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Lessons from Inspiring Leaders

“How can I inspire others to follow my lead?”

Aspiring influencers have been posed with this question since the beginning of time, and those who emerged and ultimately became legendary leaders did so because they were willing to learn from the very best.

Often, the best lessons can be learned from history. All great leaders throughout history share common attributes that not only made them unique but also helped them lead great movements with innovative ideas. These individuals were not necessarily born leaders; they developed their leadership and followed the inspiring example of those that came before them.
We can develop and foster habits of leadership within our lives too. As aspiring leaders, it is critical that we take time to reflect and assess our own perspective, capabilities, and habits.
This is a look of some of the greatest leaders and some of the characteristics that made them great.

Abraham Lincoln

“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.”
~ Abraham Lincoln

The 16th President of United States, Abraham Lincoln is most celebrated for his role in keeping the nation together during the Civil War and signing the Emancipation Acclamation, which helped to end slavery in the United States.
His leadership was a great example for determination and is a reminder that great leaders must remain persistent, even when others do not believe in your vision as a leader.

Oprah Winfrey

“Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher” ~ Oprah Winfrey

During a time when women were not readily embraced in the entertainment industry, Oprah Winfrey overcame humble beginnings to build an empire. She is best known for The Oprah Winfrey Show, which has won multiple Emmy Awards and has been called the most successful daytime TV program in history.
The influence she had on culture by celebrating the success of others is a reminder that great leaders surround themselves with individuals who incorporate their values and are also striving for success.

 

Jeff Bezos

“A company shouldn’t get addicted to being shiny, because shiny doesn’t last” ~ Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.com is well known for his visionary insight, turning an idea about
e-commerce into the world’s No. 2 most admired company with a market value of over $175 billion.
With innovations at Amazon like Amazon Prime and Kindle Unlimited, along with his personal projects like Blue Origin, a human spaceflight company, and his purchase of The Washington Post, Jeff Bezos is continuing to re-imagine the way business will impact the way people communicate. His ability to imagine a future that we have yet to see is a reminder that great leaders believe in bold visions.

Nelson Mandela

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear” ~ Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela was a visionary leader who believed that forgiveness was more important than revenge. He was the first South African President to be elected in fully democratic elections, after serving almost 30 years in prison.
His commitment to justice and peace, even after being imprisoned for so many years is a reminder that great leaders must often sacrifice their personal comfort to accomplish their goals.

It is important to constantly seek opportunities to grow and strengthen our skills. As leaders, we must seek opportunities to build reinforcing habits that allow us to be more effective. These leadership lessons help us to expand our influence, strengthen our organizations and advance our careers.

 

 

 

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Why Sri Lanka Is The Best Travel Destination for 2019

Why haven’t you been to Sri Lanka? Sri Lanka has mountains, picture-perfect beaches, delicious food, and a vibrant culture. The country is super diverse and it is one of the best wildlife hotspots in Asia.

Sri Lanka is a tropical island nation off the southeast coast of the Indian subcontinent. The capital of the country is Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte while the largest city is Colombo.
Sri Lanka has three main ethnic groups and the largest of the three groups is the population of Sinhalese people, most of whom are Buddhist, and who have their own language, Sinhala. They make up about 75% of the population.

Sri Lanka was famously described by Marco Polo as one of the finest islands in the world, and it has a history that dates back thousands of years. Although it’s small, there is so much history, nature, and beauty to see in this country.
Since the end of the civil war in 2009, Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals have tripled from 2010 to 2019, and this trend is bound to continue to soar over the next few years. While Sri Lanka has been up-and-coming for a few years, this beautiful island has been thrust into the spotlight and recently made it into tons of ‘Top Travel Destinations’ lists including the Lonely Planet. This trend hasn’t gone unnoticed by the hotel industry, with a plethora of luxury properties opening throughout the Island.

Sri Lanka has something to offer for every type of traveler: Love the great outdoors? Sri Lanka has beautiful hiking trails with mesmerizing views of tea plantations and waterfalls.
More of a ‘chill by the pool’ kind of traveler? Sri Lanka has world-class luxury and boutique hotels across the country with beautiful spas and pools.
Are you an avid surfer? Perfect – there are beautiful, uncrowded surf breaks up and down the coast.

Here are some reasons that make Sri Lanka one of the best travel destinations in the world:

Surf and Yoga Paradise

The Sri Lankan coast is home to dreamy surf breaks for beginners and pumping waves and reef breaks for advanced surfers.
The lineup is relatively uncrowded and the water is delightfully warm for the majority of the year. Sri Lanka is also a wonderful destination to deepen your yoga practices with many yoga retreats and studios available for any budget.

Elegant Cuisine

Sri Lanka cuisine is typically wholesome, relatively healthy and features a wealth of spices and flavors. Like its neighbor country India, Sri Lankan meals consist of colorful curries, rice, and roti, but also string hoppers, kottu, tons of fresh seafood from the Indian Ocean and an abundance of wonderful tropical fruit.

Wildlife biodiversity

Sri Lanka possesses a very high degree of biodiversity and is considered one of the top biodiversity hotspots in the world. You can’t visit Sri Lanka without visiting one of the many national parks and spot many beautiful species in their natural habitat.

Incredible sights and cultural heritage

Sri Lanka boasts a vibrant and unique cultural heritage with 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites scattered around the country and many colorful religious festivals hosted throughout the year. Sri Lanka has a diverse and rich cultural history, and we can expect European influence to be reflected in architecture, food and passion for cricket.

Climate

Sri Lanka is a tropical country so lots of blissful sunshine and blue skies are expected year-round, except for monsoon season, when it can get a little more humid and rainy.
That being said, the weather is fairly consistent and the country offers some of the most beautiful sunsets you’ll ever see.

 

 

 

 

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Shaping The Future With Youth 4 Global Goals

Youth 4 Global Goals (Y4GG) is an initiative that aims to activate young people to contribute towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also referred to as the Global Goals and Agenda 2030.
The simple framework allows organizations from different sectors to identify entry-points in working with youth around the SDGs. The core of the initiative is to drive by action by young people to create a better world and move beyond the traditional role in advocacy.

Youth4GG is an initiative powered by AIESEC, the world’s largest youth-run organization with a global team based in Rotterdam, Netherlands, focused on engaging global partners (such as PwC, Asian Development Bank, UN-Habitat) ; driving global marketing campaigns; development strategies for Measurement of Impact (MoI) and supporting AIESEC entities to implement the framework.

In December 2015, AIESEC’s young global leaders and representatives from its 126 countries and territories gathered at the United Nations Headquarters to promote and drive youth participation in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals by creating Youth 4 Global Goals initiative.
The initiative aims to educate youth about the SDGs and provide practical volunteering opportunities to unleash their potential while being an active world citizen. AIESEC believes that young people need to be strong partners in the achievement of the SDGs and Youth 4 Global Goals is aiming to become an umbrella for all the youth action towards SDGs.

Youth4GG is divided into three phases: Awareness, Understanding, and Action.

Awareness

55% of the youth are not aware of the Sustainable Development Goals according to YouthSpeak Survey. This is why the first phase of Youth4GG initiative aims to spread awareness about the Goals among youth.

Before someone can take action, it is vital to create awareness about the significance of the SDGs and how important it is to work together towards them in a global movement.
Some of the awareness campaigns done by AIESEC on a global level are Youth4GG Profile Picture campaign, International Volunteer Day, 100 Days of SDGs, International day of tolerance and UN Envoy on Youth Post.

 Understanding

AIESEC wants youth to understand how the Sustainable Development Goals are embedded in their everyday life and daily choices they make as human beings.
Someone understands an SDG when they know at least one target of any SDG and understand how to take relevant action to contribute towards its completion.
This is where YouthSpeak Forums fit into the picture. It is an event which brings together youth, NGOs, corporate representatives, and government officials to have conversations and more importantly work towards creating an action plan for pressing issues.

Action  

The third and most important phase of Youth4GG is Action.
It is considered that a person takes action if he/she is actively contributing to SDGs through daily actions or projects. This is why AIESEC has aligned all Global Volunteer projects with the SDGs, so as to provide a platform for youth to directly contribute towards the targets of the SDGs.

Example: SDG #3 Good Health and Wellbeing
Hometown Project – Indonesia

10-16% adults almost all over the world experience the symptoms of kidney disease. In Indonesia, kidney failure is the 4th largest leading cause of death. The habit of consuming water is one way to maintain healthy kidneys.
Through the Hometown project, AIESEC strives to help its members together with volunteers to care for the healthiness of society in their hometown with activities to raise awareness around the importance of water consumption, kidney health, and a healthy lifestyle.

Youth4GG is a continuous journey and the global youth is an integral part of the equation to achieve SDGs.

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Tools and Applications for Professional Growth

Google Calendar, Slack & Coda as Power Tools to enhance Productivity and Efficiency

Google Calendar is an impressive free online calendar that lets you easily keep track of your events and share the calendar with your family, friends, or co-workers. In addition to the calendar, you can use Google Calendar to set up reminders and send invitations, as well as keep track of acknowledgments. Since its web-based, you can access Google Calendar from anywhere. Even though multiple calendars can be overlaid on top of one another, differentiating between their events at a glance is really easy because each calendar can be a different color.

Google Calendar is also available for iOS and Android phones. Reminders can be set up for events and then be texted messaged or emailed to you. Also, it’s easy to sync Google Calendar with Microsoft Outlook, Apple iCal, and other equivalent programs, as it is very versatile and flexible.

Connecting the Google Calendar with Slack helps you and your team stay organized and up to date with events, reminders, notifications, etc. It will enhance the communication and efficiency between co-workers. Also saves time and boosts your productivity. By using a shared calendar, you can balance out assignments across your team. You can view the team calendar and that will allow you to have a better idea of each employee’s obligations and convenience. This allows them and you to optimally plan out there and your tasks and appointments accordingly.

After setting up Google Calendar, the following benefits can be highlighted.

  • It will automatically update your Slack status. Using your primary calendar, the Google Calendar app will automatically set your Slack status. i.e. Saman Kumara – In a meeting.
  • Also, you can remove or update your Slack status at any time. The calendar app won’t interfere with any status you’ve set yourself.
  • Only meetings you accept will prompt a status update in Slack, and your status will exclude the name of your meeting.
  • If you have overlapping events, there are two options: if the events have different durations, Slack will set your status to match the lengthier one, but if they start or end at different times, your status will set to the prior one.
  • Get an overview of today’s schedule delivered each morning or the next day’s schedule delivered the night before.
  • Keep your calendar up to date: review invites details, see conflicting meetings, and reply to events with a Yes, No, or Maybe quick reply.
  • If you use Google Hangouts or Zoom, Join conference calls, meetings from an event reminder with a single tap.

Coda is a cloud-based document editor that grows with users’ ideas. Coda docs can do everything from launching products, to scale small businesses, to help them study for tests, etc. The app stands apart from traditional office tools because it unites text, presentations, third-party apps and spreadsheet utilities into a single document. Coda also allows for some basic programming. The program’s one-tap presentation mode lets you view a doc in full screen. Users can add tables, graphs, calendars, buttons, sliders and more to any project.

Coda’s interface is simple and user-friendly. It’s easy to navigate between projects, access the suite of tools and share ideas. Coda comes with building blocks to create docs powerful as apps. Starting from a blank document it can be modified with tables, charts, cards, calendar, images and more. Everything can be easily customizable according to users’ requirements. That’s Coda, when spelled backward – a doc.

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Empowerment of Women for the Economic Growth

Empowerment of Women, for ensuring a bright future of Child and The Nation

The abilities of women in decisions making, education, and profession have been largely suppressed since ages back, considering them inferior to men. The situation is worst in underdeveloped and developing nations where women in a family are not allowed to make financial decisions, marriage life or decide on matters concerning their own education. In a world like that, it would be a delusion to dream about the goals of sustainable development and gender equality.

Empowerment can be defined as a “multi-dimensional social process that helps people gain control over their own lives. Women’s empowerment refers to “women’s ability to make vital life decision where that ability had been previously deprived of them”. There is an instant need to take measures to lift the social, personal and professional status of women, bringing them shoulder to shoulder with men. These specific measures constitute a process, which is known as “Women Empowerment”. Providing better education and employment opportunities to women, ensuring their better health, providing justice, ensuring professional equivalence and making decisions on their life are highlighted areas in the empowerment of women.

Women empowerment has the power to change many things in the society, country and the whole world. They are much better than men to deal with certain problems in society. They can better understand the disadvantages of the overpopulation for their family and country. They are fully able to handle the economic conditions of the family and country through proper family planning. Women are capable enough to handle any impulsive violence in comparison to the men whether in the family or society. Through women empowerment, it can be possible to change the male-dominated country into the equally dominated country of the rich economy. Empowering women may easily help to grow each and every member of the family without any extra effort. A woman is considered to be responsible for everything in the family so she can better solve all the problems from her own end. Therefore, empowerment of the women would automatically bring empowerment of everyone.

Now the world is moving into the making of provisions in the constitutions of their countries, to make it a legal point to grant equality to women in the society in all spheres just same as the male counterpart. Departments are established to function well in this field for the proper development of the women and child in most countries including Sri Lanka. Women are given a top place in Sri Lankan society from the ancient time as Queen Seewali & Anula have ruled our country in the era of the kingdom of Anuradhapura but later however they were not given the authorization to participate in all areas. But again Sirimavo Bandaranaike, became the world’s first non-hereditary female head of government in modern history when she was elected Prime Minister of Sri Lanka in 1960. So, as a nation, we are a leap ahead of the rest of the world.

Also, women constitute half the population of the whole world’s population and need to be independent in every area for the all-round development of women and children. Women need to be strong, aware and alert every moment for their growth and development. An empowered mother with a child makes the bright future of any nation.

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