Toni Kroos’ interview with Mahou | 04.05.2015

“Juventus know how to defend well but are also capable of making quick transitions. We’ll adapt to that and I hope that with the strengths we have we’ll be able to get through. I think we can do well against this opponent. We have an Italian manager who knows Juventus well. As such, we’ll be able to make even more use of our strengths.

Obviously there is a pressure within the club to win games and titles, but I don’t put any pressure on myself because I’m confident that we have enough quality. We have progressed well up until this point and are now through to the semi-finals, among the four best teams in Europe, which is a great achievement. We are going to do everything we can to get to the final but are well aware that no team has ever managed to win back-to-back titles before. That is our main goal this year.”

To everyone sending me shit about my text post: Mayweather’s management team chose the venue, date, referee, and judges for the match so where does that come to play in the result of the match. Therefore all the statistics you are giving me about how much Manny landed his punches is biased. Maybe you guys should stop looking up to a man who cares more about money than the sport itself and has 1 felony theft charge, 4 domestic abuse charges, and 5 charges of assault on 7 different women. Not to mention his attempt to ban all the reports who were reporting on his past criminal history from attending the fight. No us Pacquiao fans are not “salty”; why would be believe we would receive an incorrupt result from one of the most corrupt sports? Also please take the stick out of your ass and scratch your head with it and think: “Hm am I really going to argue with a girl over the internet who has probably accomplished more in her life than I have?” No you are not because you will be blocked and I am smarter than to add fuel to the fire. Learn to take a joke. Also I probably didn’t see it among the 4,210 notes that are in my activity feed right now.

 I will no longer be answering any questions or comments about this topic. 

Take the TOP GEAR CHALLENGE, and maybe win a trip to the Top Gear Track!

Race on the legendary Top Gear Test Track, hire The Stig to race for your team and take part in exciting geo-targeted events to win driving experiences at legendary tracks across the world.

Beginning with the chance for UK gamers to win a Top Gear Track Experience at the home of the popular BBC TV show, geo-targeted competitions will also be run in many other countries to win track day experiences at famous tracks including Nurburgring, Monza, Laguna Seca, and Suzuka.

With play-bursts designed for gamers on the move, replicating all the thrills and spills of real-time racing, Race Team Manager puts you in the driver’s seat, on the pit wall and at the boardroom table. Work your way up from the junior leagues to the pinnacle of motor sport and become a championship winning team!

Download the game HERE.

Just a quick reminder that this process isn’t for us.

It’s not supposed to be interesting to us or fun for us. This process isn’t for the fans - this process is for the public, and also through that, for Louis as well.

Everything is a blip in the public. People who read tabloids know not everything is accurate. But what won’t be a blip is that the name Louis Tomlinson is actually a name they can associate with a face.

I know this is boring and sometimes yucky, but no matter how the rest of the break goes, we will have Louis and the other boys back in June, and Louis will have his name known likely in both the U.S. and UK, and perhaps throughout most parts of the world.

I’ve been recruited for a special task! Even though it looks easy, in fact, easier than the task I was doing before, I’m told that it’s very important and that I’m the only one who can do it.

The boss came in one day and announced that he needed a special helper for something really important! Then he held his hand up to his brow as if he were a pioneer gazing out into the distance of some foreign land. He turned left and then right and then stopped on me.

Then he frowned.

“I don’t know…” he said, doubtfully.

And that made me so nervous!

“No!” I shouted. “Please! Please trust me! I can do it!”

“Well…Hmm….Okay, what the hell! Let’s try it out!”

Again, the only thing I can definitively say about the task is that it’s really, really easy and I’d probably feel insulted if I didn’t know how incredibly important it is. Also, I would probably doubt that it’s incredibly important if I wasn’t constantly told that despite what I might suspect, it’s incredibly important.

In this new role, I am isolated from others and even our lunch shifts are staggered, but if the main boss, my dad, ever calls the office, the supervisor is able to confirm that indeed I do still work there.

It’s a special task and only I can do it. But I guess if I didn’t do it for say…a week or so, nobody would probably even notice. In fact, I know that’s true. I haven’t done anything for a full month now and sure enough, nobody has noticed.

Through the grate I can see their feet. When a shoelace dangles through, I am quick to chew it off and swallow it. It is merely a nuisance at this point, but in time, they will notice and the occurrences will be elevated to the status of a mystery worth solving.

And by god, I hope they solve it!

EVEN IF McDavid saves the Oilers and they turn it around in a few years and become amazing and even win a cup

EVEN IF McDavid likes Edmonton and is happy to live there and re-signs over and over and eventually retires as a life-long Oiler


because you do not get to manage your organization like shit for years and years, waste a handful of young, talented #1 picks to the point that they look like they hate playing hockey, and generally be a constant disappointment to your fans and your city and theN GET REWARDED FOR IT WITH A ONCE IN A GENERATION TALENT 

[T]he tool needs to support superficially silly things like sharing animated gifs and emoji. Lest you think I’m kidding about that, let me be very clear: I am serious. The variety of expression available to team members across a medium like chat is considerably smaller than that achievable by people in a room together; images (even and especially frivolous ones) serve to fill in that gap and ensure productive and fun conversation. When your team can discuss a complicated topic and arrive upon a decision together using only animated gifs, you will know you have succeeded.

Mandy Brown on Making remote teams work

I know people use Campfire and IRC a lot but are there teams using daily google hangouts? Would that meet these standards?


To celebrate the May birthdays of Good Smile Racing drivers Taniguchi Nobuteru, Tatsuya Kataoka and the team manager Ukyo Katayama, they were presented this incredible Racing Miku cake during Qualifyings at Fuji Speedway! 

Business Advertising

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Business Advertising


Advertising is an investment in your business and is similar to other investments that are designed to improve and expand your business. The return you receive depends on the planning and thought that precede the actual commitment and expenditure of advertising dollars. By first developing an effective advertising plan, you increase the likelihood of a positive return on your advertising investment, regardless of the amount of money you spend.

Four Basic Questions

The basic premise of an advertising plan requires you to thoroughly analyze the answers to key questions before you can make effective advertising decisions. There are four key questions to ask yourself:

1. What do I want my advertising to accomplish?
2. Who should my advertising speak to?
3. What should my advertising say?
4. What advertising medium should I use?

In a specific business situation, each question has any number of potential answers. As you think about each question, do not accept any answer until you have considered and explored the full range of possibilities.

What Do I Want My Advertising To Accomplish?

The first step in developing your advertising plan is to specify your advertising goals. Be as precise as you can as to why you are advertising and what you want to achieve. Everyone wants advertising to increase business, but for your advertising plan to work, it requires you to be more precise. Some possible goals for your advertising are:

• To increase awareness of your business.
• To attract competitors’ customers.
• To increase the likelihood of keeping current customers and developing their loyalty.
• To generate immediate sales or sales leads.

It is possible that you may want your advertising to achieve all of these goals plus some others. What is important is that you prioritize your goals. Advertising works best when it is developed to meet one specific goal at a time.

Who Should My Advertising Speak To?

Once you determine your advertising goals, you can then select the target audience for your message. Keep in mind that advertising that tries to reach “everyone” rarely succeeds. Successful advertising is written with a specific customer in mind. Try to picture the person you must reach in order to achieve your advertising goals. Try to describe your target consumers in each of the following:

• Demographics: such as gender, age, income, location of residence or business, etc.
• Behaviors: such as current awareness of your business; the products, services or vendors they currently use; loyalty to either you or your competitor’s business, etc.
• Needs or desires: such as what benefits consumers look for, the basis on which they will decide whether to use your product or service, how your business can fulfill those needs, etc.

What Should My Advertising Say?

Once you know who your target audience is and what they are looking for in terms of the product or service you offer, you can decide what your advertising will say. Advertising should always be written to communicate a message that will be seen as important by your target customer. Your advertising should clearly and convincingly “speak” to your target audience, explaining the important benefits your product or service offers. In deciding how to discuss the major benefits of your product or service in your advertising, keep “AIDA” in mind: attract Attention, hold Interest, arouse Desire and motivate Action.

Where Should I Place My Advertising?

Every month, new advertising options become available. Beyond “traditional” media you can place ads in airports, on ski lifts and on television monitors in the front of grocery carts. Where you place your advertising should be guided by a simple principle: Go where your target audience will have the highest likelihood of seeing or hearing it. Many advertising media work well to reach a diverse range of target consumers. There is no single medium that is inherently good or bad. In fact, a good medium for one product or service may be a poor medium for another. As you consider media choices, look for one that fits your advertising goals, reaches your target efficiently and cost effectively and is within your advertising budget.

The building activities may be different from one team to another, it really depends on personal interests, on peoples profiles, on the work itself and on the goals you are targeting, of course. Then, it is no easy to find the Building Activities to propose to the team; but the easier way is simple:

Ask the Team

Build your teamsCorporate your employeesInspire customersMotivate people

(via SCIETEC: Team Building / Corporating People)

Taking four pitches for the team

The evolution of baseball has increased the value of on-base percentage. Long viewed as a barrier to getting a hit, a walk is now perceived as a valuable move that increase a team’s chances of scoring. Coaches of young ballplayers can use team websites to outline the importance of drawing a walk.

On-base machine returns from injury
Joey Votto missed 100 games last year because of knee and quad injuries, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer. However, heading into the new season, Votto feels normal and ready to go. This is welcome news for the Cincinnati Reds, a team that was badly missing the slugger with an elite on-base percentage.

“That’s a pretty big presence in your lineup - a guy that’s on base at .420, .430 clip, that gets a lot of extra-base hits, produces a lot of runs - either scoring them, driving them in or both,” Reds manager Bryan Price told the news outlet. “We were under .300 as a team in on-base percentage. There were really area where we needed to improve. That’s one guy we weren’t able to make up for. That was a pretty big-impact loss.”

After finishing with a .327 on-base percentage as a team in 2013, that figure dropped to .296 last year. With Votto healthy and slotted into the middle of the lineup, the Reds should be well equipped to improve that mark. While fighting for a playoff spot in the increasingly competitive NL Central will be quite difficult, the team should at least get on base more often.

Donaldson rises to the top with power and good batting eye
Josh Donaldson was one of the biggest surprises last season with the Oakland A’s. He was previously perceived as a prospect with a bunch of question marks. But after making the American League All Star team and establishing himself as one of the best power hitters in baseball, he quickly became a hot commodity.

The Toronto Blue Jays traded for Donaldson in the offseason, and surely value him not just for his ability to hit plenty of home runs, but also for his on-base prowess.

“I don’t know that anybody foresaw this, but his talent level was always there,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin told the news outlet. “He moved over to third and had some struggles at the big league level offensively - he’s learning a position he hasn’t played every day - and then once he got comfortable with the position, all of a sudden, the bat started to come around.”

Five Ways to Engage Your Team in 2011: A Guest Post

Five ways to engage your team in 2011, presented by Roland Cavanagh and Dodd Starbird, authors of Building Engaged Team Performance: Align Your Processes and People to Achieve Game-Changing Business Results

Wouldn’t it be nice if each of your team members did “the right thing” all the time? Wow, imagine… even if they just tried…

Do they really understand what “the right thing” is? Not just the individual tasks but the context for their actions, the goal?

We’ll start this brief discussion in the same way that we’d recommend that you start your journey to engage your own team – it’s the first of our five ways:

#1: Share the goals and the strategy

Here’s the analogy: The goal of this article is to describe five actions that a leader can take to help a group of individuals begin their transition to become an engaged team. In short, the way to do that is to give them context and detail about the job at hand, with appropriate goals, measures and visual data, and then step back and let them work.  Starting with a goal and a strategy helps, doesn’t it?

So, step 1 is to publish and discuss with your group the company and departmental goals, and the actions and initiatives that will be executed in 2011 to achieve those goals. Now the group can see the alignment between the priorities and the goals.

#2: Develop aligned team goals

An old mentor of mine frequently reminded me that “all plans must eventually deteriorate into action” – the same is true for strategies and initiatives – they must all be made specific in order to drive the right behaviors and cause the actions that will achieve success. If one of the dimensions of success is having your work group perform as a team, then they need goals that drive team behaviors. If I have an individual goal of delivering 20 quotes per day, then I’m likely to pace myself to accomplish those 20. If, on the other hand, seven of us have a team goal of 140, (or better yet, just to have none remaining to do at the end of the day), then I may press myself to deliver more than my “fair share” so that the team can win. Item 2 on our list is therefore: Develop aligned team goals – aligned with the company and departmental goals and constructed to drive collaborative behavior.

#3: Develop fair, aligned measures

If some of those quotes require extensive research and others are a slam dunk, then it is only reasonable to expect that I will have some difficult days and some easy ones depending on the mix of work that arrives. Worst case, if I’m clever, I’ll figure out how to “cherry pick” and find the easy ones to do so I don’t have to work so hard… And if I’m only measured on quantity, I may find ways to compromise the quality in order to make quota (believe me, we’ve seen it all!). These observations lead us to item #3: Establish fair, aligned measures. Fair, in that they represent and report the true effort necessary to do the work (the easy ones get 10 minutes credit while the difficult get 25 minutes, for example) and aligned through measurement of all of the key characteristics including quality and quantity.

#4: Make the data visual and timely

Aligned goals supported by fair measures are great, but if they are presented as a PFN (Page Full of Numbers) a month after the fact, they aren’t usually that impactful or useful. Typically time gets spent witch-hunting or defending something in the data that occurred a couple of weeks ago, while key trends get overlooked. Item 4 of this presentation is: Make the data visual and timely. Post and plot data every day – post the actual number, and plot it on a line or trend chart immediately as it occurs. This can be automated from a computer system, or even can be set up so that each person steps up and adds a “tick” as they finish each item. In rapidly changing environments, the numbers and charts need updating as frequently as every hour, sometimes once per day. Waiting until the end of the week or month to post data is like driving forward while looking in the rear view mirror. Real-time visual data is actionable – we, the team, can see our success and our situation, and begin to turn observations into positive actions. Agents in a recent project, when able to observe the patterns of arrival of customer demand, began negotiating among themselves a lunch schedule that provided better coverage.

#5: Get out of the way!

All this comes to naught if you can’t give over some responsibility and authority to the team – responsibility to recognize the need for action and authority to act. Not unlimited freedom to do as they please, but rather within legal and company policies and reasonable bounds associated with the work to be done. Consensus adjustment of work and lunch schedules may be acceptable, but recruiting new agents probably isn’t. Therefore the last item on our list of five is: Get out of the way! Expect them to act as a team and collaborate, decide, and act in alignment with the measures and goals. “Trust but verify,” President Reagan said near the end of the Cold War – and here you will have the data to confirm the team’s performance.

So, we’d encourage you to make a New Years’ Resolution to go out and try the five ways to help your group of individuals on their way to becoming an engaged team:

  • Share the goals and the strategy
  • Develop aligned team goals
  • Establish fair and balanced measures
  • Make the data visual and timely
  • Get out of the way!
5 Productive Team Management

1)      Hire Team Members Professionally (job description, find committed people, interview, small talk to get to know the person)

2)      Feedback (usually problematic bcoz : given when you’re really upset, normally target the person not the issue)

3)      One-to-one

(30 minutes, once a week, never missed- 10 min for them, 10 min for you, 10 min for future plan)

(builds bond, trust, understanding)(can give feedback in this time slot as well)

4)      Coaching & Development (eg: get them to network via Lunch Meetups?)

5)      Art of delegation


Source: SMUIBFS’ seminar minutes

An Algorithm for Teams and Homestays

No, I’m afraid I haven’t come up with a tried-and-tested algorithm for dividing the larger group up into homestay allocations and working teams. There are too many unique facets of each team to come up with a reliable system.

There are hundreds of factors that should probably be considered when deciding who is going to work best in which teams for the duration of their placement in-country. Some placements may have work teams living together in their placement community, but ours has been a little different with homestays in one small area of the city and a commute to our working placements. This means the following:

- Our working teams need to incorporate a complementary mix of character traits and experience

- Those who are incompatible with certain members of the team need to be separated in the working groups and, ideally, the homestay allocations as well

- Team Leaders must be assigned to the working teams that they are best qualified to lead and with whom they will work the best

- Homestay allocations will ideally separate the working teams (so no individual lives and works with the same people)

- Dietary requirements and gender must be taken into consideration when allocating homestays.

When you add in all of the special circumstances, this task becomes quite the challenge. We managed. Just about.

Something that we initially put on the back-burner was where the Team Leaders would live and work. We originally decided “we didn’t mind where we lived”. However, we quickly came to some more important realisations:

- Team Leaders will have more work to do to organise and manage sessions, university/college relations and volunteers work

- Team Leaders will also have the added pressure of providing pastoral care and emotional support to the volunteers, which can be quite taxing

- If Team Leaders are cohabiting with general volunteers, it might be an added burden to either rely on everybody’s ability to switch between work and home relationships or constantly maintaining a professional attitude - in other words, it would be much more difficult for the TLs to relax and let their hair down at the end of the day

- If Team Leaders are bringing work home at the end of each day (whether that be admin-related or emotional support) a private room, either single or shared other TLs, is preferable

These criteria will not apply to every placement exactly. I write them here simply as a reminder that placing people into teams, whether for work or home, is an incredibly complicated process. It is also important that TLs allow themselves certain privileges when it comes to homestay allocations for the above reasons. 

The general participants may not realise the complexities of each situation, as we have to take every known and potential confli into account, but myriad factors have to be taken very seriously. Team Leadership, it turns out, requires a very analytical and somewhat mathematical brain.

The versatility of stretch forwards

The concept of the stretch forward became a major trend in basketball a few years ago. Now, just about every team in the NBA has one or two. The game’s evolution has increased the value of three-point shooting and spacing. This means that there isn’t always room for two burly fellows in the paint. As a result, players who have spent most their careers around the basket are now stepping back toward the perimeter.

The best of these players are incredibly valuable not just because of their ability to shoot well, but also because of their versatility. When a player like Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors, for example, can switch on picks and cover a shooting guard or a power forward, the defense as a whole becomes nearly impenetrable.

Coaches of young basketball players should consider using sports team websites to teach their forwards about the value of spacing, versatility and three-point shooting. The game is changing, and the teaching should keep pace.

Ibaka learns how to play on the perimeter
The Oklahoma City Thunder, when healthy, allocate most of their offensive possessions to stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. However, coach Scott Brooks would like to have more spacing, so forward Serge Ibaka is working on his three-point shot, according to The Oklahoman. Ibaka is already converting the shots at a pretty impressive rate. The next step is to drive around defenders who are creeping closer by the game.

“The thing that we’re working on is the one dribble drive,” Brooks told the news outlet. “They’re going to start closing out to him. He’s going to have to do that one dribble shot or drive the basket and attack. He’s done it a couple times, but probably not enough. As the season goes along, we’re going to want more of it.”

Hawks player does it all
Paul Millsap is technically listed as a power forward on the roster sheet for the Atlanta Hawks, but you might not know it by watching him play. Rolling Stone reported that Millsap takes pride in doing all the little things - setting picks, shooting inside and from deep, playing steady defense, etc. He’s a big reason why the Hawks lead the Eastern Conference this season.

“I feel I can continue to grow as a player,” Millsap told the news outlet. I have a long time to continue to progress with my shooting, continue to keep my ball handling tight, continue to stay in shape. You know, all of it. I’m not going to pinpoint one thing, because I’ve worked hard to try to have all aspects of my game be pretty good.“