Wednesday

The ten best football (soccer) players of all time

CC™ Sports Perspective

There is no question that 'the beautiful game' has been blessed with some of the most glorious talent ever assembled in any sports, over the generations. Here are the ten best football (soccer) players of all time according to a consortium of ardent analysts and personalities in the game. 

The list allows many fans of the beautiful game to offer their own opinion and suggestions on the veracity of the rankings.

1) Edson Arantes do Nascimento - Pelé (Brazil) 

Peak: 1958-70   

Major Achievements: Most career goals (of any footballer ever, like ever), FIFA Player of the Century, France Football's greatest FIFA World Cup player, TIME 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century list, Brazil's all-time leading goalscorer, Santos' all-time leading goalscorer, youngest FIFA World Cup winner, most assists in FIFA World Cup history, 1958, 1962 & 1970 FIFA World Cup, top goalscorer in FIFA World Cup finals, two Copa Libertadores titles, six Campeonato Brasilerio Serie A titles, two Intercontinental Cups, 1970 FIFA World Cup Golden Ball, 1958 FIFA World Cup Best Young Player, 1970 Bola de Prata. There isn't really much that needs to be said here. Pele was simply the best and the only player that could have possibly eclipsed him from the premier position would have been Maradona, if the latter had won a second FIFA World Cup.



2) Diego Armando Maradona (Argentina) - RIP

Peak: 1985-90

Major Achievements: 90min's Greatest Footballer of All Time, Corriere dello Sport's Best Athlete in History, 1986 FIFA World Cup, 1986 FIFA World Cup Golden Ball, 1985 Serie A Footballer of the Year, FIFA World Cup All-Time Team, FIFA Goal of the Century, Argentine Sports Writers' Sportsman of the Century, two-time South American Footballer of the Year, four-time Argentine Football Writers' Footballer of the Year, two Scudetti, one Coppa Italia, one Copa del Rey, one UEFA Cup. The late Maradona was a football genius and took over a game like no other player did, probably not since the number one player on the list, Pelé.


3) Zinedine Zidane - Zizzou (France and of Algerian descent)

Peak: 1997-2006

Major Achievements: 1998 Ballon d'Or, 1998, 2000 & 2003 FIFA World Player of the Year, 2002 UEFA Club Footballer of the Year, 2000/01 Serie A Footballer of the Year, UEFA Champions League Best Player of the Past 20 Years, L'Equipe Best French Player of All Time, 2006 FIFA World Cup Golden Ball, only player to be named Player of the Year in three of the top five leagues, most goals in FIFA World Cup finals, 1998 FIFA World Cup, 2000 UEFA European Championships, one Champions League, two Scudetti, one La Liga title, one Intercontinental Cup. Zizzou should have won two FIFA World Cups and the evidence of his genius was in taking an average and aging French side to the FIFA World Cup final in 2006, while eliminating a star-studded Brazil side in the process. Zizzou never lost to Brazil when it mattered and he was 2-0 against two of arguably the best Brazillian teams of all time, the 1998 and 2006 teams with stars like Rivaldo, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo ("O Fenômeno"), Roberot Carlos and Cafu, just to name a few.


4) Johan Cryuff (Netherlands aka Holland)

Peak: 1971-75

Major Achievements: 1971, 1973 & 1975 Ballon d'Or, 1974 FIFA World Cup Golden Ball, FIFA World Cup All-Time Team, three-time Dutch Footballer of the Year, two-time Dutch Sportsman of the Year, three European Cups, one La Liga title, nine Eredivisie titles, one Copa del Rey, six KNVB Cup, one Intercontinental Cup. Johan Cryuff was 'Total Football' and he was the architect of modern football, as we know it.


5) Franz Beckenbauer (Germany aka West Germany)

Peak: 1966-76

Major Achievements: 1972 & 1976 Ballon d'Or, FIFA World Cup All-Time Team, 1966 FIFA World Cup Best Young Player Award, four-time German Footballer of the Year, 1974 FIFA World Cup, 1972 UEFA European Championships, three European Cups, five Bundesliga titles, four DFB-Pokals, one Intercontinental Cup. The Der Kaiser, as he is fondly called, won the FIFA World Cup as a player and also as a manager. He is also one of only two defenders to ever win the Ballon d'Or and he infact won it TWICE!


6) Ronaldo aka "O Fenômeno" (Brazil)

Peak: 1995-2002

Major Achievements: 1997 & 2002 Ballon d'Or, 1996, 1997 & 2002 FIFA World Player of the Year, 1998 FIFA World Cup Golden Ball, 2002 FIFA World Cup Golden Shoe, 1996/97 European Golden Shoe, 1994 & 2002 FIFA World Cup, 1997 & 1999 Copa America, two-time Pichichi winner, 1998 Serie A Footballer of the Year, two La Liga titles, one Copa del Rey, one KNVB Cup, one UEFA Cup, one Intercontinental Cup. Ronaldo easily could have become the greatest football player of all time, but his knees and overall lack of personal discipline, did him in. He was simply a joy to watch!


7) Ronaldinho (Brazil)

Peak: 2002-06

Major Achievements: 2005 Ballon d'Or, 2004 & 2005 FIFA World Player of the Year, 2005/06 UEFA Club Footballer of the Year, 2004 & 2005 FIFPro World Player of the Year, one UEFA Champions League, two La Liga titles, one Scudetto. 2002 FIFA World Cup winner. Ronaldinho was one of the most gifted geniuses with the ball at his feet. He was exquisite to watch and played with so much joy that his passion seemed like par-for-the-course, even in the most energy-sapping of games. Just ask England in 2002 and they will tell you that no one 'smiled while killing you' with so much ease as Ronaldinho. 


8) Alfredo Di Stéfano (Argentina)

Peak: 1956-62

Major Achievements: 1957 & 1959 Ballon d'Or, five European Cups, one Intercontinental Cup, eight La Liga titles, five-time Pichichi winner, World Team of the 20th Century, one Copa del Rey.
Alfredo Di Stéfano is considered by some to be the best player of all time, and many consider that he should be ranked above fellow Argentines Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi. Indelibly associated with the Real Madrid side that won 5 European Cups between 1956 and 1960, remarkably Di Stéfano did not even come to Europe until he was in his late 20s. It was during his time in Spain with Real that created his legend. In 11 seasons, in addition to the European Cup triumphs, he helped them win 8 league titles and the Copa del Rey, scoring 308 goals in 396 appearances for Los Blancos. His partnership with Ferenc Puskás became legendary, exemplified by the 1960 European Cup Final, where Di Stéfano scored a hat-trick, and the Hungarian four in the 7 – 3 defeat of Eintracht Frankfurt, still spoken of, nearly 60 years later, as one of the finest games of club football ever played. 
9) Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
Peak: 2010-18

Major Achievements: 2008, 2013, 2014, 2016 & 2017 Ballon d'Or, 2008, 2016 & 2017 FIFA World Player of the Year, 2014, 2016 & 2017 UEFA Best Player in Europe Award, four-time European Golden Shoe winner, two-time PFA Players' Player of the Year, UEFA Champions League all time top goalscorer, Real Madrid's all time top goalscorer, five UEFA Champions Leagues, two La Liga titles, three Premier League titles, one Scudetto, two Copa del Rey, one FA Cup, one UEFA European Championship and inaugural UEFA Nations League Championship.


10) Lionel Messi (Argentina)

Peak: 2009-18

Major Achievements: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015 & 2019 Ballon d'Or, 2009 FIFA World Player of the Year, Barcelona all time top goalscorer, La Liga all time top goalscorer, six-time Pichichi winner, Argentina's all time top goalscorer, most goals scored in a calendar year, 2011 & 2015 UEFA Men's Player of the Year, seven-time La Liga Player of the Year, 2014 FIFA World Cup Golden Ball, 2005 Young European Footballer of the Year, five-time European Golden Shoe winner, four Champions Leagues, nine La Liga titles, six Copa del Rey. 

Tuesday

Ten things we've learnt about identity politics in the United States

CC™ Editor-in-Chief

a) Racism is an institution not an event, statement or action, as evident by the silence and acquiescence of the Republican members of Congress to the dangerous and highly-charged statements and actions of President Donald Trump for 4 years, that ultimately culminated in the violent insurrection by White Supremacist supporters of his, against the Congress of the United States on January 6th, 2021.

b) House Speaker Nancy Pelosi actually instigated the singling out (in 2019) of the women of color in the U.S. House by referring to them as "just four people with no following". That was all President Donald Trump needed to strike at the time, against those women. 

c) Donald Trump "is not a racist". The power structure that enabled him become the POTUS and continues to facilitate his trampling upon the Constitution with impunity is racist and was set up to be that way by the founding fathers, who enslaved the Africans that were brought to America and saw them as less than human.

d) President Barack Obama would not have been elected to office if he had bragged about sexually assaulting women, and he would definitely have been impeached if he had conducted himself in office as Trump has.

e) Imagine what would have happened if Barack Obama had asked those that criticized his administration to leave the country, if they did not like the way things were being done. Or worse still, if he (Obama) had threatened to unleash the U.S. military on American citizens, protesting in the streets. Lastly, I am confident Barack Obama would have been impeached and convicted within a week (at most) if he had instigated an insurrection against a co-equal branch of government.

f) Gratitude is not a requirement of citizenship. Furthermore, all U.S. citizens (naturalized or natural born) have equal rights or do they.......?

g) The old order of the Democratic party is completely out of touch and the treatment of the four women Representatives of color by Speaker Pelosi two years ago, serves to buttress that point.

h) The Republican party has always had a playbook steeped in identity politics. Anyone remember the Willie Horton ads? Trump is not doing anything new. He simply took it to another level.

i) The palpable silence of the so-called religious leaders in the United States tells you all you need to know about them.

j) The silence of most top American CEOs and business leaders (until recently) also tells you all you need to know about them and their organizations. The ones that have 'spoken out' are not only late to the game (about four years late at least), but are speaking out merely to 'sanitize' their brand, as well as clear whatever is left of their conscience (assuming most of them actually have one).

#Racism #Willie Horton #Barack Obama #Donald Trump #Capitol Insurrection #White Supremacy #White Nationalists

Monday

The Human Brain - A complex but detailed assembly

Editor's Corner

The human brain is probably the most complex but unique creation present in the anatomy of humans. It would be an understatement to refer to the brain as just an extraordinary creation as I would actually go out on a limb and call the brain the most extraordinary creation in the human anatomy. 


The human brain is home, one can say, to everything that makes us tick. In addition to the human mind as well as our various intricate personalities, the brain is the abode of human consciousness, passion, emotion and purpose.

This article marks the beginning of my attempt to find answers to some of the puzzling questions I have always had as to why people do some of the things they do and what the primary triggers for their action or inaction might be. One case that came to mind for me was that of the Vietnamese father in the news a couple of years ago, for killing his four young children. What could have motivated this man to take the life of his own children? The human brain is an organ that essentially is built to learn, hence was this man’s action as a result of some form of defective learning behavior? 


While nature may play a dominant role in our lives, does nurture (one’s environment and learned experiences) however have a more defining role in how we see, interpret and react to events or episodes in our lives? In asking all these questions and having read the details of this particular event, I started to wonder as to what part of his brain cell may have ‘misfired’ and why to lead him to ‘rationalize’ taking the lives of his own children.

In learning to become familiar with our brain, we look to understand not only how its various parts work, but more importantly how we nourish, protect and develop it. I would propose that the human brain in its most basic as well as most complex element is constantly changing and evolving with each experience we encounter. Did the Vietnamese father above therefore ‘readjust’ his notion of what was rational as a result of certain negative experiences in his life or was his action merely a projection of his own self-worth due to a defective processing of information by his brain. 


Was there a critical disconnect between the two hemispheres thus resulting in this defective ‘rationalization’ or was his behavior more as a result of systematic desensitization to what’s wrong as a result of observational learning (modeling) of deviant but admired behavior within the larger American society?

In a society where serial killers, rapists and murderers are ‘revered’ and gain notoriety even over their victims, does the nurture aspect of human brain development through information processing then cloud the Grey area between what is socially acceptable behavior and what is deviant or anti-social behavior? I would hazard a guess that in his native Vietnam, such behavior would lead possibly to immediate execution of the perpetrator or some form of punishment that aims to discourage such anti-social behavior. 


I would also presume that in his native Vietnam, serial killers, rapists and murderers would never be ‘revered’ like the Charles Mansons and Jeffrey Dahmers of the United States; people who actually had movies made about them as well as books written about them.

Therefore it seems as though the human brain, although home to everything from a nature perspective that makes us tick, is however subject to the varying complexities of an individual’s environment and how the same individual reacts or relates to varying stimuli within the said environment. So, while we may nourish our brain by eating the right kinds of foods, getting the right amount of sleep, while also engaging in physiological exercises aimed at maintaining the brain structure at optimum capacity and productivity, the environment might be perhaps the most critical deciding factor as to whether or not information is processed constructively or defectively. 


I would suggest that this might however be open to debate as there are several instances where we can probably show that although the influence of the environment might be a very strong one, how an individual actually processes information on a consistent basis as well as having the right chemical balance within the brain structure may be more of a deciding factor as to the ultimate state of our minds.

Thus, the question arises again. How well do we really know our brain? But more importantly, how do we do our part in ensuring that this most delicate and intricate part of the human ‘anatomy’ remains an asset to the human mind and ambition. The search for answers continues and we are all a part of the process.


© 2021 2CG MEDIA. Coker Confidential™

Sunday

African-Americans Who Served in WWII Faced Segregation Abroad and at Home

Photograph by David E. Scherman / The LIFE Picture Collection / Getty

CC™ Histofact 

Some 1.2 million African-American men served in the U.S. military during the war, but they were often treated as second-class citizens. 

When the Selective Training and Service Act became the nation’s first peacetime draft law in September 1940, civil rights leaders pressured President Franklin D. Roosevelt to allow Black men the opportunity to register and serve in integrated regiments. 

Although African-Americans had participated in every conflict since the Revolutionary War, they had done so segregated, and FDR appointee Henry Stimson, the Secretary of War, was not interested in changing the status quo. With a need to shore up the U.S. Armed Forces as war intensified in Europe, FDR decided that Black men could register for the draft, but they would remain segregated and the military would determine the proportion of Blacks inducted into the service.

The compromise represented the paradoxical experience that befell the 1.2 million African- American men who served in World War II: They fought for democracy overseas while being treated like second-class citizens by their own country.

Despite African-American soldiers' eagerness to fight in World War II, the same Jim Crow discrimination in society was practiced in every branch of the armed forces. Many of the bases and training facilities were located in the South, in addition to the largest military installation for Black soldiers, Fort Huachuca, located in Arizona. Regardless of the region, at all the bases there were separate blood banks, hospitals or wards, medical staff, barracks and recreational facilities for Black soldiers. And white soldiers and local white residents routinely slurred and harassed them.

“The experience was very dispiriting for a lot of Black soldiers,” says Matthew Delmont, a history professor at Dartmouth College and author of Black Quotidian: Everyday History in African-American Newspapers. “The kind of treatment they received by white officers in army bases in the United States was horrendous. They described being in slave-like conditions and being treated like animals. They were called racial epithets quite regularly and just not afforded respect either as soldiers or human beings.”

Because the military didn’t think African-Americans were fit for combat or leadership positions, they were mostly relegated to labor and service units. Working as cooks and mechanics, building roads and ditches, and unloading supplies from trucks and airplanes were common tasks for Black soldiers. And for the few who did make officer rank, they could only lead other Black men.

As Christopher Paul Moore wrote in his book, Fighting for America: Black Soldiers—The Unsung Heroes of World War II, “Black Americans carrying weapons, either as infantry, tank corps, or as pilots, was simply an unthinkable notion…More acceptable to southern politicians and much of the military command was the use of black soldiers in support positions, as noncombatants or laborers.”

African-American soldiers regularly reported their mistreatment to the Black press and to the NAACP, pleading for the right to fight on the front lines alongside white soldiers.

“The Black press was quite successful in terms of advocating for Blacks soldiers in World War II,” says Delmont. “They point out the hypocrisy of fighting a war that was theoretically about democracy, at the same time having a racially segregated army.”

In 1942, the Black newspaper, the Pittsburgh Courier—in response to a letter to the editor by James G. Thompson, a 26-year-old Black soldier, in which he wrote, “Should I sacrifice my life to live half American?"—launched the Double V Campaign. The slogan, which stood for a victory for democracy overseas and a victory against racism in America, was touted by Black journalists and activists to rally support for equality for African-Americans. The campaign highlighted the contributions the soldiers made in the war effort and exposed the discrimination that Black soldiers endured while fighting for liberties that African Americans themselves didn’t have.

As casualties mounted among white soldiers toward the final year of the war, the military had to utilize African-Americans as infantrymen, officers, tankers and pilots, in addition to remaining invaluable in supply divisions. 

From August 1944 to November 1944, the Red Ball Express, a unit of mostly Black drivers delivered gasoline, ammunition, food, mechanical parts and medical supplies to General George Patton’s Third Army in France, driving up to 400 miles on narrow roads in the dead of night without headlights to avoid detection by the Germans.

The 761 Tank Battalion, became the first Black division to see ground combat in Europe, joining Patton’s Third Army in France in November 1944. The men helped liberate 30 towns under Nazi control and spent 183 days in combat, including in the Battle of the Bulge. The Tuskegee Airmen, the all-Black fighter pilot group trained at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, escorted bombers over Italy and Sicily, flying 1600 combat missions and destroying 237 German aircraft on ground and 37 in air.

“Without these crucial roles that Blacks soldiers were playing, the American military wouldn’t have been the same fighting force it was,” says Delmont. “That was a perspective you didn’t see much in the white press.”

After World War II officially ended on September 2, 1945, Black soldiers returned home to the United States facing violent white mobs of those who resented African Americans in uniform and perceived them as a threat to the social order of Jim Crow.

In addition to racial violence, Black soldiers were often denied benefits guaranteed under the G.I. Bill, the sweeping legislation that provided tuition assistance, job placement, and home and business loans to veterans. 

As civil rights activists continued to emphasize America’s hypocrisy as a democratic nation with a Jim Crow army, and Southern politicians stood firmly against full racial equality for Blacks, President Harry Truman signed Executive Order 9981 that desegregated the U.S. Armed Forces in July 1948. Full integration, however, would not occur until the Korean War.


Alexis Clark is the author of Enemies in Love: A German POW, A Black Nurse, and an Unlikely Romanceand an adjunct professor at Columbia Journalism School. Previously an editor at Town & Country, she has written for The New York TimesSmithsonian, NBC News Digital, and other publications.  as second-class citizens.

Some 1.2 million Black men served in the U.S. military during the war, but they were often treated as second-class citizens.

HISTORY.COM

Saturday

Still on Constitutionalism: A wake-up call

Late Nigerian Dictator Sani Abacha

CC™ Nigeriaworld

By Abdulrazaq Magaji

Over the past several months, the restructuring debate has understandably been pushed to the front burner with opinions on the issue being as impassioned as they are divided. Expectedly, every Nigerian appears to have an idea on how, when and what to restructure.

That is the way it should be! But, with popular opinion in support of preserving the continued existence of Nigeria as one, united country, attention should be focused on restructuring to strengthen political structures. It is good that the ninth Senate has activated a nationwide debate on securing a people-oriented constitution.

It might not have been top on the agenda when then Head of State, General Sani Abacha, convoked the National Constitutional Conference in 1994, but, little did he know that he had surreptitiously set the country on the path of restructuring.  Had death not abridged General Abacha’s plans, it is safe to say that all the hot air over marginalization, more imagined than real, and some of the ills we are grappling with, would have been consigned to history.

Reference here is to stillborn report of the 1994/95 National Constitutional Conference. A review of salient provisions of the report shows that, had it seen the light of day, Nigeria would have transformed from a country of contending ethnic nationalities into a modern nation-state in a matter of thirty years! In a manner of speaking, the Abacha draft is the best effort at constitutionalism since independence in 1960.

Sadly, General Abacha died suddenly after holding the country together for five impossible years. Imperatively, survival instincts demanded that General Abacha be disowned by those who succeeded him. The national emergency then was to heal wounds and woo the aggrieved South-west geo-political zone back into the fold. It was, therefore, expedient for his stopgap successor, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, to distance himself as much as possible. The biggest casualty was the report of Confab ’94.

One of the committees hurriedly assembled by the new administration to explore the way forward was led by an eminent jurist, late Justice Niki Tobi. The Committee appeared to be in a haste to deliver; after all, it had its briefs well spelt out. The Committee took one hasty look at the Abacha Report and dismissed it offhanded as ‘anti-people’. Remarkably, the eminent jurist rationalized the decision to throw away the Abacha document by claiming it was the ‘product of a disputed legitimacy’. In its place, the 1979 constitution was lazily window-dressed and closed shop!

As things stand today, Nigeria continues to grope partly due to the lethargy with which the Abacha document was handled. The nation’s official six geo-political zones remains an enduring legacy of General Abacha. In any case, the zones were meant to be the building blocks for the fundamental changes envisaged by the 1995 draft constitution which made provision for the offices of president, vice president, senate president, house speaker as well as the position of prime minister and deputy prime minister. A five-year single-term for political offices. Public office holders were restricted to a five-year single-term tenure.

The ‘Abacha document’ had something for everybody. Had political exigencies not prevailed on General Abubakar into literally throwing away the baby with the bathwater, Nigeria would, by now, have experimented with the Abacha formula for twenty-two   of the ‘thirty-year transition period’ which aim was to ‘promote national cohesion and integration’, after which merit and competence would replace rotation in determining who gets what.

In strict adherence to the principle of rotation envisaged by the Abacha document, at no point in time would any of the six geo-political zones have cause to complain of marginalization since there was always going to be one ‘juicy’ office to be vied for by each of the zones every five years. What this means is that, in 2018, the fifth of the six zones would have produced a president for the country and, by 2023, all six key political offices would have gone round the six geopolitical zones on rotational basis.

Of equal importance is that the unique provision eliminates the incumbency factor and its attendant abuses. Since the draft envisaged its replication at state levels, the president and other principal officers as well as state governors and stand disqualified from standing election for the same office during their five-year single term incumbency!

More than two decades after ‘throwing away the baby with the bath water’, Nigerians are still playing the ostrich instead of sobering up and still living in denial.  overgrowing the prejudices of the Abacha era. As a matter of fact, the Abacha document was so comprehensive to have anticipated the untenable and wrong-headed agitations across the country and the hollow talk of marginalization that comes with it. Now, can and, should Nigerians continue to play the ostrich and allow lawlessness to dominate the political scene? Are we to allow a rambunctious few to continue to stampede us and dominate national discourse in the face of quick-fix solutions?

Of course, the talk of dissolving Nigeria is hot air that lacks substance. Yes, there is need to restructure and this should not be mistaken for a breakup as some have been programmed to believe. We need to restructure in a way every section of the country will, at all times, be appropriately represented in governance. The ‘Abacha document’ took care of these and more. The document suggested a five-year single-term for elective posts. To restructure in a way that lawmaking will be inexpensive and effective, the draft made provision for part-time lawmaking!

Of course, Nigeria should restructure in a way that treasury looters will not get dubious clean bills from regular courts or be shielded from prosecution. It may interest Nigerians and their elected representatives that there is no proclamation for the much-abused immunity clause for any public office holder in the Abacha draft for the president and vice president as well as governors and their deputies. The pestiferous eighth Assembly that canvassed for a dubious immunity for its principal officers was not expected to look at the document; it didn’t!

Nigerians should give the thumbs-up to the leadership of the current Senate for taking the bull by the horn. To achieve desired results, Nigerians must begin to look beyond General Abacha and ditch the prejudices that characterized his days. The task ahead may seem insuperable but it is not invincible. 

The task will be made easier if we tinker with report of Confab ’95. 

Thursday

The art of managing people

Editor-in-Chief 

Organizations struggle everyday with the germane issue of what the effective management of people, an organization's most prized asset, actually entails. The effective management of people within an organization requires a thorough understanding of the following: 
  
  • Motivation - Whether intrinsic or extrinsic and the importance of positive triggers....
  • Job design and environment....
  • Company's rewards system and how it is structured and also possibly layered....
  • Group influence as a function of Group-think and other allegiances....
Motivation
Human beings are creatures of habit and by that, I mean it is natural to expect that individuals will have different triggers within their genetic and socio-cultural make-up, that ultimately control what their motivations are, where they originate from or worse still, whether or not they have any at all.
Of course, as a business owner or a leader, you would hope you haven't hired someone or lead a group of people on the bottom rung of the Motivation Trigger Index™ (MTI).
Usually, one finds that most people with intrinsic motivation tend to have a higher MTI. They are the high achievers and are usually not driven to succeed or excel necessarily as a result of positive external triggers, but do so because it is just in their make-up. It is however important to note that for these group, the Positive External Triggers (PETs) only serve to further elevate their MTI scores. As for those, whose Motivational Intelligence (MI) require external triggers, they tend to be either in the middle or the lower rung of the Motivation Trigger Index™. People in this category tend to require an appreciable amount of Positive External Triggers (PETs) and ironically, if they have quite a bit of this, they are bound to excel at their tasks, in some cases, even with distinction. However, unlike the first group, their MTI scores tend to vacillate between just above average to poor, as a function of the amount of PETs they are exposed to in their work and related environment.
Job Design and Environment
Over the years, scientific management has sought to strip workers of their initiative, thus ridding the work environment of key intangibles such as skill set diversity, autonomy and most important of all, feedback, constructive or otherwise.
A perfect example of empowering employees and creating an environment that engenders optimum productivity and creativity is to seek input from your employees, even when you, as a leader, know what the solution to a problem is. They may even suggest the solution you have in mind and you can give them credit for it.
Rewards System
The rewards system must be one that does not give rise to suspicion or insinuations of favoritism. While majority of organizations, big or small, insist on building a "team atmosphere", it is imperative that top performers, particularly those that most closely espouse the company's core principles within the framework of its corporate culture, are duly rewarded and recognized as such.
This process should however be carefully monitored and managed, so as to ensure that everyone (including the non-monetary contributors) feels a sense of belonging to the organization, through their own respective contributions.
It is a well-known fact that the successful execution of a company's business strategy must involve everyone on the ship.
Group Influence
This can either be a "good thing" or a "bad thing", but it depends on how you look at it. Now, while it can create a negative work environment due to its potentially divisive and mostly political nature, it is an unavoidable phenomenon.
Most organizations have learned to not only exist but also flourish with just the "right amount" of group-think, as it actually may engender a spirit of collaboration towards reaching the ultimate objectives of the organization.
The overriding attitude becomes one where the conclusion is that if the company wins, then everyone wins. 

© 2021 2CG MEDIA. Coker Confidential™

Wednesday

Ten Ways to Improve Your Interpersonal Skills

Editor's Pick

Don't discount the importance of interpersonal skills in the workplace. How you are perceived by your manager and coworkers plays a large role in things as minor as your day-to-day happiness at the office and as major as the future of your career.

No matter how hard you work or how many brilliant ideas you may have, if you can't connect with the people working around you, your professional life will suffer. The good news is that there are several concrete things you can do to improve your social skills and become closer to your colleagues, all of which will ultimately help you succeed in today's working world.

Here are 10 helpful tips for improving your interpersonal skills:

1. Smile. Few people want to be around someone who is always down in the dumps. Do your best to be friendly and upbeat with your coworkers. Maintain a positive, cheerful attitude about work and about life. Smile often. The positive energy you radiate will draw others to you.

2. Be appreciative. Find one positive thing about everyone you work with and let them hear it. Be generous with praise and kind words of encouragement. Say thanks when someone helps you. Make colleagues feel welcome when they call or stop by your office. If you let others know that they are appreciated, they'll want to give you their best.

3. Pay attention to others. Observe what's going on in other people's lives. Acknowledge their happy milestones and express concern and sympathy for difficult situations such as an illness or death. Make eye contact and address people by their first names. Ask others for their opinions.

4. Practice active listening. Actively listening is a way of demonstrating that you intend to hear and understand another's point of view. It means restating, in your own words, what the other person has said. Your coworkers will appreciate knowing you really do listen to what they have to say.

5. Bring people together. Create an environment that encourages others to work together. Treat everyone equally and don't play favorites. Avoid talking about others behind their backs. Follow up on other people's suggestions or requests. When you make a statement or announcement, check to see that you have been understood. If folks see you as someone solid and fair, they will grow to trust you.

6. Resolve conflicts. Take a step beyond simply bringing people together and become someone who resolves conflicts when they arise. Learn how to be an effective mediator. If coworkers are bickering over personal or professional disagreements, arrange to sit down with both parties and help sort out their differences. By taking on such a leadership role, you will garner respect and admiration from those around you.

7. Communicate clearly. Pay close attention to both what you say and how you say it. Being a clear and effective communicator helps you avoid misunderstandings with coworkers. Verbal eloquence projects an image of intelligence and maturity, no matter what your age. If you tend to blurt out anything that comes to mind, people won't put much weight on your words or opinions.

8. Humor them. Don't be afraid to be funny or clever. Most people are drawn to a person that can make them laugh. Use your sense of humor as an effective tool to lower barriers and gain people's affection.

9. See it from their side. Empathy means being able to put yourself in someone else's shoes and understand how they feel. Try to see things from another person's perspective. You can help yourself with this by staying in touch with your own emotions, since those who are cut off from their feelings are often unable to empathize with others.

10. Don't complain. There is nothing worse than a chronic complainer or whiner. If you simply have to vent about something, save it for your diary. But spare those around you, or else you'll get a bad reputation.

AllBusiness.com

Tuesday

CC™ Investigative: The Northern "usual suspects" behind Boko Haram as Nigerians search for answers to the violent insurgency

CC™ Investigative

When the late National Security Adviser, Rtd. General Andrew Owoye Azazi  blamed the rise of insurgence by the fundamentalist sect, Boko Haram in the country on the internal wranglings of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and other political parties (see video below), he naturally made many in the corridors of power uncomfortable, at the time.

Not surprisingly and rather mysteriously, he was "killed" when his helicopter exploded over the skies of Bayelsa State after having been let-go by then President Goodluck Jonathan.



The late General Azazi was obviously privy to information regarding the real details behind Boko Haram. His position as the National Security Adviser at the time, put him at the head of that information. If anyone were to be in the know regarding the real truth behind the upsurge in the Islamic sect's violent insurgence, it had to be someone like Azazi as the nations top security head.

Former President Goodluck Jonathan had on several occasions admitted that they knew who was behind Boko Haram, and these were top level officials, mostly of Northern extraction.


Gen. Azazi explicitly declared to his audience, who was behind the unrest. He narrowed it down to the result of ‘unconstitutional’ PDP convention regulations, which determined who could run for President vs who could not run.


He went on further:

"The extent of violence did not increase in Nigeria until there was a declaration by the current president that he was going to contest. PDP got it wrong from the beginning, from the on-set by saying Mr A can rule, Mr A cannot rule, Mr B can rule, Mr B cannot rule, according to PDP’s convention, rules and regulation and not according to the constitution {applause} and that created the climate for what has manifest itself, this way. I believe that there is some element of politicization. is it possible that somebody was thinking that only Mr. A could win, and if he did not win, there will be problems in this society. Let’s examine all these issues to see whether the level of violence in the North East just escalated because Boko Haram suddenly became better trained, better equipped and better funded, and in any case how did they get it all done…{warning of Boko Haram becoming snipers – who could potentially target elite}
But, then I must also be quick to point out that today, even if all the leaders that we know in Boko Haram are arrested, I don’t think the problem would end, because there are tentacles. I don’t think that people would be satisfied, because the situations that created the problems are not just about the religion, poverty or the desire to rule Nigeria. I think it’s a combination of everything. Except you address all those things comprehensively, it would not work."
Intelligence sources have informed CC™ that although former President Jonathan knew (and still knows) exactly who the sponsors of Boko Haram are, he lacked the courage and political will to bring them to task as the "usual suspects" were actually aligned with Jonathan on ensuring that he got re-elected in the 2015 elections as long as he (Jonathan) "played ball".

One name did however stand out of the three "usual suspects" CC™ was able to gather credible information about. It was that of then Minister of Defense, Rtd. General Aliyu Mohammed Gusau. 


Gusau was always an ambitious man and those who know him very well not only say he is very "loyal", but they also pointed to a rather glaring trail in his professional dossier - he (Gusau) had always been in the "thick of the action" in just about every administration in Nigeria, from Babangida (a serial coup plotter himself) to Jonathan.


However, one thing always stood out, more-so in the administration of Nigerian Christian leaders from the South, namely Obasanjo and Jonathan; there was always insecurity of a religious nature that he (Gusau) although placed in charge of managing, had seemingly always found a way to allow spiral out of control. 


Gusau's history with Boko Haram is a rather interesting one. According to  TheNationOnline, 01/01/2012, "hardline allies of Jonathan’s went further, suggesting that northern rivals within the PDP – such as Generals Ibrahim Babangida and Aliyu Mohammed Gusau – have covert ties to Boko Haram." Ironically, Jonathan however continued to have the ear and vice-versa of Ibrahim Babangida and Aliyu Gusau.


Earlier as the NSA under former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Gusau had told Obasanjo that "there was no evidence of such a group as Boko Haram in 2006 although there had been evidence to the contrary as far back as 2005. 


Here is an excerpt:

PMNews, September 14, 2011: Sources, however, indicated that the Azazi’s predecessor as NSA cannot be absolved of blame. It was gathered that the the issue of al-Qaeda affiliated cells in the North-East part of the country was pointed out to former President Olusegun Obasanjo as far back as 2006. It was noted for instance that Boko Haram, termed the “Nigerian Taliban”, had been operating in the clear since 2005 when General Aliyu Gusau (rtd.) was NSA. The former president was said to have in turn asked Gusau to investigate the issue. But Gusau, according to reports, told Obasanjo that no such group existed in the country.It was gathered that the same issue of Taliban presence in Nigeria was raised with the late President Umaru Yar’Adua in July 2007. “Goodluck Jonathan became President of Nigeria upon the death of Umaru Yar’Adua in May 2010. Former NSA Aliyu Mohammed Gusau was once again made National Security Adviser. Gusau could not possibly have missed the threat of Boko Haram. If his security operatives failed to raise the matter in their reports then the public statements released by Boko Haram and printed verbatim in Nigeria’s national newspapers should have raised questions from the NSA, if not alarm,” said Steven Davis, a public commentator. “The handling of the Boko Haram matter while Gusau was NSA resulted in a dramatic escalation in the conflict to the stage that it threatened the nation’s security,” he added.
Many media articles accused Aliyu Mohammed Gusau et al of being the terror mastermind(s) behind Boko Haram. 

An arms cache at the time in Kano with Hezbollah agents was linked to him and according to sources, he was under investigation with the result once again swept under the rug. 


It was under Gusau as NSA that Boko Haram acquired all their weapons and reigned terror. Gusau did nothing to check these terrorists. He even, according to Steven Davis as reported in PM News on Sept. 14, 2011, protected Boko Haram by telling then President Obasanjo that the group did not exist. 


This, despite series of attacks by the group. Gusau did not make any security report on the group, then called “Nigerian Taliban,” the paper alleges and Gusau even ordered the release of captured terrorists on the request of some Northern leaders, namely the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa'ad Abubakar III, a former security detail of former dictator, Rtd. General Ibrahim Babangida. 


This is not surprising as Sultan Abubakar is on record as having condemned the crackdown on Boko Haram.


In his capacity as NSA (three times to be precise) in Nigeria’s history, Gusau failed woefully and invariably assisted Boko Haram in becoming the menace they now are, with hundreds of thousands of deaths to their credit to date.
It remains puzzling that Jonathan appointed a man who actually retired as NSA to contest for the Nigerian Presidency against him (Jonathan), as Defense Minister when everything pointed to the fact that Gusau, in addition to being grossly inept (as his record had shown), had a history of being "soft" in his response to Islamic militant insurgencies in the past and was therefore not the logical answer to ensuring the outright defeat of Boko Haram.
Gusau and his Northern mischief makers, who are nothing short of avaricious predators, are now witnessing the proverbial chicken coming home to roost, with the recent trend of events.
The fact remains that Northern feudalism and its staunch protagonists remain the secret hands behind Boko Haram, the Fulani Herdsmen terrorists and all Islamic fundamentalist movements. President Buhari, the Sultan of Sokoto and Nasir El-Rufai, just to name a few, are the incumbent facilitators of these violent and murderous terrorists.
Asking the thief to watch the house is essentially what Nigerians are doing, by expecting this current administration to safeguard the lives and property of Nigerians.

Monday