve been away from home far too often and far too long.

As I completed my three years recently, many people asked me if I have any regrets. This question is more apt today and the answer is a clear NO. Not for a second.However difficult the noise of the last several months has been, I wouldn’t trade our time together for anything. I would not give up the experience of seeing the gleam in your eyes as you described a new idea, invention, or contribution. You worked on these confidently, without reward, without arrogance, showing exactly the kind of creative confidence that David Kelley talked about in Design Thinking – a wonderful thing to witness.

I am deeply grateful for the immense support and love I’ve received from all of you, from our worthy clients for whom we do our life’s work, and by our shareholders across the globe.I am grateful for your trust, confidence and friendship, and am thankful to our team of amazing leaders, who will help lead our company to greatness.To my first Infoscion colleague and trusted friend Ranga, who enabled us to achieve the things we achieved, to the amazing Ravi, a pocket of passion and energy and execution excellence, to the calm and steadfast Mohit, who introduced me to the band of brothers and lived it, day after day, to the larger than life Rajesh, with his great heart and big laugh, to Binod, a veritable bulldozer brother with his broad shoulders and broader smile, to the one of a kind Ramadas, the architect and protector of our magnificent campuses with his indomitable spirit and world-class excellence, to the always smiling Deepak who helped live the strategy, to Krish and the best HR team in the world, especially the extraordinary Richard, Nanju, Shruthi and their amazing team for helping to carry out some of the craziest and most amazing people initiatives, to Inderpreet, a new voice to the team, a voice of calm, strength, integrity and a stability that far belies the little time she’s been with us, to Jayesh and our entire finance team for their dedication, their impeccable meticulous integrity and world-class excellence, and especially to my partner, friend, and pillar of strength, Pravin, who carried all the load in the world, with a smile, impeccable integrity and the most amazing grace, and will now lead you to the next phase of our company’s growth.To Zaiba, Bala sir, Nagaraju, Hari and many others for making it possible for me to be me and to do my work, to my Palo Alto family: Sanjay, Abdul, Navin, Ritika, Barbara, Tao, Vinod, Shabana, April, Sudhir and others who have stood by me and have given up so much to be a part of this journey and contributed so much to it, and indeed to thousands of Infoscions who’ve made it all matter.I am thankful to Sesh and our entire board for their unfailing support and confidence in me throughout this journey.

Together we have achieved a lot.Even in the midst of all of the distractions, even as the tendency was to return to the familiar, we still managed to persevere and make wonderful progress. We have laid the foundation for the next 30 years of Infosys, and I feel deeply proud to have worked alongside all of you in sowing the seeds that will return this company to the bellwether it once was.As you’ve all often reminded us, Infosys is no bigger and no smaller than any of us, the people, the Infoscions.You are the ones that will take Infosys to the next 30 years and beyond.As I think about the time ahead, for all of us, I can only see us powered by a freedom from the known, of renewing ourselves to thrive in the time ahead. Each one of you has vindicated my deeply held belief that people are capable of doing more, achieving more, being more, than they ever imagined possible. So, keep pushing yourself to do better at whatever you are good at, but also learning to do things you have never done before, indeed, nobody has ever done before. I know I will be doing the same.

The Board, Pravin, and I will communicate additional details as we move forward in this transition, and meanwhile, we continue our work as is. I wish all of you the very best in your journeys ahead.

V

Original post:

Infosys’ Sikka’s resignation letter: ‘I now need to… return to an environment of respect, trust and empowerment’ – Khaleej Times

Lisa Morgan Mosley Has Announced The First Volume Of ‘Expressions Of Empowerment’ – Markets Insider

ATLANTA, Aug. 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ –Seasoned business leader Lisa Morgan Mosley, Founder of 212 Degrees Coaching Services,has announced the release date for her new self-help and personal growth book titled ‘Expressions of Empowerment: An Introspective Guide for Personal and Professional Success (Volume I).’ The book will be released on August 30th and will be available for sale on Amazon. With decades of experience in the corporate world, Lisa is known in the industry as an innate sales strategist that capitalizes on company’s objectives, and this book is a reflection of her lifetime of engaging personal and professional experiences.

“Empowerment is a key to success, and this book is my effort to share insights of professional and personal success,” said Lisa Morgan Mosley, the Author of this inspiring book. “This is the first volume and I look forward to future stories of enlightenment with additional volumes to follow,” she added.

This book by Lisa is all about positivity and self-development to meet professional and personal goals in life. According to the reviews, the author has candidly shared her experience to fight negativity and hurdles through a positive sense of growth with motivation. Lisa’s background clearly demonstrates that she is an experienced leader in multiple disciplines and a talented motivator and mentor who receives high praise from clients and peers alike for her teaching skills.

About Lisa Morgan MosleyLisa is a renowned American Business and Career Growth Coach with over 25 years of experience and a Master’s Degree in Organizational Management. She is the Founder of 212 Degrees Coaching Services and an effective leader in such companies as Apple, AT&T, and FedEx. Lisa also developed curriculum and taught Sales and Marketing Research at Gwinnett Technical College. She is a graduate of The Coach Training Academy and credentialed through the Certified Coaches Alliance (CCA), a member of the International Coach Federation (ICF), and also a member of the National Association of Professional Women (NAPW).

To preorder your copy on Amazon, please visit: http://bit.ly/ExpressionsBook

Website 212degreescoaching.com

View original content with multimedia:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/lisa-morgan-mosley-has-announced-the-first-volume-of-expressions-of-empowerment-300502043.html

SOURCE 212 Degrees Coaching Services

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Lisa Morgan Mosley Has Announced The First Volume Of ‘Expressions Of Empowerment’ – Markets Insider

Why this self-help guru only owns 15 things – Business Mirror

NEW YORKIt was around 10 am on a sun-drenched summer morning, and James Altucher, perhaps, the worlds least likely success guru, was packing his worldly possessions, about 15 items, into a small canvas carry-on bag.

If I were to die, my kids get this bag, Altucher said sardonically as he packed away his laptop, iPad, three sets of chinos, three t-shirts and a Ziploc bag filled with $4,000 worth of $2 bills (People always remember you if you tip with $2 bills, he said), and departed a friends loft.

A few months ago, the boyish 48-year-old let the lease expire on his Cold Spring, New York, apartment, and dumped or donated virtually everything he owned, more than 40 garbage bags of sheets, dishes, clothes, books, his college diploma, even childhood photo albums. Since then, hes been bouncing among friends apartments and Airbnb rentals.

Its not that he is down on his luck. Several of the 16 books he has written, including his 2013 personal-empowerment manifesto, Choose Yourself, continue to sell briskly. His weekly podcasts, The James Altucher Show, featuring interviews with notables as diverse as Ron Paul and Luther Campbell of 2 Live Crew and Question of the Day, with Stephen Dubner, are downloaded about 2 million times a month.

Altucher is simply practicing what he preaches. Over the last half-decade, this former tech entrepreneur, venture capitalist and financial pundit has reinvented himself as a gimlet-eyed self-help guru, preaching survival in an era when the American dreamthe gold-embossed college diploma, the corner office, the three-bedroom homeseems like a sham. So one by one, he has shed all of them.

I have ambition, he said, to have no ambition.

In the past 25 years, income has gone down for the 18- to 35-year-olds, student-loan debt is at an all-time high, Altucher said over a lunch of zucchini pancakes at a Russian restaurant in the Flatiron district. We had $3 trillion in bailout money, and income inequality got higher than ever. People feel like they were scammed.

While there is no shortage of anger and confusion about the supposed waning of the American dream, what makes Altucher stand out are his Cassandra-like conclusions.

College, he says, is a waste of money. Although he graduated from Cornell, Altucher argues that the college degree is becoming a costly luxury in a world where millennials feel like debt serfs and entry-level professional jobs are scarce.

In a 2012 self-published book, 40 Alternatives to College, he argued that young adults could travel the world, educate themselves online and start a business with the same $200,000 they may spend on college.

Investing the money with even a 5-percent return would offer greater financial benefit over the course of a lifetime, he wrote in a blog post.

Similarly, he believes homeownership is a rip-off foisted upon unwitting citizens by a $14-trillion mortgage industry.

Its a total scam, he said in an online interview. Nobody should put more than 5 percent to 10 percent of their portfolio, their assets, in any one investment. But when people buy a home, they go crazy. They put like 50 percent, 60 percent, 70 percent of their net worth into this one investment. Its illiquid, so when times are hard, you cant sell it.

And he think stocks are a racket. Its a fierce worldview that is rooted in Altuchers own roller-coaster life.

In the 1990s as a young Silicon Alley start-up whiz, Altucher made millions with a web-design company, Reset Inc., that counted Sony and Miramax as clients.

Soon, he and his wife at the time, Anne (they divorced in 2010), were living in a 5,000-square-foot loft in TriBeCa that he bought for $1.8 million and spent another $1 million renovating. He felt flush enough to take a helicopter to Atlantic City, New Jersey, on weekends to play poker.

The lavish lifestyle did not fill his emotional void. Nobody should feel sorry for me, he said. I was really stupid, but I thought I was dirt poor. I felt like I needed $100 million to be happy. So I just started investing in all these other companies, and they were just stupid companies. Zero of these investments worked out.

As his fortunes collapsed, he was forced to sell his apartment for a $1-million loss (it was after the attacks of September 11, 2001).

To reclaim his wealth, he set his sights on the stock market. He read more than a hundred books on investing, and eventually wrangled a job writing for James Cramers site, TheStreet and, later, The Financial Times. Before long, his trademark hairdo, which looks like carnival cotton candy spun from steel wool, was a familiar sight on CNBC.

But his fortunes crumbled once again during the financial crisis that began in 2008. The hedge fund he started ran out of gas, various start-ups withered, writing gigs dried up. With few options open, he decided to chronicle his failures on a personal blog, which he named Altucher Confidential.

I just said, Ive made every mistake in the book: Heres what they are, Altucher said. To Wall Street friends, he seemed like Howard Beale, the anchorman in Network who had a meltdown on-air.

Instead of touting the latest hot mutual fund, he wrote posts, like 10 Reasons You Should Never Own Stocks Again. (Reason No. 1: Youre not that good at it.) He confessed thoughts of suicide.

Financial people were like watching a train wreck in real time, Altucher said. I had friends I hadnt talked to since high school call me and say, Hey, are you OK?

He soon discovered a sizable audience of people whose own dreams had just gone down the sinkhole. They, too, were looking to claw their way out.

The No. 1 search phrase on Google that takes people to my blog is I want to die, Altucher said.

By writing candidly about his own triumphs and flameouts, Altucher shows readers how they can succeed despite their flaws, not because of a lack of flaws, said Tim Ferriss, author of the best-selling 4-Hour self-improvement series. This is hugely refreshing in a world of rah-rah positive-thinking gurus who are all forced smiles and high-fives.

It helped that Altucher, despite his biting views on topics like college, maintained a positive tone. I am an optimist, he said. Theres a great novel from the 1960s by Richard Faria called Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me. Basically, Ive been down on the floor so many times, I know now that I can always bounce back, and it gets faster each time.

His philosophy is, perhaps, most clearly articulated in Choose Yourself, which he summarized over lunch like this: If you dont choose the life you want to live, chances are, someone else is going to choose it for you. And the results are probably not going to be pretty.

His fans swear by him. One reader, Beck Power, recently wrote an essay on Medium about how he inspired her to ditch a frustrating job to start her own online travel business. I dance in my underwear, she wrote. I dont have panic attacks anymore.

A talk he gave at a London church last year drew about 1,000 people, and fans have organized Choose Yourself meetups in cities around the world. On LinkedIn, where he publishes original free essays, Altucher has more than 485,000 followers and is ranked the No. 4 influencer, after Bill Gates, Richard Branson and Mohamed A. El Erian, the financier and author.

Altucher, in fact, disputes that he is a guru in the first place. I am not a self-help guy at all, he said.

Advice is autobiography, he added. I only say what has worked for me, and then others can choose to try it or not.

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Why this self-help guru only owns 15 things – Business Mirror

Africa’s second liberation will be women’s empowerment | News … – Mail & Guardian

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Graa Machel said the forum will help to establish networks among women with a common interest in developing their countries using pan-African ideas. (Gallo)

The Women Advancing Africa (WAA) Forum launched this weekend in the Tanzanian capital Dar es Salaam with a call on women to take centre stage in Africas economic liberation. The forum is an initiative of the Graa Machel Trust and celebrates the critical role women play in development. It will also provide a platform to showcase womens leadership and how that can be used for social change and economic transformation. Suzgo Chitete was at the launch.

The platforms launch attracted nearly 300 professional women from across Africa, representing business, politics, law, civil society, and media. Speakers at the forum said that the political liberation achieved decades ago is not good enough for Africa to move forward, and therefore there was a push for what they are calling the second liberation with a focus on making the continent economically independent.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Graa Machel said the forum will help to establish networks among women in the region with a common interest in developing their countries using pan-African ideas.

Our networks are rooted in each country where we are represented. We believe that any social, cultural and economic transformation has to be driven by women in the context of the country they belong to, but a country alone is not enough. Hence, we encourage sub-regional cooperation, explained Machel.

She said the choice of Tanzania as the host of the event was deliberate, as the country was a sanctuary of early African liberation struggles. Machel said the delegates came to Tanzania to pay respect to the East African countrys role in achieving African liberation, and to embark on a second liberation which will set the continent on a path to economic independence, with women as central drivers of change.

In her opening address at the conference, Tanzanian vice-president, Samia Suluhu Hassan, commended the initiative saying ideas shared there could help inform policies and bring about gender parity. She agreed with other speakers that it would be a mistake to ignore women in pushing forward Africas transformation agenda. The Tanzanian deputy leader, who is also a member of the UN High Level Panel on Womens Economic Empowerment, made a personal commitment to support women in her country in any way to ensure their effective participation in the WAA forum.

Tanzanian vice-president Samia Suluhu Hassan

Governments should provide an enabling infrastructure which seeks to promote gender parity. May I also call upon all of us here to ask our governments to take into account the implementation of [the United Nations] sustainable development goals for faster realisation of economic empowerment, especially for women, Hassan said.

The four-day event hosted several specialised discussions covering topics like agribusiness, energy and extractive industries, cross-border trade, financial inclusion, technology, and media in the context of changing the narrative on womens representation.

The discussions highlighted varied opinions, with some participants blaming men for monopolising power during the independence movement, thereby marginalising women. Other participants felt lessons could be drawn from the first stage of political liberation to succeed in the second struggle for economic independence.

Appearing on a conference panel, Hadeel Ibrahim, the executive director of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, stressed that the second liberation struggle needs to have an inclusive feminist agenda.

The first liberation was about gaining power while the second one is about empowerment. This liberation should aim at inclusiveness for marginalised groups while adhering to good governance, where everyone is treated with dignity regardless of gender, said Ebrahim.

The former president of the Pan-African Parliament, Gertrude Mongella, thinks that independence was achieved due to unity of purpose among nations, and that same spirit of unity should help to make the second liberation a success.

Male speakers at the forum also supported women taking a driving seat in the economic transformation of Africa. Studies have shown that investing in women has economic benefits because the global GDP can expand by $12 trillion. In sub-Saharan Africa alone, the GDP can expand by $300 billion, which is three times the amount of foreign aid to the continent, explained Sangu Delle, a Ghanaian entrepreneur and chief executive officer of the Golden Palm Investments Corporation.

Reporting by Suzgo Chitete, images by Gare Amadou

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Africa’s second liberation will be women’s empowerment | News … – Mail & Guardian

PM: Youth entrepreneurial empowerment to be ‘major focus’ of … – Bahamas Tribune

By Natario McKenzie

Tribune Business Reporter

nmckenzie@tribunemedia.net

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said that youth entrepreneurial empowerment will be a major focus of his administration, while urging the private sector to be “bold and imaginative”.

Dr Minnis, who was speaking at the recent launch of the Bahamas Striping Group’s Investment Group funding arm, said: “Youth entrepreneurial empowerment will be a major focus of my administration as we see this as a means of tackling some of our long-entrenched problems in our urban areas such as unemployment, crime and social anomie.”

Dr Minnis applauded the efforts of the striping group, while noting there are countless examples of young individuals who have ideas to start a business enterprise but who have nowhere to turn to find the necessary funding to advance their proposals. “They are unable to obtain funding through the established commercial banks and quite naturally they would not have the connections or the knowledge to obtain private financing. And so what happens, the dream is deferred, and the dream dies. Needless to say, this leads to personal frustration and social explosion.”

Dr Minnis also stressed that the private sector must expand. “One of today’s realities is that the private sector must expand. It must be that sector of our economy that must be bold and imaginative. We know that the public sector is already overburdened when it comes to creating new employment and so any opportunity that the private sector has to expand and create new employment should be welcomed,” said Dr Minnis.

He added: “Our economy needs small and medium enterprises to grow and become successful. More often than not, these are the companies that employ those who are marginalised and who may not fit into the conventional mainstream of employable skills. But the market place must find room for such young men and women, and often the best way to do this is allowing such persons to do their own thing.”

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PM: Youth entrepreneurial empowerment to be ‘major focus’ of … – Bahamas Tribune

Africa’s second liberation will be women’s empowerment – The Daily Vox

The Women Advancing Africa (WAA) Forum launched this weekend in the Tanzanian capital Dar es Salaam with a call on women to take centre stage in Africas economic liberation. The forum is an initiative of the Graa Machel Trust and celebrates the critical role women play in development. It will also provide a platform to showcase womens leadership and how that can be used for social change and economic transformation. Suzgo Chitete was at the launch.

The platforms launch attracted nearly 300 professional women from across Africa, representing business, politics, law, civil society, and media. Speakers at the forum said that the political liberation achieved decades ago is not good enough for Africa to move forward, and therefore there was a push for what they are calling the second liberation with a focus on making the continent economically independent.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Graa Machel said the forum will help to establish networks among women in the region with a common interest in developing their countries using pan-African ideas.

Our networks are rooted in each country where we are represented. We believe that any social, cultural and economic transformation has to be driven by women in the context of the country they belong to, but a country alone is not enough. Hence, we encourage sub-regional cooperation, explained Machel.

She said the choice of Tanzania as the host of the event was deliberate, as the country was a sanctuary of early African liberation struggles. Machel said the delegates came to Tanzania to pay respect to the East African countrys role in achieving African liberation, and to embark on a second liberation which will set the continent on a path to economic independence, with women as central drivers of change.

In her opening address at the conference, Tanzanian vice-president, Samia Suluhu Hassan, commended the initiative saying ideas shared there could help inform policies and bring about gender parity. She agreed with other speakers that it would be a mistake to ignore women in pushing forward Africas transformation agenda. The Tanzanian deputy leader, who is also a member of the UN High Level Panel on Womens Economic Empowerment, made a personal commitment to support women in her country in any way to ensure their effective participation in the WAA forum.

Governments should provide an enabling infrastructure which seeks to promote gender parity. May I also call upon all of us here to ask our governments to take into account the implementation of [the United Nations] sustainable development goals for faster realisation of economic empowerment, especially for women, Hassan said.

The four-day event hosted several specialised discussions covering topics like agribusiness, energy and extractive industries, cross-border trade, financial inclusion, technology, and media in the context of changing the narrative on womens representation.

The discussions highlighted varied opinions, with some participants blaming men for monopolising power during the independence movement, thereby marginalising women. Other participants felt lessons could be drawn from the first stage of political liberation to succeed in the second struggle for economic independence.

Appearing on a conference panel, Hadeel Ibrahim, the executive director of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, stressed that the second liberation struggle needs to have an inclusive feminist agenda.

The first liberation was about gaining power while the second one is about empowerment. This liberation should aim at inclusiveness for marginalised groups while adhering to good governance, where everyone is treated with dignity regardless of gender, said Ebrahim.

The former president of the Pan-African Parliament, Gertrude Mongella, thinks that independence was achieved due to unity of purpose among nations, and that same spirit of unity should help to make the second liberation a success.

Male speakers at the forum also supported women taking a driving seat in the economic transformation of Africa. Studies have shown that investing in women has economic benefits because the global GDP can expand by $12 trillion. In sub-Saharan Africa alone, the GDP can expand by $300 billion, which is three times the amount of foreign aid to the continent, explained Sangu Delle, a Ghanaian entrepreneur and chief executive officer of the Golden Palm Investments Corporation.

Reporting by Suzgo Chitete, images byGare Amadou

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Africa’s second liberation will be women’s empowerment – The Daily Vox

More than one way to address San Diego homeless crisis – The San Diego Union-Tribune

San Diegos homeless crisis is growing worse by the day. Yet as more are living on the streets and fewer in shelters than ever before, some, including Michael McConnell who recently took to the Union-Tribunes opinion pages (Why the Housing First approach is a practical solution for homelessness, Aug. 4) argue that the best approach to solving homelessness is to outlaw any program that doesnt fit his particular recipe for success.

As someone who has served the homeless for more than 25 years, solving homelessness for thousands using a very different approach, it is hard for me to not take his criticism personally. Its even harder not to call it out for it narrow-mindedness.

Homelessness is a complex problem with causes spanning the criminal justice system, mental health, substance abuse, family support, human connection, and other social and economic forces. Other innovative and replicable program models that work shouldnt be kept out of the picture.

In his commentary, McConnell makes many mischaracterizations, claiming that progress in solving homelessness is jeopardized by ill-informed politicians and agencies. But what he gets wrong most of all is that no one is calling for an end to Housing First. Instead, what some are asking for is a simple request to include other high-performing results-driven approaches in our homelessness policy.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista, deserves praise for courageously taking the lead to request Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson look at how Housing First impacts vulnerable populations families and children and how other approaches can work in tandem to overcome poverty and homelessness. He should be commended for taking action to prevent homeless programs across the state from being forced to shutter their doors, thanks to the new misguided guidelines.

At Solutions for Change, our programs our based on a 25-year personal empowerment and accountability model that puts the hard-to-serve homeless to work and is funded almost entirely by the private sector and social enterprise. Our approach adopts a completely unique model focused on a permanent solution to homelessness, not just a band aid of temporary housing.

Over 18 years, weve successfully led more than 850 families and 2,200 children out of homelessness and back on their feet. Yet, thanks to the misguided requirement that any homelessness program follow Housing First to be eligible for federal funding, weve been forced to walk away from as much as $600,000 in grants and our 40-bed family center now sits empty because Housing First rules require that we abandon our drug free housing and scrap our workforce training in favor of no-strings-attached optional programs.

When McConnell and other Housing First allies assert that their model works, theyre not talking about solving homelessness and its root causes. His goal is to getting people into permanent taxpayer-supported housing. They then offer Family Option Study as proof that families benefit from Housing First, but fail to mention how the very study also demonstrates that families in these programs experienced only temporary success because issues like employment, mental health and substance abuse were poorly addressed for the long haul.

Our approach uses work, education and employment to transform those experiencing homelessness. The families we help like this approach they want to be supported, empowered and treated as valuable and capable. Central to this effort is a healthy and drug-free living community focused on keeping kids safe. Good programs like ours with a track record of success shouldnt be shut out of the system.

This issue is about more than housing: Its about saving the lives of kids and ending poverty and dependency. We know that the large majority experiencing homelessness can develop job skills, obtain work and pay for their own housing. We must do better than coldly pushing families and children into homelessness and insisting on only utilizing one way of solving homelessness.

The number of chronic homeless in the top four cities (New York, Los Angeles, Seattle and San Diego) has spiked with no signs of abating. McConnell and the Housing First advocates say that providing housing, supporting sobriety, training for employment and engaging the root causes of homelessness is outdated, ineffective and wasteful. Whats ineffective is choosing to punish homelessness programs based on their approach, rather than on their results.

Homelessness reaches far beyond any single cause and our homeless policy should be big enough to support more than any single solution.

Megison is president and CEO of Solutions for Change.

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More than one way to address San Diego homeless crisis – The San Diego Union-Tribune

Claire Saenz, Looking in the ‘Mirror’ and Seeing the Self – The Good Men Project (blog)

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Claire Saenz is a SMART Recovery Facilitator for SMART Recovery. It is an addiction recovery service without a necessary reference to a higher power or incorporation of a faith, or some faith-based system into it by necessity. Those can be used it, but they are not necessities. The system is about options. In this series, we look at her story, views, and expertise regarding addiction, having been an addict herself. This is session 1.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen:When it comes to the experience of addiction, what were your addiction and particular substance of choice?

Claire Saenz: My substance of choice was alcohol, which was coupled with an eating disorder and an anxiety disorder.

Jacobsen: What were the thoughts that ran through your mind as you were working to combat the addiction, to stop using the substance(s)?

Saenz: I was highly motivated when I decided to stop drinking, so my primary thought, initially, was that I was going to quit or die trying. I felt determined, but also extremely vulnerable because giving up alcohol meant that in many essential ways, I was giving up my sole coping mechanism.

Jacobsen: How did SMART Recovery compare to other services?

Saenz: Other services I used in my recovery were AA, individual therapy, and pharmaceutical treatment of my anxiety. I found SMART similar to AA in that it is also a peer support group. I found the social support aspect of both programs helpful. SMART was drastically different from AA in almost all other respects, however, and much more like the individual therapy I received.

SMARTs philosophy is one of personal empowerment rather than reliance on a higher power. The use of stigmatizing labels such as alcoholic or addict is discouraged. Direct discussion (cross-talk) among group participants is encouraged. Sponsorship is not part of the program. Group facilitators are not professionals, but they are trained in the SMART tools and meeting facilitation skills, and they are expected to adhere to a code of ethics.

Finally, SMART recognizes that recovery, while a process, is not necessarily a permanent one. While participants are encouraged to attend meetings for a significant time period and to become facilitators to pay it forward, we do not view recovery as being a permanent state. Instead, we achieve a new normal.

Jacobsen: What were some of the more drastic stories that you have heard of in your time as an addict, as a recovering addict, and now as a SMART Recovery facilitator?

Saenz: For the reasons mentioned above, I dont refer to myself as an addict or alcoholic, recovering or otherwise. If a label must be applied to my state, call me a person who has recovered from an addiction to alcohol.

As far as drastic stories, they fall into two categories: the carnage of addiction itself, and the carnage of one-size-fits-all addiction treatment where the one size is the twelve- step approach.

The carnage of addiction is simply limitless. I have lost dozens of friends and acquaintances to addiction-related causes, from organ failure to overdose, to suicide.

At one of my first AA meetings, I spent a few minutes talking to a nice young man who went home that night and hung himself. I know multiple people who have lost spouses and children to addiction. It is a dreadful condition that takes the lives of fine people, and the solutions we currently offer, as a society, are breathtakingly inadequate.

In terms of the consequences of one-size-fits-all treatment, it should come as no surprise that in a world of individuals, there will never be an approach to any physical or mental condition that will work the same way, or as well, for everyone. And yet for years, we have prescribed the exact same treatment to everyone with an addictive disorder.

Worse, what passes for treatment is often nothing more than expensive indoctrination into a free support group (12 step programs, themselves, are free)and if the patient fails to improve, the prescription ismore 12 step. Of course, this isnt working. The shocking thing is that we would ever expect it to work.

Jacobsen: How has religion infiltrated the recovery and addiction services world? Is this good or bad? How so?

Saenz: Twelve-step programs, which form the basis of most traditional treatment, are religious in nature. Adherents sometimes claim otherwise, but courts in the U.S. have nearly universally disagreed on that point.

As one jurist put it, The emphasis placed on God, spirituality, and faith in a higher power by twelve-step programs such as A.A. or N.A. clearly supports a determination that the underlying basis of these programs is religious and that participation in such programs constitutes a religious exercise. It is an inescapable conclusion that coerced attendance at such programs, therefore, violates the Establishment Clause.Warburton v. Underwood, 2 F.Supp.2d 306, 318 (W.D.N.Y.1998).

Because they are religious in nature, such programs may not be the best choice for, and certainly should not the only option given to, atheists or individuals with an internal locus of control.

Beyond that, the religious atmosphere of the programs can, and sometimes does breed an environment where seasoned members of the program become almost like gurus, given an almost clergy-like status and an inordinate amount of power over newer and more vulnerable members. Sometimes this power is used to exploit. The classic exploitation is sexual13th stepping is a common euphemism used to describe the practice of veteran members manipulating newcomers into engaging in sexual relationshipsbut emotional and financial exploitation can happen as well.

But the most tragic consequence of the infiltration of religion into addiction treatment is not, in my view, the religious aspect per se but the fact that the focus on that approach excludes all others. The real tragedy is that people are dying because they are never even told of other approaches that might help them.

In my own experience, 19 years ago when I sought treatment for my addiction to alcohol, I was told that the only option for survival was to become an active AA member. Being the rule follower I am, I did exactly that. I spent the next nine years of my life going to AA meetings and attempting to fit my fundamentally humanist worldview within the confines of that program.

I eventually found this impossible and left the program. In the aftermath of that, I had to re-examine every thought and belief I had developed in the time I had been abstinent to determine whether those thoughts and beliefs were my own or had been implanted during my AA years. I found this an extraordinarily painful process, in many ways as painful as quitting in the first place.

When I found SMART Recovery and realized that it had been possible, all along, for me to have received social support in a manner that honored who I was a person, I cried. I thought not only of myself and all the pain Id gone through because I wasnt told of other options besides AA but of all the others who had experienced the same thing.

This would be equally true regardless of the specifics of the treatment being offered because there is no one approach that is right for everyone. The real tragedy is the pain that has been caused, and the lives that have been lost, because one approach has become too dominant.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Scott Douglas Jacobsen founded In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. He works as an Associate Editor and Contributor for Conatus News, Editor and Contributor to The Good Men Project, a Board Member, Executive International Committee (International Research and Project Management) Member, and as the Chair of Social Media for the Almas Jiwani Foundation, Executive Administrator and Writer for Trusted Clothes, and Councillor in the Athabasca University Students Union. He contributes to the Basic Income Earth Network, The Beam, Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Check Your Head, Conatus News, Humanist Voices, The Voice Magazine, and Trusted Clothes. If you want to contact Scott: [emailprotected]; website: http://www.in-sightjournal.com; Twitter: https://twitter.com/InSight_Journal.

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Claire Saenz, Looking in the ‘Mirror’ and Seeing the Self – The Good Men Project (blog)


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