Peanut Butter Porridge with Peruvian Cacao This is not your average 'porridge for breakfast' but a antioxidant rich meal to serve the demanding needs of an athlete as well as those dedicated to healthier living, to which I add that no athlete will...

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Pomegranate Raspberry Overnight Oats The simple yet profound truth is that no athlete will reach their potential if they fail the manage a nutritious diet. It truly is that simple and for all the promising athletes that fell short of their...

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Raspberry Banana Overnight Oats No athlete can achieve their promise if they fail to manage a proper diet. Simple, yet profound and any suggestion otherwise is nonsense for without the proper dietary support the utmost potential...

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Blueberry Overnight Oats No athlete can achieve their promise if they fail to manage a proper diet. This simple fact is equally a trying realisation for many as for decades proper dietary habits have rarely been emphasised...

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Recipe: Porridge, Eggs and Courgette Food is fuel to serve the demands of athletic development. Whether one is at the height of sport or a young athlete with dreams of the next level without the proper fuel no athlete can reach their...

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The Athlete’s Pledge

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Entering the room, their youthful faces are alert and ready to absorb every word you speak. They athletes, regardless of their walk in life, where they call home or particular sport, there is commonality to them with the pursuit of excellence.

I ask them rise, turn to the right and introduce themselves to the person sitting them and then repeat to left, forward and back before sitting down and beginning my introduction.

These are people who others will refer to as your team-mates and while that is accurate in many ways throughout your life they will be part of an extended “family”. There is a very strong possibility that many if not all will be a part of your life throughout your days and though you may lose contact at times, those ties will eventually rekindled and be the strongest kind.

As a member of your family, you will quickly learn in your efforts here, there is no one person more important that other as each of you is an instrumental component. There are no stars on a team but within a family, each of you glimmers, we share our success, pull each up from set-backs and press on against adversity together.

Notions of individual success have been erased the moment you reached to shake hands today as from this day forward your satisfaction comes from team, the family, achieving its goals. In-fact you will not play your sport with the notion of your success but rather thinking of personal achievement it is for your team-mates, your family. You will do, what you do with all your might for the betterment of your team, your family.

Whether it is executing the perfect block few notice, scrapping for control in the scrum, taking the inside pitch, digging into the corners, setting the pick or fighting for every scrap of grass of the pitch and any number of needs in sport, you will do so because you play as team, you live as team, you celebrate as a team and you get up as set-back as a team. I warrant that will be difficult for you understand right now at this stage in your life but as you look around in the eyes of surrounding coaches, not a single one does not wish they had the chance to be on the sporting battlegrounds with their team-mates, their family.

You will play to your utmost ability and do what you do with all your might from the moment the first whistle sounds and continue to do until the final gasp of time. You will never surrender and never be vanquished as you have learned the mark of a champion is getting of the canvas, fighting adversity and pressing forward. You will fight for your team-mates, your family, the crest you wear, the colours you embrace and the supporters who faithfully standby with undying commitment.

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the failing grade of leaders

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The hand of leadership is a steadying force and guiding light in good times as well as bad. It does not waiver in the face of a storm or shirk its responsibilities and in-fact realizes its true test does not come with pastel skies but when the darkest clouds appear.

Leadership does not require a pat on the back or adoring crowds but typically the exact opposite where decision-makers often walk their days on a lonely road. For the most part, modern society has confused leaders with those who win popularity contests, flash the gleaming smile and spout a brilliant slogan. Those are not leaders but merely pretenders to the throne and the weakness in their armour will rear its ugly head in the storms of conflict.

Unfortunately and in an odd twist of fate, leadership qualities are rare in high ranking officials today and the pretenders are not at the helm of the ship. That may have been fine and dandy during those clear sailing days of the last decade or so but now as the skies have turned black it is abundantly clear they are so very lacking.

As the streets of the great city of London burn it is very clear that something is amiss as the hand of leadership is absent from national leaders to certain sectors of the business sector and hope must come from the citizenry.

The disconnect between recent history to the present is obvious, a telling reminder of the polar shifts in country where war drum cries of sixty-some years ago should be partitioned off with velvet rope. This is not the same cut of leadership that echoed “we shall never surrender”, as with each moment to take the helm has been missed. Nor is this the same society that respect codes of conduct and forms of behaviour of the same era and needs a firm internal review. The chilling images of London streets ablaze, swarming with rapid dogs for looters is not what England is “made of” and needs to be culled with a return to grace planned.

The tradition of “minimum force” if foolhardy, out-dated and instead of debate, stern action needs to be taken. While you failed to drop boots on the ground, bring out sound and water cannons and review intel that was available to the rest of the world, the cities burned and the public feared for their safety amongst the lawlessness. You do not allow your streets and homes to be vandalized and your citizens to run in fear and while some will be offended in a world so needy of political correctness and niceties, this entire matter could have been dealt with easily from the start yet the lack of battle tested leadership is obvious.

London and now many parts of England were victims of rioting due largely in part by poor leadership that lacked the knowledge of how to deal with rioters and square jaw toughness to realize with the first threat of danger it was time for boots to come to ground.

What is very evident and despite a net of CCTV, proactive measures have been confused with evidence for trial because while we will be inundated with photos of rioters now, it comes after the fact. Even with high conviction rate, you have established the inability to act on dangerous situations, extremely poor intel and signalled this fact to the rest of the world.

This is obviously a very dangerous precedent for not only the daily lives of citizens of the region but travellers to major events, particularly with London set to host the Olympics next summer. If this was a “test” you have failed miserably and the entire world is now aware.

Yet the failing grade is not limited to public officials in England who forever been known for their “Katrina” but Blackberry whose messenger service was used as a communication tool to launch these events. While the first sniff of this should have been met by government intervention, the corporation soiled its brand by not recognizing the need to pull the plug on the network until danger subsided. Though these messages will not serve as a matrix to bring criminals to justice, it is after the fact and will not replace fear that grips the city and the tarnished image.

This event further signals the need for better monitoring systems within social media circles because it very clear how it can be used for unrest. Like incidents in north- Africa this summer that used Twitter, rioters in England connected via a public messenger service and obviously the level of expertise has ratcheted up.

If there is something positive that will come out of this, it is only from those who believe in the most silver of linings. Clearly a review of leadership is needed but more importantly if leadership qualities and acceptable social behaviour are being taught. The vast divide that exists can only be closed within the youth and for that to occur greater investment in education is needed. Accelerated costs to education and the pit of despair sit at the root of this problem and needs a complete reversal. As with the inability to deal with riots properly, governments who implemented draconian budgets have now felt the wrath of deeply misguided youth when you cull hope and this must change.

The burned out buildings in London will serve as evidence for a brief time of these trying moments but notice has been served as it is time to review leadership, what constitutes a leader and the process of building a strong generation in the future. It is abundantly clear that something is well off-course and stern action is needed.

John Davies is available on his personal page on Facebook as well as or Twitter.

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listen, learn and engage

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Though the modern business world overflows with opportunity, the majority of the public nestles in fear of the future and instead clings to the past. While posting “opportunity” in a world grappling with the daily mention of “financial meltdowns” seems impossible to most, connectivity has given rise to truly a global village that further lowers the barriers to business entry.

Yet this Global Village in all its McLuhan grandeur has a sticking point, a link in the chain that seems to have rusted over as it is falling victim to the sins of a society trapped in fear, overwhelmed by arrogance and unready to welcome technological change as well as expanding investment in education.

There is little debate that the financial purse strings to a never ending supply of debt are being cut. Yesterday’s promise means little when the marker comes with another re-upping of debt and the only way to break the cycle is through education, which includes shifting with technological tides.

Dyed in wool contrarians can see this opportunity and like an apple blossom on tree it needs time to mature and ripen. It’s there, you can see it and just need to nurture it properly and the harvest will prove to be a bountiful but you must be willing to invest.

Yet seeing against the grain and nurturing are foreign to many who have been subjected to poor leadership that has laid blame anywhere other than pointing directly towards the mirror and acknowledging errors of the past. The future or at-least the present-day is the fault of collective society that has run amuck with nonsensical spending habits of a stream of widgets but carefully avoiding education or this not-so little thing called a “savings function”.

It is a hard and fast error to reduce funding in education as it only guarantees lowered job opportunities and an endless array of societal problems. The sins of the modern leader is not being truthful and informing the public that without a solid investment in education, the future will be bleak. For regions that do not invest in education or for matter allows budgets to be reduced in the area it is highly likely the only investment your area will see in the future is with low paying jobs, further brought on by a devalued currency. This should not give rise to the idea that education is purely related to job creation as its benefit runs deeps throughout all of society.

Yet the future does not need to be bleak as it merely requires the classic notion of a “flight to quality” but instead of accumulating a blue-chip equity portfolio, invest in education and begin bringing the gaps of connectivity. The social media revolution has put the doorway of opportunity within the grasp of many but now you must turn the handle and awaken to the possibilities of a business frontier where the barriers to entry crumble.

Listen, learn and engage.

This article was originally published at Helix World Media

Written by John Davies
©John Davies Worldwide Productions, 2011
All rights reserved

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