Blog Archive

How to Evaluate Managers

By Junaid Tahir
Companies are becoming more and more concerned about cost optimization, resource tweaking and talent enhancement aspects in order to improve their revenues and services index in the market. One of the key actions is to build effective teams by reducing the 'fats' and by polishing the talented resources. Specifically middle managers are focused by the leadership because they are considered to be the most critical resources of the organization because they are micro managing things by controlling the staff ensuring quality products and services; and on the other side interacting with the senior leadership and transforming their vision into practical tasks.

So managers evaluation is one of the approaches for deciding new trainings, assigning new tasks, retaining/laying off or for annual performance reviews. Usually HR specialists are part of such evaluations but for several SMEs only department head is asked to perform the evaluation. While I was wondering what mechanism must be used by the managers in order to perform evaluation which is fair, honest and transparent, I was able to produce the below:

#
Personality Trait or Skill
Mngr-1
Mngr-2
1
Requires minimum supervision to make things happen?


2
Has positive attitude? (Problems focused or solution focused?)


3
Effectively Communicates with teams and management.


4
Responds/updates swiftly to the management for the assigned task?


5
Can take decisions independently?


6
Performs well in stressed circumstances?


7
Begins with the end in mind? Or work in day to day basis?


8
Effectively utilizes the given resources?


9
Has strong follow up with vendors/teams to complete the projects?


10
Produces effective and easy to understand reports/summaries?


11
Has knowledge of Technical Domain? (add multiple domains if required)


12
Develops Strategies by looking at the big picture?


13
Builds Strong Cohesive Teams by team building skill?


14
Avoids politics and focus on the projects/goals?


15
Effectively delegates tasks and ownership to the team members?


16
Ensures that databases are organized, error free and up to date?


17
Complies with Company Policies and Procedures?


18
Explores and learns new techniques and tools? (Self Improvement)







Overall Score


  
Following table may be used for the sake of marking:

Marks Legend
5 Marks
Demonstrates Always and Encourages Others
4 Marks
Demonstrates Always.
3 Marks
Demonstrates Most of the Times
2 Marks
Demonstrates Sometimes
1 Marks
Demonstrates Rarely
0 Marks
Does not demonstrate


In case, two or more managers are to be compared, then above table can be utilized. In case each manager is required to be evaluated separately then multiple documents for each manager can be generated where detailed talent sustaining and skill polishing strategies can be written down. Please do let me know if you think any skill to be added to the list above.



Other Related articles:

Junaid Tahir, a telecom engineer and a blogger, writes articles on wisdom, happiness and stress management at his personal blog. His personal Google Group can be joined here. He is reachable at mjunaidtahir@gmail.com for any kind of suggestions and comments

Today's Inspiration: Dreams and Aims



 
The Difference between
DREAM & AIM
Dream requires
soundless sleep to see
and
AIM requires
Sleepless effort to achieve…
 

10 Amazing Health Benefits of Simple Warm Water


It's essential to drink water, as it helps flush out dangerous toxins from your body. To add to this, it gives you soft and young-looking skin. In fact, starting the day off by drinking a glass of water is a routine that many people who are conscious about their health follow without fail. This is a very good habit to have, but it's important to know whether you should be drinking cold or warm water. A lot of physicians recommend drinking a glass of warm water as it has many health benefits and can help alleviate certain ailments.
Below are 10 health benefits of drinking warm water.
1. Relieves Constipation
Drinking warm water on an empty stomach can help regulate bowel movements and fight constipation. Constipation occurs when there is a low water content in the intestines - this lack of water causes the stools to dry out and makes them much more difficult to pass. The warm water will decompose any remnant food and will make bowel movements smooth and less painful. Too add to this, it will also reduce the abdominal bloating, pain and discomfort that is associated with constipation.
To fight constipation, drink a glass of warm water every morning on an empty stomach. For added benefits, add lemon or honey to it before drinking.
2. Improves Digestion
To improve your digestion, start drinking warm water regularly.
Tepid water stimulates the digestive gland and helps break down food in your stomach so that your digestive system does not have to work so hard - this helps save energy. Furthermore, it helps get rid of any excess stomach acids as well as neutralizing digestive juices.
If you suffer from poor digestion you should start and end your day with a glass of warm water.
3. Soothes Sore Throat
Warm water helps dissolve thick mucus and removes it from the respiratory tract.
In addition to warm water, you can also drink other warm liquids such as herbal teas. Furthermore, to treat a sore throat, you can gargle with a glass of warm water mixed with half a teaspoon of salt.
4. Treats Nasal Congestion
Warm water is a great remedy for nasal congestion as it helps cleanse the nasal cavities, bringing instant relief. When you drink warm water, it loosens any mucus buildup in your respiratory tracts and nasal cavities, which decreases the possibility of any viruses or bacteria being able to grow there.
5. Shed Excess Pounds
Those who are following a strict diet and exercise regime for weight loss will benefit greatly from drinking a glass of warm water. This is because warm water increases core body temperature, which in turn increases metabolic rate. An increase in metabolic rate results in more calories being burned. Warm water even helps break down fatty deposits in the body.
6. Detoxifies Your Body
Warm water cleanses your body by flushing out dangerous toxins. When you drink warm water, it leads to an increase in your body temperature. Therefore, you start sweating to cool down - sweating helps remove any trapped toxins from your body.
Furthermore, warm water also detoxifies your skin, thereby decreasing your risk of skin-related ailments such as acne breakouts and skin blemishes.
For better results, add some lemon juice to a glass of warm water before drinking it.
7. Alleviates Menstrual Cramps
Drinking warm water can help alleviate menstrual cramps as it relaxes the contracting muscles in the uterus, which in turn will give you instant relief from cramps and muscle spasms. Furthermore, it will prevent your body from retaining water and prevent painful bloating during menstruation.
8. Improves Blood Circulation 
Warm water helps improve blood circulation - this is important as blood delivers vital oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and organs.
When you drink hot water, the body's fat deposits burn and any built up deposits in the nervous system are also broken down. This improves blood circulation and flushes out toxins. Avoid drinking very cold water, as this closes up your veins and decreases blood circulation.
9. Slows Down Aging
Warm water is good for your skin and it removes all those toxins that are responsible for premature aging and various health problems. Also, warm water helps to repair skin cells, rejuvenate your skin and improves elasticity. Add some lemon juice to the warm water to enhance its detoxifying power.
10. Induces Sleep
If you're finding it difficult to get to sleep, sipping on some warm water before bed can work a treat. The warm water increase your body temperature, which then relaxes your body, soothes your nerves, and makes you sleepy.
Additional Notes
  • Always drink warm water instead of hot water, as drinking hot water can damage the tissues in your mouth and esophagus.
  • After boiling water, give it a few minutes to cool down.
  • Always drink warm water when eating food. If you drink cold water, your body needs more energy to increase its temperature, which detracts from the process of digestion.
  • Don't drink warm water after exercising, as your body's temperature is already high.
Source: Unknown

10 Cabling tips For Networking and Data Center Setup

Cabling tips

Your data center is the heart that pumps the lifeblood of your business. Without it, everything stops. And when it has problems, so does your business. Myriad issues can plague a data center. And although most people don't realize it, improper cabling can be one of those issues. But with some easy planning and work up front, you can maximize the efficiency and reliability of your data center cabling.
I have put together 10 tips to help you get the most out of your data center's cabling. With these tips, you'll have a more reliable data center and your staff will have a much easier time maintaining it.

1: Measure twice, cut once

It's an old adage, but an important one. Not only do you create a tangled mess if you don't carefully measure your cables, you also create a lot of expensive waste. You may think that two feet of wasted cable doesn't amount to much, but those wasted feet add up. In the end, you could save yourself a lot of time, headaches, and money by measuring twice and cutting once.

2: Label, label, label

If you don't label your cables, you're only making more work for yourself. Every cable should have a label on both ends, even short runs and patch cables. Why? Imagine you have to test a bunch of circuits — quickly. You scramble and unplug a few patch cables and, when it's time to reset them back to their default locations, you have no idea where each cable goes. Avoid this problem by taking a little time to slap a label on each end. Make sure your labeling system is consistent. Don't just go ad hoc with this or you'll confuse yourself and those who work for you.

3: Don't skimp on terminations

Don't buy cheap because they're cheap and don't rush through the process of terminating cables. If you have cables that lose their connection if you wiggle them, you need to redo them. If you can't terminate cables in your sleep, you need to practice. You may think you're saving time and money. But in the end, you're going to wind up with a monstrous headache as you troubleshoot all those terminations.

4: Don't skip the test

After you create a cable, test it! And don't accept "Star Pass" tests (a test that barely passes). If a test doesn't pass 100%, redo that cable. If, after a few tries at termination, the cable still doesn't pass, trash it. And make sure you're using a quality tester for your cables (and that you know precisely how to use it). This simple step can prevent a lot of extra work in the end.

5: Keep patch cables short

You have servers in a rack that are within a foot of each other. Don't slap three-foot patch cables on those servers — it not only looks bad, it's incredibly inefficient. And if you have an odd length between servers, use your termination (and testing) skills to create patch cables that reach perfectly. With that extra length on your cables, you invite tangles, kinks, and confusion.

6: Color code

This may sound a bit over the top, but stick with a single color for your patch cables and cable runs. The only time you should break that rule is when using a specific color cable for a specific purpose. But don't use colors randomly. Make sure each color has a purpose and stay with it. That will make it easier to follow cable runs and troubleshoot issues. And yes, it also makes for a better-looking data center — which has its merits.

7: Upsize your conduit

Don't buy conduit sized for what you need NOW. Buy conduit sized for what you will need in the future. You never know when you'll be adding on, and you'll want to be able to make use of already-run conduit. You can't do that if you purchased a size that just barely fits your needs at planning time. Go big or go home.

8: Make your design cable-friendly

When you lay out your data center plans, do so in a cable-friendly way. Don't put a rack in a location where it's impossible to successfully run cable. Otherwise, you'll wind up with cable on the floor or hanging from the ceiling. Plan carefully to avoid later disaster. Also make sure to plan with expansion in mind. Run extra conduit, extra drops — more than you think you'll need.

9: Separate Cat5 and power lines

Do not run Cat5 and power together. You might think it's too minimal to be of concern, but those power lines can leach signal and cause interference with your Cat5. Yes, bunching a lot of Cat5 together can do the same thing, but not with nearly the ill effect of running them alongside power. Keep power and networking separate at all costs.

10: Keep cables cool

You may think only the servers need to be cool — but that would be a poor assumption. Cable can get warm as well, and if you have a massive amount of cable, that extra temperature can lead to disaster. Design your data center in such a way as to keep your networking runs cooled, as well as the server racks.

Spaghetti prevention

Cabling is often an afterthought. But when you treat it as such, you are running the risk that you'll find yourself elbow deep in a spaghetti bowl of networking cables, attempting to resolve issues that could have been prevented with just a bit of care up front.
Source: TechRepublic
 

Today's Inspiration: Faith is the Key

For the one who has faith, in the self and in things, there is only positivity. Under all circumstances, there are only opportunities and treasures seen. Each moment is an inner urge to discover these hidden treasures and make the best use of them. So the one who has faith draws out the best from each and every situation.

When I am able to move forward with faith, I am encouraged to give my best under all circumstances and am able to enjoy the best fruit of the effort that I put in. Faith gives me the courage to go on even during difficult times and so I have the satisfaction of bringing about constant change and progress in my life.

4 Free Grammar and Punctuation Checker Tools



What is the requirement from writers these days? What is the vendor won't be negotiating about? Of course the quality of your content. Teachers prefer error-free essays, the boss wants well-punctuated letters to be written, blogs to follow good English grammar basics and keenly punctuated. No compromises on the quality of your content. With this burden upon the shoulders, writers are looked upon with greater hopes. And what happens if you provide a content with grammar mistakes, improper use of punctuations, spelling mistakes and other errors?

 

 

Why do we need such tools?

How often you'd come across paid tools that may help you in eradicating the punctuation and grammar errors. That may be present in your article, blog, school essay or whatever. In terms of producing a high-quality content the first thing that you should keep in mind, is the grammar and proper punctuation.

GrammarLookUp.com:

GrammarLookUp the newest grammar and punctuation check tool that is simple and very easy to use. The tool is supposed to catch major attraction with its simple and easy to use the framework. There aren't many troubles using the tool. You can simply visit the website and paste your content. Now, wait for the tool to do its job. And within seconds, you will your job was done.

Punctuationcheck.com:

You would have heard about punctuation check. Its a very productive and constructive tool present over the internet. It provides free services such as Grammar and Punctuation corrections to get the job done for you. The main reason behind its engineering is to improve the content quality and mark the common errors of English language that you might be making.

GingerSoftware:

GingerSoftware is worth mentioning when it comes to Spell Check and Grammar checker tools. A tool that is undoubtedly one of the best tools found on the internet for proofreading purposes. Ensuring the content quality high as preferred by the writers. The writing productivity is given a major boost. It is one of the widely used tools for proofreading purposes.

After the Deadline:

This tool makes its way to our list through its significant developers. The brains behind After the Deadline are none other than the ones behind WordPress. Yes, you heard it right. Also known as polishmywriting tool, and is designed to look for the common grammar and punctuation errors. This is also a user-friendly tool providing relief to the users.

Bottom line:

We discussed some productive Grammar Checker and Punctuation checking tools that are dedicated to making our content unique, and more attractive with perfect English grammar basics and spellings. The usage of words is key after all its the basic communication resource. With so quick lives these days people don't get enough time to breathe so they are destined to make errors for doing their work in haste. And that's why you should have such tools that may empower you towards the betterment of your content. Because content quality is something that you should never compromise upon. These tools may improve your content quality and get the desired job done for you.

Feeling Tired or Sleepy While Driving? Read This !

A team of researchers at a Hong Kong university have developed an award-winning system that can detect a driver falling asleep at the wheel and send them alerts using a generic smartphone app.
The team at Hong Kong Baptist University, led by Professor Cheung Yiu-ming, clinched the two prizes at the 45th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva in April 2017. In addition, it has already submitted a patent in the US so that it can eventually market and sell the system.

How it Works
 

Most smartphones these days have the ability to capture video in real-time. The smartphone app developed by the HKBU team harnesses this ability to track and analyze the facial features of a driver, particularly the changes in eyelid and head position, which are both prominent symptoms of fatigue.

All drivers need to do to avail themselves of this additional level of safety is to mount their smartphone next to their steering wheel, with the front camera facing them. When the camera captures tell-tale signs of fatigue such as droopy eyelids, drowsiness or even nodding off, an alarm is automatically set off to awaken the driver. To ensure that the driver is alert once again, the alarm can only be turned off by voice or by hand.

No additional devices are required in order to operate the system, making it cost-effective, simple to operate and portable. It also supports online updates and can use a smartphone’s rear camera to record a journey on video.
The Significance of the Technology

 
 
According to US government statistics, some 31% of road accidents involving heavy vehicles in the USA involve fatigue. In addition, fatigue driving accounts for an astounding $3 billion in economic losses every single year.

Although this technology can be used by all drivers, it is especially applicable to those who drive for a living or operate machinery for very long working hours. Corporations will also be able to use the technology in their vehicle fleets, and insurance companies can also insist on their clients using it in their cars in order for an insurance policy to be granted.

Currently, fatigue driving detection systems can only be installed in a few luxury cars, but these systems require additional devices and sensors, making them non-portable, expensive and difficult to update. The system developed at HKBU does away with all these obstacles.
Awards

 
 

Professor Cheung’s team took home the Gold Medal with Distinction in the Computer Science Category, as well as the Swiss Automobile Club Prize at the 45th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva in April 2017.

Story: Technology is NOT Life !

I had spent an hour in the bank with my dad, as he had to transfer some money.

I couldn't resist myself & asked: ''Dad, why don't we activate your internet banking?''

''Why would I do that?'' He asked...

''Well, then you wont have to spend an hour here for things like transfer.

You can even do your shopping online. Everything will be so easy!'' I was so excited about initiating him into the world of Net banking.

He asked ''If I do that, I wont have to step out of the house?

''Yes, yes''! I said. I told him how even grocery can be delivered
at door now and how amazon delivers everything!

His answer left me tongue-tied.

He said ''Since I entered this bank today, I have met four of my friends, I have chatted a while with the staff who know me very well by now.

You know I m alone. this is the company that I need. I like to get ready and come to the bank. I have enough time, it is the physical touch that I crave.

Two years back I got sick, The store owner from whom I buy fruits, came to see me and sat by my bedside and cried.

When your Mom fell down few days back while on her morning walk. Our local grocer saw her and called me and immediately got his car to rush her
home as he knows where I live.

Would I have that 'human' touch if everything became online? Why would I want everything delivered to me and force me to interact with just my computer? I like to know the person that I'm dealing with and not just the 'seller'. It creates bonds. Relationships. Does Amazon deliver all this as well?'''

Technology is not life.  Spend time with people, Not with devices.

Story: Life is a like a Cup of Coffee!

A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor. Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life.

Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups - porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite - telling them to help themselves to the coffee.

When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said: "If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups have been taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress.

Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups... And then you began eyeing each other's cups.

Now consider this: Life is the coffee; the jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain Life, and the type of cup we have does not define, nor change the quality of life we live.

Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee. Savor the coffee, not the cups!

The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything.

The Habit of Love


We need routinized habits in the mind to live. You cannot continuously analyze everything before acting. You live on the basis of habits. Every habit has a solidified decision behind it. All habits ultimately are habits of the mind. The habits are actually standing orders from the mind to the cells to act in a particular manner. There is fear habit, there is the courage habit, there is the hate habit, there is the analysis habit, there is the procrastination habit, there is the non-acceptance habit, there is the acceptance habit, there is the trust habit, there is the distrust habit...the number is infinite.


Today, science is based on the habit of mathematical reduction. It is based on the habit of converting self into a machine. I shall come to this aspect of science in another essay. In this essay, I shall deal with the health and happiness giving habit—the habit of love. Love is the ultimate hormonal automatic system of communication within a person, that all corresponding emotions that help the love also are automatically generated as the sympathetic or enabling hormones that it becomes the very time of life. The hormone or instruction from the mind to the cell is via the blood stream. So thoughts change into hormones in the blood.


In the case of love, the mind develops the habit of seeing only the good things in the object of love. It also develops the habit of unseeing the bad in the object of love. This integrated habit of seeing only the good and unseeing the bad, develops into a single hormonal system within the person. It becomes part of the blood. Unfortunately today, in a lab you cannot trace the emotions in the blood, despite the progress in the hormonal profile reading. However, if you deliberately practice the habit of seeing only the good and ignoring the bad you get hooked by love, because your hormonal system is routinized. You have to select the object of love and then practice seeing only the good things in that object of love. But be very careful in your selection, because you may become an Eva Brawn, the unfortunate woman, who was hooked in love for Hitler, the ultimate fiend. The best method of starting the habit of love is to select babies, children and any animal or bird, or even a tree or any feature of geography for your object of love. One unfortunate side effect of total love is the habit of fierce hate towards those that may cause harm to the object of love. Also when you find that the characteristics on the basis of which you built the love are not there, you undergo a terrible hormonal storm, and the mind just cannot know what instructions to give to the cells.


Every mother suffers from these hormonal upheavals. From the formation of the Zygote in her, all the love generating hormones get triggered centered on the growing baby within her, and that love habit within her sub-conscious, embeds itself in her hypothalamus, that she can never come out of the love bond. When the baby becomes an adult, she slowly confronts the different person the baby has transformed into. The transformation may be to her liking or not liking. Most painful, the adult leaves her to live his/her own life. To the transformed baby into an adult, her love may become an impediment. To a mother her habit of love for her grown up son or daughter often becomes an ailment. I do not have any solution to this predicament of every mother. There are many mothers who become bitter.
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