What Type of Pictures Do Model Agencies Want?

If you are truly passionate about modeling and want to impress a modeling agency, the best way to do it is undoubted to submit the best photos. We reveal some important advice on photos model agencies are looking out for and some guidelines for you to follow.

Simplicity is not dullness

Contrary to what may be your instinctive idea, model agencies are not looking out for extraordinary photos or fancy clothes! This may actually work against you. Firstly, the agency might think you are an inflexible person who is only interested in a particular style of fashion and modeling. They may also perceive your effort as arrogance. Agencies are looking for fresh material they can mold and most importantly a humble person they can cooperate and work with. No agency wants to sign someone who they feel might be difficult to work in harmony with.

Therefore, always submit photos with simple clothes and minimal makeup. Solid, dark colors such as maroon and blue would prevent too much distraction and focus the attention on you, your body and facial features more in the photograph.

Avoid distraction

Avoid too much clutter and photo noise in the background. Your background should be as simple as it can be. Remember that model agencies are looking out for YOU and not anyone else, so only you should be in your photographs, and if all else fails, find a simple white wall, and use it as your background.

No edits

Modeling agencies are filled with staff and personnel who are photoshop gurus because of the nature of the industry. They will spot your edit on a photo from miles away. So don’t try your luck with Photoshop or any other software. No editing should be necessary for you to look good on a photo in any case. Moreover, if you do edit and get called for an interview, imagine the disappointment that you will be giving the agency on your first day itself. The best way is to go natural and be known for your authentic look and confident personality. A credible agency will have the creative brains to imagine you with the makeup and clothes of varying degrees and complexities without you physically wearing them.

Social media

If you are truly interested in modeling and want to dedicate your life to it, how you post on social media matters a lot too. Model agencies are usually online and digitally savvy to keep their agency relevant with the times. They are likely to do some background research on you if they are interested in you. That said; don’t be posting studio quality shots or photos online. Model agencies don’t want you to be portraying your social life like a professional job network. Post casual photographs and selfies that show that you can look good without putting in too much effort. Show that you know how to have a good time and have a vibrant personality.

So there you have it, the top qualities in photographs agencies are looking out for. Also, make sure you check the photo submission guidelines and ensure you meet them. Usually, agencies will need at least one face and one body shot, and might have other specific requirements too. Get a reliable friend or family member you know to take the photos for you. Submit clear, simple and well-taken photos, and you will surely have gotten your hands on the ticket into modeling!



Why Sit Here Until I Die?

The bible tells a story about four men who sat at the entrance of the city’s gate dying with leprosy, an incurable disease which causes terribly visible swelling and sores on the skin, only then to eat inward to the bones. Because of this contagious and incurable disease, these lepers sat outside of the city because they were not permitted to live within the city. These men were faced with a fatal disease, were outcasts, and were starving because of a feminine in the land. Such a hopeless life and no perceived future, would make the average person throw in the towel and just give up on life — but not these men.

     Sitting and examining their situation, they realized that just simply sitting and doing nothing would result in having and being nothing, so they asked themselves the question, “Why do we sit here until we die?” They knew that if they entered the city, they would die because of the feminine. They also knew that if they sat there and did nothing, that they would die. What did they do? They made the decision to ACT. 

     Regardless of their gloomy circumstance, they got up from were they were and decided to do something to change their situation. They made the choice to face their obstacles and do something different. They went into the city realizing that difficulties may be ahead, for if the city dwellers spared their lives, they would live — and if not, they would die. Given the situation that they were in, things were not going to just get better.

     Upon entering the city, to their pleasant surprise, no one was there, because God had caused the city dwellers to abandon their tents. 

     Because of their decision to change their situation, and the decision to act, these hungry dying men when into a tent, and feasted as they ate, drank, and carried off silver, gold, and clothing. However, things did not end there, because after putting away the silver, gold, and clothing — they entered another tent and again met great fortune.

     Just like these lepers, you may be in your decision place today. If you are in a place, or situation that seems lifeless — regardless of where that place may be, or how things look — ask yourself the question, “Why do I sit here until I die?” 

     Take a good look at where you are, and where you want to be — then take the necessary steps to find yourself in that desired place. 

     In the midst of misfortune, choice — and then action — will find you reaping the great benefits that God has purposed for your life.

Copyright © 2002 by Audrina Jones Bunton.

REPRINTING THIS ARTICLE: Permission is granted to reproduce or distribute this article only in its entirety and provided copyright is acknowledged. You can find other articles to choose from at http://www.purposefully-living.com/mailing%20list.htm



Discover How to Become Rich, Famous & Successful With a Modeling Career

The road to becoming rich, famous and successful in modeling is not for everyone though. In the old days you had to be extra extra skinny in order to become a rich and famous model. Today however there are far more modeling avenues that entice many looks and body types.

You may have looked at a fashion magazine and have a pretty good idea of what modeling is. To get a good look into the requirements of modeling you may want to catch an episode of Americas Next Top Model. Most of the models on the tv show are high fashion models, but you may be wanting to get into another type of modeling like plus size industry. Modeling is everywhere we go and look. Only you know what kind of model you could be but be truthful with you self.

Before you jump into pursuing a modeling career you need to make sure your are doing it for the right reasons. If not you will misguide yourself and will not make it to where you want. If you think modeling is a good way to jump start your singing or acting career you best think about it again. People with this attitude rarely make it very far in modeling. All the top modeling professionals frown upon people like this everyday. To become rich, famous and successful in a modeling career you will need to have dedication and passion.

If you are male you will need to step outside of your shell to succeed. You see more female models than you do male models. Do not let this get you down by thinking you have to display big muscles. Modeling has went through many changes since the early days. Over time new genres, styles and looks have been added with even more on the way. You just might have that new style consumers are trying to find. You just never know in our ever changing world.

To be successful in a career of modeling you will need a high level of self confidence and ambition. No matter if you are female, male or what your body type is. When you enter into modeling you will have to work extra hard to be be transformed into a popular well known face. Be careful not to get ties up with an agency that does not treat or handle their clients honestly and respectfully. Every good agency will not need you to give them money. They will earn money once you land your first modeling gig.

When you find open calls make sure you go and do not talk yourself into not going no matter what you are thinking. Just do it. You see an open call is just as good as open houses where interested models are invited to be interviewed. You need to dress in clothing that will exhibit your body type and features. You will also want to pick an outfit out that is fashionable. This is your chance to prove yourself to the representatives of the agency. You will not stand out to them if you just wear your normal everyday clothes. To become famous you have to act like your famous in order to become rich, famous and successful in modeling.



Has BIM Changed MEP Design Workflow?

The MEP design and installation workflow involves a number of stakeholders and parties that are collectively responsible for overseeing a series of stages that will result in the building engineering (or building services) to be planned, designed, spatially coordinated, fabricated, installed, commissioned and maintained. Typically, the building services design stage follows the initial architectural design, from which point it can usually be designed in parallel with further architectural as well as structural design changes.

The engineering teams that typically design building services solutions are usually in one of two groups. The first group is typically the building designer, also known as the consultant engineer or the design engineer. It is the role of the design engineer to work closely with the architect to develop the overall building engineering elements including lighting, cooling, heating, drainage, waste, fire prevention and protection services. Traditionally, the design engineer will not be involved in the detailed spatial design of these services. Instead the detailed spatial design and installation would normally be handled by the second party, known as the MEP contractor (M&E contractor) or trade contractor. The MEP or trade contractor is responsible for evolving the initial consultant design into a workable and installation-ready building services solution.

In some instances, there is also a third party involved – the fabricator, who will be responsible for creating MEP components such as ductwork or pipework elements or in some cases pre-fabricated solutions that consist of pipework, electrical ladder, plumbing, ductwork and sprinkler within a frame (module) that is delivered to site for installation in risers, plant rooms and corridors.

This article is concerned with the role of the MEP designer and MEP contractor, specifically, the focus for this article is to discuss how BIM (Building Information Modelling) has influenced the MEP design workflow between the designer and the contractor.

Current MEP BIM Workflow Options

Essentially there are five different MEP design workflow scenarios that currently exist and these will be discussed in the article. They are as follows

  1. Traditional 2D design and 3D BIM coordination
  2. 3D MEP design and 3D BIM coordination
  3. Designers 3D BIM design and coordination
  4. Contractor 3D BIM design and coordination
  5. General contractor 3D model coordination

Traditional 2D Design and 3D BIM Coordination

Considering the traditional MEP approach first, this is where a consultant will create 2D design outputs, which include 2D plan layouts, 2D sections and MEP (M&E) schematics. This will indicate the design intent for the building based on the use specified by the architect. Once the consultant has completed this design information he will pass on the information to an MEP contractor who will be responsible for creating the MEP coordinated solution. This article assumes that the contractor will create a spatially coordinated 3D BIM model using BIM tools such as Revit MEP and Navisworks. The contractor will use the design information and create an installation-ready solution which takes into account installation, efficiency of pipe runs or duct bends, space for lagging and hanging the services, access for post install maintenance and so on. This traditional MEP approach, from a 2D design to a 3D model has existed for the past couple of decades and allows the contractor to add additional information into the model that can be used by him and by facilities management companies after the installation. The use of the 3D tool such as Revit is of course useful as it is an intelligent model, with parametric components and therefore, as well as allowing the contractor to identify and resolve clashes before any time is spent on site, it has other uses and applications where model ‘information’ is used and relied upon.

3D MEP Design and 3D BIM Coordination

The second workflow method is more directly influenced by BIM. As the MEP designer, one will use BIM tools to create a 3D model and associated drawings during his initial design phase (rather than a 2D design) before this information is handed across to an MEP trade contractor. The MEP design engineer will typically create a 3D model due to customer specifications and requirements for a BIM model, as in many cases a federated model (which combines the other disciplines in a single model) is needed by the client for a weekly review and hence the MEP consultant cannot simply provide a set of 2D drawings. In this workflow, the BIM model is effectively a 3D representation of what would otherwise be a 2D deliverable. It will therefore consist of areas where further changes are still needed by a trade contractor. Such examples include the use of library items rather than specific MEP trade contractor procured elements that may be used in the model. The creation of a 3D BIM model at this stage by the consultant is also subject to multiple architectural and structural model changes. These have a knock-on effect on the MEP solution as it is effectively a work-in-progress model for MEP with constant architectural and structural changes and therefore will never have the same level of efficiency, in terms of layout of services, compared to an MEP model where the architectural and structural models are frozen. The downside of this workflow method is of course the extra time taken to create a BIM model by the consultant team. Added to this issue is the fact that 3D modelling expertise and skills within a consulting engineering team can sometimes be limited. Once the consultant completes his model and passes it to the MEP contractor, the decision as to whether the contractor should adapt the model or start the modelling process from the start is really based on the quality of the model to start with. In reality both scenarios will exist, in some cases the MEP trade contractor is better off starting the BIM model again using only the 2D design drawings that are created by the consultant from his BIM model, while in some rare cases the trade contractor will use the consultants MEP BIM model and adapt and modify it with his changes, to make the model ready for installation. In both scenarios, the MEP contractor will always look to make value engineering additions and changes to the model as well as procurement led model changes.

Designers 3D BIM MEP Design and Coordination

The third MEP design workflow method is a more pure and direct consequence of BIM and it actually also starts to promote the benefit of BIM more significantly as it gets closer to ‘virtual design and construction’ aims of the industry. In this workflow the approach of design engineer is to create a BIM model that is spatially coordinated and that is using the actual specified components for the project. Typically, the consultant during this phase will have a longer period of time to create the model, allowing him to absorb the changes from structural and architectural disciplines as they progress through the detailing stages. The fact that the model is then coordinated with the structure and architecture as well as other MEP services allows the consultant to create a model that is being created according to an installation standard that is now more usable by an installer or fabricator. When the model in this workflow method is passed on to a contractor, the contractor may still wish to make final changes and adjustments in a round of value engineering. Typically, the contractor will use the same model in this workflow and make changes to the model provided by the MEP design consultant. Additionally, it is probable that the consultant engineer will not have provided invert (height) levels or dimensions from gridlines and walls for the MEP services on his drawings. In such cases the contractor will therefore have to create more detail in the drawings, but again contractor could use the consultant’s drawings and progress them in more detail for his/her use.

Contractor 3D Design and Coordination

The fourth workflow method involves MEP contractors (or trade contractors) taking on the design responsibility as well as the coordination responsibility. Whilst the coordination responsibility is an established skillset with experience of developing detailed and comprehensive vertical and horizontal strategies for coordination being part of the contractor’s core skills, the design responsibility is a new element for the contractor. This was traditionally known as a design and build approach; however, it is now becoming increasingly common especially in cases where companies are seeking to have rapid design and detailed coordination completed. Typically, the components to be used will be specified by the end client, allowing the contractor to design and model before creating his detailed coordinated drawings from the model, to allow installation and fabrication if needed. The reason that this particular workflow method is not the most popular at present is simply due to the volume of work in the market and also the design responsibility that also has to be assumed as in most cases, contractors may not wish to accept this risk or indeed they may not have the resources to complete the design work. For this workflow method to exist at all means that the contractor has to employ design staff directly and provide design liability insurance to allow him to design the MEP solution as well as install it. The benefit of this workflow option is obviously the time efficiency that is realized and therefore the cost benefit, as the cost of utilising contractor resource will usually be lower compared to expensive design engineering firms. However, it does come with some risk as the design expertise that design engineers possess cannot be easily replicated by contractors, even if they do employ in-house teams.

General Contractor 3D Model Coordination

The fifth variant of MEP design workflow is based on creating coordinated MEP models similar to the traditional 2D to 3D approach but for a different customer group. In this workflow method a 2D architectural, structural and MEP design that is to be used by a main contractor (or general contractor) is then progressed into a 3D BIM model by the contractor to assess the validity and completeness of the model. In some cases, some of the design elements from the different disciplines may be presented in 3D while others may be in 2D. It is also possible that different disciplines may provide models in different software that may or may not present software interoperability challenges. In such instances, a team will typically be employed to use the design data from architectural, structural and MEP designers to then create a 3D BIM model based on actual data. The aim is to identify any inconsistencies in the design data by identifying any clashes in the model, allowing the contractor in such a workflow method to effectively mitigate his/her potential risk. Any problems found within the model are usually passed back to the designers to make amendments to their 2D design for subsequent changes to the 3D BIM model which is ultimately owned by the main contractor. This BIM workflow solution is becoming less common now because MEP contractors and designers are creating BIM models themselves.

In summary, BIM has introduced a number of new workflow variants to the MEP design services sector. The previously tried and trusted method of a 2D design, from a designer, that was developed into a 3D coordinated MEP model by contractor is no longer the workflow solution used as firms now have many other variants and alternatives available. Along with BIM Modeling, other developments in the construction sector, including collaborative online working and work sharing have also contributed to the uptake levels for BIM and impacted the changes to workflow.

In terms of the MEP design workflow options, the most popular of these as we move forward will be the third option, which is the consultant creating a BIM model that is spatially coordinated, or the fourth option which is the contractor taking on the design responsibility as well as creating the coordinated BIM model. Both options are effectively a change to the traditional approach for MEP design and both point to a single source for the model and drawings as opposed to the historical two-tier design approach. All options discussed will require competent BIM coordination and MEP modelling teams and resources. XS CAD, with its large MEP coordination team and MEP engineering design team, which consists of mechanical and electrical engineering professionals, is well placed to deal with such projects for companies based in the USA, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. As all are regions where BIM is now the preferred solution, XS CAD, with more than 16 years’ experience and a presence in each market is an ideal option for such companies.



Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment for Alopecia (Baldness)

Alopecia or baldness is hair loss usually noted with respect to the scalp of both men and women. While generalized hair loss is known as alopecia, small and circular bald patches are termed as alopecia areata. Noticeable hair loss and the resulting premature baldness can be psychologically very disturbing, since a luxuriant hair growth on the scalp is considered a sign of good health, grooming and personality. Premature hair loss is usually caused due to a genetic tendency, chronic diseases, medications, stress, injury or damage to the hair, and as a side-effect of strong treatments like chemotherapy and radiation therapy. While actual baldness is more apparent in men, severe hair loss and apparent thinning of hair is more common in women; however, both types of hair loss can prove to be devastating for affected individuals.

Treating baldness or hair loss constitutes a booming medical industry, and various treatments for this condition have emerged, which include allopathic and alternative medications, local scalp treatments using laser therapy, shampoos and conditioners, as well as specialized treatments like wigs and hair grafting. Medicated oils for treating hair loss are available at all chemists over-the-counter, with new medical preparations being added regularly.

Ayurvedic herbal treatment for alopecia is a systematic process of looking for the cause of the condition and giving comprehensive treatment for it. A careful history is important in order to identify and treat specific causes such as chronic diseases and the use of specific drugs or harmful treatments. It is best to avoid any known cause for the condition, if possible. Anxiety, stress, a harmful lifestyle, and improper nutrition to the hair roots are usually the commonest causes of premature hair loss in men and women.

Ayurvedic treatment can be given as a combination of oral medication and local applications. Oral medication involves the use of medicines which can treat the known causes for the condition. In addition, medicines which have a specific action on the scalp as well as the hair roots are also important in the management of this condition. These medicines improve the blood supply to the hair roots and thereby provide better nutrition to the scalp, while at the same time removing toxins and unwanted elements from this area. These medicines also provide stimulation to the hair roots so as to help regenerate new hair and prevent hair loss.

Oral medication is usually supplemented with local application in the form of medicated ointments, pastes, and oils which have to be applied regularly so as to provide good results. Local applications not only provide nutrition for hair roots but also treat skin inflammation, infection and dandruff, and thereby reduce the tendency for hair fall. Regular massage with medicated oils not only aids in hair regrowth but also relaxes the scalp and neck muscles and induces good sleep.

It is equally important to give herbal medicines to treat stress and anxiety which are important factors which continue to propagate severe hair fall. It should also be remembered that the rate of regrowth of hair should be much more than the rate of hair fall in order to prevent noticeable hair loss and baldness. Most individuals affected with this condition require regular treatment for 6-9 months in order to get significant benefit from Ayurvedic treatment.



Buying Plus Size Swimwear Online – It’s Not What You Think!

With the summer in full swing, getting your hands on a nice flattering swim suit can have you in hot water. As you near the month of August, clothing stores are pushing their swim wear to the side to make room for back to school clothes. And if you’re a plus size gal looking for a last minute swim suit you’re options are going to be limited if any at all.

Why Buy Online?

More Options – If you live in warmer climates the swimming season can last well into September. But if you waited too long to grab a new swim suit you’re probably going to be out of luck. Most clothing stores get pretty picked over in the swim department by mid-July. And if you’re looking in stores that don’t cater to plus size women your options are going to be even more dismal. If you want a cute and flattering swim suit this late in the game your best bet is to look online. With no retail space to worry about, you have infinite options in all shapes and styles. So you don’t have to sacrifice your style and settle for what is available in stores.

Get it Fast – Fast and sometimes free shipping offers work for your time frame and your pocketbook. More and more online retailers are conscience of their consumer’s time frame and offer great deals that will get your item to you faster without breaking the bank. If you have a big trip coming up and you waited till the last minute to grab a suit, shipping should be the least of your shopping worries.

Great Deals – Have you cake and eat it too. Just because you’re ordering online doesn’t mean you can’t still benefit from the same end of summer savings your local stores are offering. Online retailers will also start to slash prices to move their summer inventory, but without forfeiting your outfit options.

Tips to buying Swim Wear Online

Some plus size women can be gun shy about ordering online. Most of us tend to flash back to our most troublesome fitting room nightmares. However online retailers (especially in the plus size department) are very sensitive to this and go to great lengths to advertise very specific specifications for their products beyond the Small, Medium and Large categories.

Know your size – Our bodies are always changing and just because you fit into a size 18 last summer doesn’t mean you haven’t shifted

Know your measurements – Even more important that knowing your size is knowing your specific measurements. Like I said your body is always changing so make sure you know exactly what your measurements are before buying. A majority of online retailers will advertise clearly what their size descriptions are based on.

Know your bra size – I cannot stress this enough. You may have worn the same bra size for years and not realized any kind of change. Make sure you have been recently fitted for the correct bra size before purchasing a suit that could potentially cause problems in keeping your ‘ladies’ under control.

Know what flatters your figure – There are many different styles of swim wear that can help accentuate your best features and disguise your trouble spots. Here is a quick guide to what styles work for each shape.

  • The Swimdress – this styles is great for all shapes with all over coverage.
  • One Piece – versatile with built in shapers, great for apples and rectangles.
  • The Tankini – great for those who want to show off their legs, minimize their waistlines and accentuate their bust. This one is great for apples.
  • The Skirtini – The skirtini is a two piece with ‘skort’ or ‘scooter’ bottoms. This style helps minimize hips, thighs, which is great for pears.
  • The Shortini – provides extra coverage for hips, butt and thighs, This style looks like a flattering shorts and tank top outfit. Great for all body shapes!



A Data Scientist Is More Successful When He Is A Skillful Story Teller

These days business houses are stockpiling a huge amount of data which is often considered as the precious asset for the companies. It is surprising to know that more than 90% of the data which is available in nowadays has been generated in the last two years. In earlier days, due to the scant knowledge, the companies didn’t know how to extract the meaningful and relevant information from this stored data. But the advent of data analytics has successfully bridged the gap between the company and this unpolished data.

So, it can be concluded that the data analytics has completely changed the vision of the companies and by using the comprehensive business analytics, the companies can take the right decisions which will help them to surpass their contenders. Hence, the organizations are accentuating on data analysis which is extracted from raw data by specialized computer programs and are cultivating their employees regarding how to accustom and publicize the information that they are getting from these organized data.

Since the importance of data analytics is burgeoning day by day, hence the companies are appointing the sagacious professionals who will provide the company with the wider insights of the structured data. A data scientist will be responsible for designing and implementing various processes and different layouts for the intricate and large-scale datasets that are basically used for modelling, data mining, and various research purposes.

What are the core responsibilities of a data scientist? Why they became an integral part of every business?

Need to take care of those data which affect the organization most: A data scientist’s core job is to identify the most relevant data which will help the organization to make the right decisions so that they can proliferate their business and growth. A data scientist usually dives into the pool of data and with his expertise and knowledge, he used to find all the imperative information and ignores other irrelevant data so that the company can take the apt decisions quickly. Suppose a company deals with mobile phones, then they should try to find out who are using their phones currently? How can they find more users like them? Only a pedantic data scientist can answer these questions and hence, the companies are employing more data scientists into their core team.

Need to present data in such a way that anyone can understand it: Though a data scientist should be well-equipped with all the technical and machine languages like R, Python, etc., but he should present the data in a facile and simpler way so that even a layman can understand the insight from the data. A data scientist should never show a regression analysis or a plot from R because only a few people have an adequate knowledge regarding these. Rather he should present the data in a story telling way which consists of simple slides and visuals instead of numbers. Visualizing and communicating data are equally important, specially for the nascent companies who are making the data-driven decisions for the first time or the companies where these professionals are viewed as people who help others making data-oriented decisions. In this way, everyone in a company should understand which portions or departments of the company need further improvement.

Help in the promotions and other marketing strategies: A data scientist will also work coherently with the marketing team and helps the company to conduct the fruitful campaigns and promotions which will certainly enhance the sales and profit. If a mobile company has an idea who are their most engaged customers, then a data scientist will help the company to see what campaigns those members liked the most or what made them get involved so closely with the brand? By evaluating all these questions, a company can design their promotional campaigns and other marketing strategies in such a way which will help them in enhancing their customer base and visibility.

It would be an arduous job to describe what are the prime job roles of a data scientist within a few words. Apart from having a proficient knowledge of technical, a data scientist should know how to create directives from the data, and how to present the data in a story telling way. Nowadays, along with the marketing and production or service teams, these professionals are also the pillars of the company for its growth. Hence, the companies are commissioning more data scientists into its team so that it can go beyond its competitors.



Getting Your Organization Where You Want It To Go

PROVIDE LEADERSHIP ACROSS AN ORGANIZATION

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. INTRODUCTION

2. COMMUNICATE MISSION AND GOALS TO THE WORKFORCE

  • Clarify objectives, values and standards in accordance with the organizations strategic direction
  • Establish linkages between organizational objectives, values and standards and the responsibilities of relevant groups and individuals
  • Ensure media and language used is appropriate to individuals and group circumstances
  • State clear expectations of internal groups and individuals and explain in a manner which builds commitment to the organisation
  • Address expectations of the organisation
  • Investigate incidents promptly and communicate results clearly to relevant groups and individuals

3. METHODS AND ETHICS USED TO INFLUENCE GROUPS

  • Build trust, confidence and respect of diverse groups and individuals, through positive role modelling, and effective communication and consultation
  • Embrace, resource and effectively implement improvements to organizational and workplace culture
  • Demonstrate understanding of the global environment and new technology in work activities
  • Ensure actions convey flexibility and adaptability to change and accessibility
  • Ensure consultation and participation in decision making occurs with relevant groups and individuals where appropriate
  • Ensure decision making takes into account needs and expectations of both internal and external groups
  • Ensure decision making occurs in accordance with risk management plans for all options, and within appropriate time frames
  • Ensure that the organisation is represented positively in the media and community

4. BUILD & SUPPORT WORK TEAMS

  • Assign accountabilities and responsibilities to teams consistent with their competencies and operational plans
  • Ensure teams are resourced to allow them to achieve their objectives
  • Empower teams and individuals through effective delegation and support for their initiatives
  • Create and maintain a positive work environment
  • Encourage teams and individuals to develop innovative approaches to the performance of work

5. PERSONAL & PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE

  • Model ethical conduct in all areas of work and encourage others to adopt business ethics
  • Adapt appropriate interpersonal and leadership styles to meet particular circumstances and situations
  • Set and achieve personal objectives and work program outcomes
  • Ensure self-performance and professional competence is continuously improved through engagement in a range of professional development activities
  • Participate regularly in industry/professional networks and groups

6. CONCLUSION

7. RECOMMENDATIONS

1. INTRODUCTION

Whether you run a country, a large organisation or a small operation without leadership you are without a driving force or strategic direction.

Many of our great leaders displayed great leadership ability. Eisenhower made great statements in his time however the below statement is the one that means the most to me and is the driving force behind my personal leadership.

Leadership: The art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

This article answers questions about Leadership and the steps that can be taken to empower individuals as leaders. The article contains real life decisions made in a real organisation however many of the tools used have not been taught by formal education and you will find that leadership is more of a way of life rather than a simple process.

Leadership contains multiple processes which can be taught however I believe true great leaders are built by experience not education.

Go to the people. Learn from them.

Live with them. Start with what they know. Build with what they have.

The best of leaders when the job is done, when the task is accomplished, the people will say we have done it ourselves.

Lao Tzu

2. COMMUNICATE MISSION AND GOALS TO THE WORKFORCE

Clarify objectives, values and standards in accordance with the organizations strategic direction

Through staff induction we ensure that each of our new employees receive our Company Handbook which includes each of these three documents. The new employee’s team-leader takes the employee through the handbook and given the opportunity to ask questions and give feedback based on each of the topics. This is done as it forms an instant bond and understanding between the employee and their first point of call in the organisation.

In each of my companies we have a Mission Statement, a Company Creed and a Culture statement which is in line with our Strategic Plan. To create what I call ‘Buy-In’ I believe you must give clarity to those with the desired values the strategic direction of the organisation.

I found that simply writing these documents was not enough I needed ‘Buy-In’. I felt that I could provide a basic structure and a basis behind these things however I needed the staff to write them and believe in them. We surveyed our existing employees and created focus groups which developed a final set of statements which became our companies Mission, Creed and Culture.

Establish linkages between organizational objectives, values and standards and the responsibilities of relevant groups and individuals

One of my favorite statements is ‘Managers need to manage their staff however staff also need to manage their manager’. A leader does not have to have a title, the stature has no bearing. A leader just is, despite their title or duties.

We speak about diversity in the workplace however a true leader will understand that there is massive diversity in the world – the best diversity policies will need to be modified over time as not one organisation has met every personality, value or moral. The best leaders will understand that they need to be flexible where a policy may not. My company leaders are encouraged to apply our mission, creed and culture in situations where policies may become unclear and report the policy shortfall.

My teams are encouraged to see the organisation as their own and if they identify something that doesn’t work, do their best to fix it but not to the detriment of their existing duties. If it will add unnecessary pressure they are to report it to their point of call who will delegate it to someone who is more appropriate. We strive for congruence through the organisation and this can only be done with appropriate linkage between Job Descriptions, Policy, Empowerment and Leading by Example.

Ensure media and language used is appropriate to individuals and group circumstances

I am in a fortunate position. I have been in every role that my organisation has. My number-one rule is “Treat and speak with others the way that I would like to treated or spoken with” or better still – “sell an idea to others in the way that I would buy it”.

The advantage I have is that I understand and recall the benefits and shortfalls of each of the roles and offer an intelligent support for each of my employees either directly or indirectly. When you understand the positives you can draw on these and emulate them, when you understand the shortfalls you can empathize and offer solutions in overcoming them. Each group or individual is different however I have found that the positives and shortfalls are generally common. The wearer of many hats is a very diverse person.

State clear expectations of internal groups and individuals and explain in a manner which builds commitment to the organisation

Goal, Mission and Strategic congruence can only be gained if each employee has the same end in mind. It is important that there is clarity. My favorite exercise is a backwards plan. Have the goal in mind and plan the steps leading toward the goal. It is important to document these steps and place an appropriate timeframe on each step. Each step should be flexible however should also be kept to a timely manner.

In each focus group, social club, team or project group I have found that an appointed Group Leader is required. Each backward plan is submitted to the Group Leader for review to ensure the task will be on target and that the strategy is adhered to. This is important whether this is a short-term project or the daily duties of an employee.

Prior to the backward plan each member of the group needs clear and concise direction of their role in the group or Organisation. This should be documented and depending on the length of the project may be implemented in the Job Description of the group member/employee. If the backward plan is in reference to Key Performance Indicator regarding a daily duty i.e. if a telemarketer’s role is to book appointments and the telemarketer isn’t making the desired amount of calls over a day, you may break the day into four different sections and give the telemarketer a smaller target over each section – potentially between breaks. I have found that this appears to be more achievable and instant satisfaction can be a better motivator for some over others.

I have found it to be best practice to detail the aim of the project, each element required and the responsibility of the elected employee/group member. The project and should be discussed in both a group forum and a one on one format with each of the employees. This can be completed by either group training or through one on one effective performance management.

Address expectations of the organisation

In a perfect world, we could – at induction address expectations of the organisation and all employees would adhere and follow these. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world and different situations call for different actions. The best we can do is identify the common denominators based on historic data and common sense and apply them in our induction, ongoing training and company policy.

It is often important to cover policy and strategies frequently with all parties involved. Sometimes this is due to change but other times it is due to reinforcement. Like a fire evacuation drills – to ensure safety to all parties these must be practiced. If breaking policy was lethal the government would enforce mandatory policy testing.

The thing about common sense is that it is seldom common. As leaders we will over time need to interpret policy and common sense. Decision making is important and clarity is important when interpreting policy and guidelines. All leaders should be held at a higher standard if they are to be expected to apply interpretation to policy.

Investigate incidents promptly and communicate results clearly to relevant groups and individuals

It is vital when policy, strategic direction, company goals and or missions are not adhered to that they are identified and dealt with in a timely and appropriate manner. Dependent on the severity of the breach determines the best course of action.

It is equally important when the extra mile is taken regarding these things that appropriate recognition is given. Negative feedback should always be given in private and Positive feedback should mostly be done in public i.e. Dependent on the employees personality determines whether recognition should be public or private as some personality traits incur some embarrassment when praised in public. This can drive the wrong behavior in the future in the fear that the employee would be embarrassed.

Based on policy and the type of breach formal proceedings may be commenced. We have found that for minor breaches a verbal warning is generally appropriate for first offences followed with written warnings. As a good leader these policies apply without prejudice. Giving one employ a warning and not another for the same offence not only opens the organisation to legal ramifications but also potential morale issues. The same applies to positive reinforcement, if one employee receives a commendation for effort or adherence to policy another employee with the same results should also be commended either formally or informally depended on company policy.

3. METHODS AND ETHICS USED TO INFLUENCE GROUPS

Build trust, confidence and respect of diverse groups and individuals, through positive role modeling, and effective communication and consultation

Trust, confidence, respect, positive role modeling, effective communication and consultation are all essential elements of influencing groups and individuals in an ethical manner.

Trust is generally earned not demanded. Those who demand trust don’t ever fully receive or offer it. Leadership often includes the willingness to do any job that you expect another to do. If you wouldn’t do it how can you expect another person to do it? Some employers believe that a wage is enough however to gain the confidence of staff it is important to “get your hands dirty” some of the time.

Due to cultural diversity we must understand the difference between ethics and morals. In short, Ethics; involve knowing what is right and wrong and making a choice, Morals; is knowing what is right and wrong and simply doing what is right – there is no choice. We don’t all have appropriate morals nor can we 100% identify a person that has morals. As leaders we must role model ourselves and teach ethics by living and breathing best practice in all situations.

Based on our experiences, religious beliefs, cultural beliefs and upbringing (to mention a few) we may not always see eye to eye on things and interpret events differently. It is important to respect different views in which we may not understand or agree with as long as they don’t interfere with policy.

Embrace, resource and effectively implement improvements to organizational and workplace culture

The definition of culture

Anthropology- the sum total of ways of living built up by a group of human beings and transmitted from one generation to another.

Culture is made collectively over time and not by an individual and so – must be embraced, resourced and improvements implemented by all. We can do this through consultation with the staff, monitoring performance and morale.

As leaders in the organisation it is our responsibility to identify areas of improvement and suggesting them in a democratic environment to others in our group or culture. Our way of life on a social and economic level suggests that democracy will generally involve a majority rules philosophy. The delivery of changes to minorities is the key to good leadership. It is important to gain ‘Buy-In’.

A great technique I have used in the past is to speak with a couple of group members in advance, generally a loud vocal person who probably disagrees with everything and ask for their help in getting the idea over the line. Load the group in your favor, when others agree it is difficult for those who sit on the fence to not gain ‘Buy-In’.

Demonstrate understanding of the global environment and new technology in work activities

The possibility of career progression is important for all employees. All employees bring new skills to an organisation and some are never identified. Promoting ingenuity assists in the realization of the skills your team members have that may not have displayed in the past.

The need for technology is important as all organizations are making improvements on an ongoing basis so to keep a competitive advantage requires new technology and new intelligence in an Organisation

It is wise to constantly look for improvements and I have found that the resource most commonly able to identify improvements is the people doing the work. As a leader we must ensure that we actively listen to our team as it is the team that follow through with our processes and are most likely able to identify areas for improvement.

Ensure actions convey flexibility and adaptability to change and accessibility

All actions in business should be ‘POLM’ (Plan, Organize, Lead, Manage) based. All activities need to be monitored despite the length of time they have been in use. There is no place for rigidness in any process or organisation unless it is legislation based.

The continual need for improvement attribute in leaders should be encouraged. All policies should be flexible and adaptable as change is inevitable in all organizations. When policies and procedures are outdated organizations fall out of line with social standards and legal requirements.

Equal opportunity has changed over the last few decades. In today’s commercial environment despite age, gender, sexuality and even experience in some cases it has become socially and legally required to offer opportunity to all capable individuals. If policy or leaders do not comply with what is now acceptable – it is considered unacceptable. All leaders must be flexible and have the end goal in mind at all times and limit personal feelings regarding individuals.

When identifying and communicating problems I have found the best leaders already have solutions in mind. This is a typical demonstration of flexibility and forward thinking in leadership.

Ensure consultation and participation in decision making occurs with relevant groups and individuals where appropriate

Any parties concerned with the outcome of a decision, whether they be employees, middle management or key stake holders each should be involved in the decision making process. It is not always commercially viable or appropriate to involve all parties in the final decision however depending on the level of impact on affected parties each should be involved.

This is generally performed in our organisation through staff forums, team meetings, one on ones and confidential surveys. It is rare that all parties will agree with decisions made however it is important to maintain a level of consultation so all parties can feel heard.

Ensure decision making takes into account needs and expectations of both internal and external groups

Consideration and foresight are tools that can assist in avoiding major mistakes in decision making. Running simulations based on historic or forecasted data is the best way of identifying possible future problems with any decision making. Decision making generally involves change and at times there may be no historic data which makes it quite difficult to project possible scenarios.

A SWOT analysis will generally give you an opportunity to identify obvious Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Once on paper and in front of you other not so obvious scenarios become available to you.

Ensure decision making occurs in accordance with risk management plans for all options, and within appropriate time-frames

Once you have identified threats through the SWOT analysis you can apply risk management to any scenarios you have put together. It is only then that you can truly apply risk management. It is vital that with any implementation that the monitoring of statistics, morale and performance occurs.

Prior to implementation, time frames and projected results should be decided upon. If forecasts are not being met or there is a dramatic cultural change you should have a backup plan to either revert back to the previous method or have a modification in mind based on threats you have identified prior to implementation.

Ensure that the organisation is represented positively in the media and community

Social governance and acceptability is vital for a successful work environment. When employees are not comfortable coming to work – they won’t!

We must also have a good reputation with a number of social networks including but not limited to Job Networks and the local geographical area as recruitment is important to all businesses.

When communicating with the public your message should be honest and have integrity whether you are recruiting or selling a product or service.

4. BUILD & SUPPORT WORK TEAMS

Assign accountabilities and responsibilities to teams consistent with their competencies and operational plans

A job description exists to give a staff member a guideline to the role they are employed to do. Responsibilities are generally quite broad however a good job description will include reference to training and procedure manuals that will identify more detailed tasks.

Targets and KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) are generally assigned to job roles based on KRA’s (Key Result Area’s) and can alter from month to month dependent on how they are measured. If a month consists of more working days then generally a higher expectation of results would be expected.

Accountabilities must fall in line with the key responsibilities of an individual or group’s job description or function. An individual or group cannot be held accountable for duties that they are not responsible for i.e. a receptionist cannot be held accountable for a bookkeeping mistake if he/she has no bearing on bookkeeping.

Ensure teams are resourced to allow them to achieve their objectives

Ensuring teams are resourced covers a number of different aspects.

Firstly, the tools required to complete a task is necessary. Providing the appropriate hardware, software, environment and supervision is mandatory.

Secondly, staff allocation. The staff must be allocated appropriately to complete tasks in appropriate timeframes. Two staff cannot complete a ‘ten staff project’ in the same time-frame.

Thirdly, the importance of training! Unless employees are trained appropriately on how to perform their tasked in line with expectations they cannot be expected to perform their duties in line with company policy.

Empower teams and individuals through effective delegation and support for their initiatives

Personal, Business and Cultural growth is developed through empowerment of others through effective delegation. As a business grows there is a need for personal growth in employees as it is often the case that promotion is done to cope with increased need for management and supervision.

Hiring externally is sometimes necessary however where possible it is better to offer the opportunity to an existing employee. Before this can occur it is wise to develop existing staff whilst in their current positions however with additional duties and decision making capabilities.

Through initiatives like this it is important to monitor carefully the progress and support decisions made with the intention to coach if poor decisions are made and recognize and reward good decisions. Like all roles delegation comes with training and supervision if the task is certain to be carried out successfully. In our organisation we prefer to take small steps leading into more responsibility.

Create and maintain a positive work environment

Consistency, visibility and clear targets along with a friendly, productive culture create the basis for a positive work environment. In our industry we deal with the most negative situations on a daily basis. We must go the extra mile within our industry.

We have more frequent ‘fun’ days which may consist of a theme or guest visitor. It is important to allow the staff to be involved in preparation or in planning these types of events. Management consistently has a presence in the work area so the staff members see the involvement and feel a part of the bigger picture. This cannot be underestimated and if having issues with performance this certainly cannot be overlooked.

Encourage teams and individuals to develop innovative approaches to the performance of work

Through empowering and delegation we have been able to see through the eyes of our frontline staff. Consulting and involving staff in important changes and initiatives has actually empowered our business. We have found a strategic goal that is congruent from frontline to directors and embraced ‘Buy-In’.

We have found that through some of the changes we have made through this consultation has strengthened our bond with our staff and they continue to bring further ideas on a daily basis.

Once faith and trust has been demonstrated to the staff the smallest appreciation statement is as valued by that staff member as any dollar value incentive.

5. PERSONAL & PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE

Model ethical conduct in all areas of work and encourage others to adopt business ethics

I do and will continue to lead an ethical Organisation in a highly scrupulous industry. We are held in high stature with our clients and competitors due to our ethics and problem solving ability. We treat our clients with honesty and consultation and their customers with integrity and respect.

When hard decisions need to be met I ensure consideration all key stakeholders despite their level of affect or input.

When team member requires advice I give them the best advice not simply what will work for the business at the time, it must also be the best advice for their own growth. I allow the “penny to drop” for my staff by asking them to follow a process in identifying solutions. This generally consists of breaking down their questions and analyzing what they wish to know. I then offer scenarios which are similar and ask them to apply the question to the different scenarios. Generally they find the answer for themselves and can follow this process with other tasks. They are now empowered to make educated decisions.

I work with my team to assist in reaching the goal. I am a firm believer in supporting the team and that no question is a stupid question no matter how many times you need to ask.

Adapt appropriate interpersonal and leadership styles to meet particular circumstances and situations

When there are issues I believe it is important to help, this is how I believe we can truly lead by example. It is not always wise to fix every problem for people as they will never try and fix the problem for themselves. I have found teaching problem solving techniques allows ownership of problems and resource to resolve future issues. Simply fixing problems for employees demonstrates that when there is a problem they should come to you to resolve it. This is not good leadership.

I currently wear many hats, one day I may need to relate to a 17 year old inexperienced person and the next a 63 year old individual. Each employee requires a different approach or resolution. The methods are generally the same however your delivery or references may differ in the effort to relate to your employee. At times we have to sell concepts to staff for their ‘Buy-In’

Set and achieve personal objectives and work program outcomes

With most great Leaders time management and goal setting is a must. When a group of tasks are required to be completed in a time frame generally documenting a task list is an appropriate method to ensure achievement of goals and personal objectives.

It is often prudent to identify the benefits and liabilities behind either completing or not completing tasks. Once you can identify these things you can find the drive to take action despite the task at hand.

It is important that your goals and objectives are in line with the strategy direction and mission statement of the organisation.

Ensure self-performance and professional competence is continuously improved through engagement in a range of professional development activities

Further education and education upkeep is a must as a leader. In an ever-changing world or environment we must remain the source of leadership. Without current knowledge it is hard to lead effectively. We must change with the world or environment as it changes.

Most leaders strive and target themselves against previous best performance. When you give yourself and your team clear measurement tools such as KPI’s and KRA’s it is easy to measure performance. All roles can have KPI’s and KRA’s, whether you are a business owner, Director, Sales Manager or Frontline Worker.

As a CEO, not only do I look to improve myself but also look to improve my team. We all participate in further education whether it is internal training or external training.

Participate regularly in industry/professional networks and groups

There are a number of steps with personal and business development available. The problem with documented education is that it is mostly past tense. To obtain a strategic, competitive advantage we must look for new education. Industries are educators however they have “on the job” education.

It is important that we use a combination of documented education and industry identified solutions. Appropriate allocation of education is important and must remain ethical as far as intellectual property.

Networks are built over time and gain strength with longevity. It is important to consult with successful industry leaders. I have found that surrounding yourself with successful people attracts success.

6. Conclusion

Leadership consists of a number of trained applications along with an internal makeup of attributes.

Running any business, organisation or completing any multi-person tasks requires an individual to take control and delegate responsibility and accountability to group members. I have identified that allowing our environment to take control leaves any outcome as a possibility. If one truly wants to set a goal and have a desired outcome we must take lead and challenge the environment.

Decision making can only be done by a leader as a follower needs a decision to follow. Any decision, good or bad is better than no decision.

Great Leaders are flexible individuals who will consider many avenues prior to making decisions. They are consultative and open to others influence. They are not content unless moving forward toward a goal.

As a leader we must communicate our organization’s mission and goals to our workforce. Without understanding and clarity the mission cannot be followed with integrity. In the interest of best practice and reputation we must continually question our ethics and ensure that the right message is delivered through our mission and goals.

When building teams there must always be support mechanisms in place to allow communication to flow freely. Most missions refer to industry leadership and providing good service. Without good communication and support mechanisms we cannot ensure that each individual understands and adheres to our mission and goals.

7. Recommendations

We must always demonstrate our leadership by walking the walk. I have found that you manifest what you focus on and a great leader should be focused on the goal. To gain true organizational goal congruence each staff member or colleague must look up to and be inspired by their leaders and their mission as this is the essence of leadership and a certainty for success.

Involve your employees in business decisions, hand over small responsibilities and show them what it means to be a leader. Don’t allow your environment to control you, take action and lead the way. If you don’t have a mentor or someone who inspires you attend seminars of industry leaders. Learn about people and behavioral science, once you know what makes people tick then you can make them tick too.

By Ben Blanch



Rape – Problems and Solutions

Rape is a social evil that has reached explosive proportions. It has ruined many lives and continues to do so at a frenetic pace. No one is immune, and age is no bar. From infants to senior citizens to corpses, rape has become a diabolic symbol of power in an iniquitous world. In USA, a rape occurs every two minutes; In India, every 54 minutes, and in Pakistan, every three hours. The tragedy is that 80% are perpetrated by fathers, brothers, relatives or friends. Six out of ten occur in the home or in the home of a relative or friend. The story of an Austrian father, who raped his daughter for 24 years, and sired seven children through her, is still fresh in our minds.

Though rape occurs in all social groups, it is more frequent among minority groups with low social status. A molester need not necessarily be a sleazy character. He may be well educated, well groomed and have a high standing in society such as a judge, government official, policeman or priest. Even doctors have been known to rape patients in their clinics. The rapist may be of any age from an old man to a young teenager. The increasing trend of raping minors by force or through allurements is frightening. Children of 14 years or lower, have been known to rape their classmates, and kill them out of fear of being caught.

Reasons for under reporting:

A habitual rapist may molest about 8-10 women before being caught. As conviction rates are only about 2%, many cases go unreported.

o Most women fear the stigma attached to rape, especially when the Law does not convict the rapist. They become secretive and even believe that they are in some way guilty.

o Lack of faith in the judicial system: Many times the court puts the victim on trial, questioning her about her morality, and probing into her sexual history. When a constable in Mumbai raped a 15 year old rag picker the judge proclaimed, “She is a rag picker and of no consequence.”

Because of such perverse reasoning and warped sense of justice, many judges pass it off as an ‘act of passion’ and award minimum sentence.

Also, legal battles are long and tiresome. The onus of proving rape falls on the victim.

o Fear of retaliation by the rapist or his goons.

o Fear of adverse reaction from society, parents, husbands, employers or peers.

o Fear of tarnishing the family image, especially when there are unwed female siblings.

One study showed that 43% of women are ignorant of the law; 23% are too shy to come forward; 12% are afraid of the police; 12% think complaining will not make a difference.

One young girl said, “I blame society for giving men the right to rape and regarding women’s suffering as unimportant. A rapist may get off with a light sentence, but the victim’s sentence is for life.”

What is rape?

It is a form of sexual sadism involving unlawful sexual penetration either by coercion, force, blackmail or under false promises. “I believe that whatever violates the integrity of a woman’s body should be considered rape,” says Brinda Karat, a women’s activist. “Sexual violence apart from being dehumanizing, is an unlawful intrusion of the right to privacy and sanctity of the female,” says Justice A. S. Anand.

Situations under which rape occurs:

– Custodial rape when a woman is in custody for some small offence.

– Child rape is the pastime of paedophiles. 1 in 5 children raped are below 15 years of age. Some don’t even spare infants in cradles.

– Casting couches are routine in the film or modeling industry. When a person is desperate for a job she becomes vulnerable.

– Date rape has been escalating. The assailant is usually known to the victim, and drugs the victim with GHB, Rophynol, Ketamine or some such drug. These drugs are in powder form or liquid and dissolve in any drink. These drugs make the victim physically helpless and incapable of resisting sex, also incapable of recalling the incident. Alcohol enhances the action of the drugs. No trace is found in the blood stream after 72 hours

– Aggravated rape is when a rapist introduces an instrument or foreign body into the victim, to build up his own orgasm.

– Marital rape which may not be recognized by the law.

“In marriage, the weakest, stupidest, insignificant men of the world receive licence to rape or beat their wives,” says Virginia Woolfe

– Necrophilia: The raping of corpses is common in certain tribes. Sometimes sexual perverts can also indulge in such activity.

Reasons why men rape?

– It gives men a sense of power, and is linked to their identity. Forcing a woman into sexual subjugation validates their manhood. They enjoy it.

– Lust in men who have not disciplined their impulses. Testosterone makes male libido flare out of control.

– Economic causes: In some communities the bride price may be too high. Poverty, low socioeconomic status, unemployment, lack of skills, make men vent their frustration through rape. The victim and rapist may live in the same area. Girls in inner cities have 1 in 70 chances of being raped, whereas in rich areas it may be 1 in 2000.

– In communities with strict codes of behaviour, where no mingling of sexes is allowed, repressed males give expression to their masculinity through rape.

– Antisocial and borderline personalities behave irresponsibly. This is enhanced by drugs and alcohol.

– Misogyny: Men who hate women commit violent crimes against them. Many have aggressive mothers and timid fathers. A mother’s verbal abuse may have given the man a poor self image. As an expression of anger against mother or sisters, he finds a victim who cannot defend herself or is mentally retarded, and rapes her.

– Men with poor self worth are convinced that no woman would voluntarily sleep with them. They are aroused by sexual fantasies and express themselves through rape.

– Revenge: When men are rejected or ignored, they feel insulted enough to use rape as a form of revenge.

– Growing Feminism: Women are breaking down every male bastion. They are becoming economically independent and upwardly mobile. Male bashing is occurring like never before. Assisted reproductive technology and genetic engineering make some men feel purposeless and disempowered. As a result they resort to rape.

– Sex Industry and Pornography incites men to treat women as commodities and humiliate them for their pleasure.

“Rape is nothing more or less than a conscious process of intimidation by which all men keep all women in a state of fear,” says Susan Brown Miller.

– Men have blamed women for flaunting their female attributes through indecent exposure, skimpy costumes and suggestive behaviour. This they say precipitates lust in men. Women refute this because rape occurs in small towns or villages where women dress modestly.

– Rape in war is sanctioned by the highest authorities as a means of demoralizing the social fabric of a nation, by impregnating their women. It is also supposed to relieve aggression and promote bonding among soldiers.

Effects of rape on the victim:

The Rape-Trauma syndrome is akin to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It has two stages. The first is Disorganization due to the shock of rape. Fright, anger, guilt, and shame may follow. Reorganization is the second stage which gradually takes place over a period of 3-4 months. Sometimes it may take much longer. The victim feels vulnerable, timid, and not fully in control of her life. Residual Damage is what rape leaves in its wake. Depression, sexual dysfunction, vaginismus, fear of sexual interaction and inability to adjust socially are common. The person may take to alcohol or drugs to fight off fear and depression. A survivor of rape is nine times more likely to commit suicide. But if the victim gets immediate support and is able to ventilate her grief, fear or rage, the chances of recovery are greater.

Solutions to minimize rape in society:

o Education of the public by raising rape consciousness in society through education and awareness programmes. Men, politicians, police, judiciary and the general public should be sensitized about violence against women. New insights into sex roles are needed. Stereotype gender roles only make men more aggressive and women more vulnerable.

o Education of girls: Strong parental support will give girls a sense of security and belonging. They will have confidence to express their fears and anxieties. Parents should encourage their children to report to them incidents like physical proximity, inappropriate touching even if it is father, brother or relatives. Girls should be made aware of dangers lurking in society. 60% of teenagers have a tendency to act boldly and impulsively.

Women should also be made aware of the laws against rape and molestation. Male judges are too easy on rapists and too hard on victims. Because of such injustice, the law has been brought into disrepute. Trials must be time bound and punishment swift. Rape Crisis Centres should provide counseling and support to rape victims.

o Education of girl children should include specific “do’s” and “don’ts.” They should be told never to let a stranger within arm’s length, and never to accept sweets or toys from strangers; never to lead a stranger to some isolated place he wants to visit; to beware of over-friendliness. Children from unhappy homes are easy targets as they are starved for affection. Even van drivers who ferry children between school and home may take advantage of a friendly child. Teenagers may be lured by people who promise roles in films or in modeling. If attacked, the child should be told to drop on the ground and scream for help.

o Education of parents: The lines of communication between them and their children should always be tension-free. Many parents think that children are too young to be told about rape as it will frighten them unduly. Children must be made aware that there is a small number of wicked people in society.

Parents should also be alerted by sudden withdrawal, loss of appetite, nightmares or refusal to go to school, and investigate into the matter.

Parents should check the sites children visit on the Net and the type of books they read.

A child who is aware of dangers will be more likely to ward off a rapist. Vigilance is the solution.



Time Management Training for Parents Decreases Stress

No doubt about it, parenting is stressful. Children are 100 percent dependent upon us not to mess them up for life. At least not mess them up enough to need years of therapy. Something as simple as proper time management (or any time management for that matter) will assist you with decreasing your stress and your children’s stress too. If you think of any business that works well, it works because certain tasks are done on certain days and at certain times. It is no different when it comes to managing a family!

It might sound like managing time is not very spontaneous and exciting or that it is too hard to manage your time and family. However, by creating a family routine and ground rules you’ll actually be able to be more spontaneous and less stressed because you are not allowing time wasters and distractions impact your time together as a family. If you try these time management techniques for thirty days, you’ll be surprised at how much less stress you have in your life.

Everything has a home — Create an orderly environment by creating a place for every item in your house. Make it a rule that when anyone (including mom and dad) is done with an item it is put back in its home. This will decrease the stress of losing important papers and avoid time wasters like spending 20 minutes in the morning looking for shoes and keys. Having an organized household will reduce the time it takes to clean up when you have company, and it will take less time on deep cleaning days that may be scheduled for the weekend, leaving more fun time.

Create human time — Limit “screen time” to no more than an hour or two a day, including time spent on non-homework or work items on the computer. Nobody really needs to spend six hours playing video games or sitting in front of the television set. Most gaming on the computer is a waste of time, but of course, adults and children still do it. Rather than ban all such activities, perhaps find a game that everyone can play that is more family friendly and creates a fun way to spend a family “game night.”

Segment work time — For adults, leave work at work, or if you work from home leave work during work time. Homework for a child is a different story. Most teachers would be surprised to find out that any child is spending more than an hour or two a night doing all their homework, so if your child is spending an enormous amount of time on homework, ask their teachers if this is a normal expectation for the school. It could be the child is struggling and needs extra help, or they may be wasting time. Set up a special homework spot and monitor your child for time wasting behaviors like daydreaming or focusing too long on unimportant tasks.

Focus activities — Limit extracurricular activities to one activity per day for every child and adult. For a four-person household, this is four extracurricular activities and already quite a large plate of fun. Over scheduling children has not proven to assist in their development or improve grades. Instead, it is responsible for stressing out overburdened children who have no free time and no joy in life. Children need some unstructured play time to allow their creativity and imagination to flourish.

These four time management techniques only touch the surface of ways to eliminate time wasters, reduce stress, and manage your household so that parenting becomes a joyful and nurturing experience for both you and your children. Decreasing stress and upping your joy quotient will rub off on your children too. Also, the value of modeling organized living will carry through to your children’s adulthood and give your grandchildren the best start in life.