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June 2012

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In this issue:

Ten Qualities of an Effective Team Player

Bangaru Laxman,Mamta Banerjee, Vladimir Putin & Dmitry Medvedev

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Enrichment Enrichment Ten Qualities of an Effective Team Player

If you were choosing team members for a business team in your organization, who would the best team players be? Assuming that people have the right technical skills for the work to be done, what other factors would you use to select your team members?
Teams need strong team players to perform well. But what defines such people? Read on.
 
1. Demonstrates Reliability

You can count on a reliable team member who gets work done and does his fair share to work hard and meet commitments. He or she follows through on assignments. Consistency is key. You can count on him or her to deliver good performance all the time, not just some of the time.

2. Communicates constructively

Teams need people who speak up and express their thoughts and ideas clearly, directly, honestly, and with respect for others and for the work of the team. That's what it means to communicate constructively. Such a team member does not shy away from making a point but makes it in the best way possible — in a positive, confident, and respectful manner.

3. Listens actively

Good listeners are essential for teams to function effectively. Teams need team players who can absorb, understand, and consider ideas and points of view from other people without debating and arguing every point. Such a team member also can receive criticism without reacting defensively. Most important, for effective communication and problem solving, team members need the discipline to listen first and speak second so that meaningful dialogue results.

4. Functions as an active participant

Good team players are active participants. They come prepared for team meetings and listen and speak up in discussions. They're fully engaged in the work of the team and do not sit passively on the sidelines.

Team members who function as active participants take the initiative to help make things happen, and they volunteer for assignments. Their whole approach is can-do: "What contribution can I make to help the team achieve success?"

5. Shares openly and willingly

Good team players share. They're willing to share information, knowledge, and experience. They take the initiative to keep other team members informed.

Much of the communication within teams takes place informally. Beyond discussion at organized meetings, team members need to feel comfortable talking with one another and passing along important news and information day-to-day. Good team players are active in this informal sharing. They keep other team members in the loop with information and expertise that helps get the job done and prevents surprises.

6. Cooperates and pitches in to help

Cooperation is the act of working with others and acting together to accomplish a job. Effective team players work this way by second nature. Good team players, despite differences they may have with other team members concerning style and perspective, figure out ways to work together to solve problems and get work done. They respond to requests for assistance and take the initiative to offer help.

7. Exhibits flexibility

Teams often deal with changing conditions — and often create changes themselves. Good team players roll with the punches; they adapt to ever-changing situations. They don't complain or get stressed out because something new is being tried or some new direction is being set.
In addition, a flexible team member can consider different points of views and compromise when needed. He or she doesn't hold rigidly to a point of view and argue it to death, especially when the team needs to move forward to make a decision or get something done. Strong team players are firm in their thoughts yet open to what others have to offer — flexibility at its best.

8. Shows commitment to the team

Strong team players care about their work, the team, and the team's work. They show up every day with this care and commitment up front. They want to give a good effort, and they want other team members to do the same.

9. Works as a problem-solver

Teams, of course, deal with problems. Sometimes, it appears, that's the whole reason why a team is created — to address problems. Good team players are willing to deal with all kinds of problems in a solutions-oriented manner. They're problem-solvers, not problem-dwellers, problem-blamers, or problem-avoiders. They don't simply rehash a problem the way problem-dwellers do. They don't look for others to fault, as the blamers do. And they don't put off dealing with issues, the way avoiders do.

Team players get problems out in the open for discussion and then collaborate with others to find solutions and form action plans.

10. Treats others in a respectful and supportive manner

Team players treat fellow team members with courtesy and consideration — not just some of the time but consistently. In addition, they show understanding and the appropriate support of other team members to help get the job done. They don't place conditions on when they'll provide assistance, when they'll choose to listen, and when they'll share information. Good team players also have a sense of humor and know how to have fun (and all teams can use a bit of both), but they don't have fun at someone else's expense. Quite simply, effective team players deal with other people in a professional manner.

Team players who show commitment don't come in any particular style or personality. They don't need to be rah-rah, cheerleader types. In fact, they may even be soft-spoken, but they aren't passive. They care about what the team is doing and they contribute to its success — without needing a push.

Team players with commitment look beyond their own piece of the work and care about the team's overall work. In the end, their commitment is about winning — not in the sports sense of beating your opponent but about seeing the team succeed and knowing they have contributed to this success. Winning as a team is one of the great motivators of employee performance. Good team players have and show this motivation

What's Hot What's Hot Bangaru Laxman,Mamta Banerjee, Vladimir Putin & Dmitry Medvedev

Bangaru Laxman
It’s for the first time that a politician has been convicted in a corruption case. The court has awarded Laxman four years jail term and imposed a fine of Rs one lakh.

Bangaru Laxman

Crime and punishment is often talked about but punishment in corruption cases is seldom being heard. Most of the time we hear about scam and corruption but punishment is rare of the rarest. If at all punishment is being meted out its only to some low ranking office staff.

The fight against corruption got a shot in the arm when the former BJP president Bangaru Laxman was convicted under anti-corruption law for accepting bribe and was sent to Tihar jail. The conviction of former BJP President revives memories of NDA's rule under the premiership of Atal Behari Vajpayee, This scandal claimed then defence minister George Fernandez besides Laxman.
 
Laxman caught the attention of the nation, as the then BJP president, when he was shown on the TV channels putting bundles of cash away in his drawer. It took 11 long years for the law enforcing authorities to finally nail him down and also convict him under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
 
The sting operation conducted by then Theleka dotcom was amazing. It sent a decoy representing a fictitious arms firm to make a deal with Laxman. As part of the deal, the BJP President would recommend to the Defence Ministry to give this firm a contract for supplying "thermal binoculars" to the Army.

The decoy gave Laxman, a bribe of Rs 1 lakh in bundles of currency notes that he accepted and kept in his drawer. This act was recorded on camera and subsequently flashed on the TV channels. The unpleasant visuals unleashed a political storm and took away the sheen from the Vajpayee government that claimed to represent a party with a ‘difference’.

The Special CBI judge held that the 72-year-old Laxman was guilty under the under the Prevention of Corruption Act and instead of giving him a maximum of five years in jail limited to four for accepting bribe.
 
Laxman, had moved the High Court, after spending ten days in Tihar jail seeking quashing of the trial court's conviction on medical grounds. But the Delhi High Court refused to suspend the sentence.
 
With this conviction Laxman earned the dubious distinction of being the first politician to be arrested under the graft charges and sent to jail.

The party says that the misconduct for which he is now being punished was carried out in his individual capacity. This is disingenuous, to put it mildly. He was approached with the bribe, in the first place, because he presided over the ruling party, and the bribe was in return for his services in influencing the government to make defence purchases from the putative bribe-giver.

There was little that was personal about the whole thing. The Congress, quietly jubilant, points out that corruption in defence procurement by a BJP bigwig has been established by the judicial process while it is only being alleged against its own functionaries.

The point to note is that collecting funds in this fashion is seen as normal resource mobilisation by the political class. Loot of the exchequer, sale of patronage and plain extortion - these are the three ways in which the principal funding of India's democracy takes place. So long as this shameful state of affairs continues, politics will be rife with opportunities for loot, attract the worst types and perpetuate corruption.

Political funding reform is a fundamental reform the nation requires, if politics is to deliver governance instead of corruption. We need monthly statements of expenditure by every party at every level of its functioning, contestable by other parties and independent watchdogs, with a body like the election commission attesting to the final figure, and a requirement to make public the source of funding. This, and a vastly expanded and fast-moving judicial system, will go a long way to prevent future iterations of this party leader who got caught.
 
A Brief Intro

Bangaru Laxman (born 1939) is an Indian politician. He was a minister of state for railways in Government of India from 1999 to 2000. Later he became President of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) but resigned soon after Tehelka corruption case.

Bangaru Laxman was born in a Madiga Dalit family in Andhra Pradesh. He did his BA and LLB in Hyderabad. His wife Susheela Laxman Bangaru was a member of 14th Lok Sabha. She was elected from Jalore constituency in Rajasthan as a candidate of Bharatiya Janata Party. He has 1 son and 3 daughters.

Bangaru Laxman joined politics at a young age. He was jailed during emergency in 1975. He was elected to Rajya Sabha in 1996. He has held many party positions including the party president.

Mamta Banerjee
Mercurial West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who single-handedly ended the 34-year-old Left rule in the state, completed one year in office.

Mamta BanerjeeMamata Banerjee has completed one year in office, claiming she never boasted of resolving all the problems during this span even as she faces fresh challenges on various fronts.

Banerjee virtually single-handedly decimated the 34-year-old Left Front regime in May last year with the slogan 'change not revenge'. She took the oath of office May 20, 2011.

Banerjee, who has been complaining of lack of funds to battle the "huge debt burden" over over Rs.two lakh crore which she says was left behind by the previous coalition, finds herself more and more at the receiving end facing one controversy after another.

"I never boasted of solving all the problems in one year. But I dislike the motivated campaign of lies," the chief minister said in her defence.

Banerjee began well, ensuring that teachers got salaries on the first of every month.

She signed a tripartite pact to restore peace in Darjeeling, encouraging tourists to return to the scenic hilly region.

The regime also passed legislation so as to return 400 acres of land from the Tata Motors plant to farmers from whom they had been taken. But the issue is stuck in courts.

She also took several steps to improve the work culture of the state administration and state-run hospitals by paying surprise visits.

West Bengal's first woman chief minister has also opened 10 police stations comprising exclusively of women personnel, and plans to open 55 more.

The regime's biggest achievement was the killing of the elusive Maoist commander Kishenji and the arrest of several Maoist leaders, enabling the security agencies to gain the upper hand.

Banerjee has drawn flak from many including her ally, the Congress, on a variety of issues ranging from perceived autocratic conduct to her habit of making sweeping remarks.

The 57-year-old Trinamool Congress chief is known to lose her temper over uncomfortable questions fired at her, the latest being her walkout from the stage where a discussion hosted by a television channel was being recorded. She dubbed those asking questions as Maoists and CPI-M cadres.

Her government faced severe criticism on several fronts, including a controversial government order on newspapers that government-run libraries were allowed to keep and more recently the arrest of a professor for forwarding a cartoon by email showing her in poor light. The arrest of a scientist for taking part in an anti-eviction drive, besides her remarks on the Park Street rape case have drawn flak.

Banerjee has also constantly been under the line of fire of CPI(M) which have not missed any opportunity to target her.

The Chief Minister, who has drawn criticism from her detractors for appearing more like an opposition leader instead of one ruling the state, said, "We have been working with devotion, dedication, accountability and transparency. Whatever I do I take it as a challenge," Banerjee said in a recent interview.

A Brief Intro

Mamata Banerjee (born 5 January 1955) is the 11th and current Chief Minister of West Bengal. She is the first woman to hold the office. Banerjee founded All India Trinamool Congress in 1997 and became chairperson, after separating from the Indian National Congress.

She is usually called "Didi" (meaning elder sister). She is often cited by the media and critics to be as "megalomaniac, eccentric and populist politician.

Banerjee previously served as a Minister of Railways twice, Minister of Coal, and Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Department of Youth Affairs and Sports and Women and Child Development in the cabinet of the Indian government.

She opposed forceful land acquisition for industrialisation by the then communist government in West Bengal for Special Economic Zones at the cost of agriculturalists and farmers.

In 2012, the Time magazine named her one of the "100 Most influential People in the World".

Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin has been sworn in as Russian President for a record third term and he vowed to protect rights and freedoms, even as demonstrations marked his second coming to the Kremlin that was marred by allegations of vote rigging.

Vladimir PutinPutin has held a tight grip over the Russian polity for the past 12 years -- first as president and then as prime minister and a chorus of voices against his authoritarian rule has risen over the past few months.

"I swear on the power invested in me as president of the Russian Federation to respect and protect the rights and freedom of its citizens," Putin said, his right hand placed on a red-bound copy of the Russian Constitution as he officially took over reins from Dimitry Medvedev.

In a brief but glittering ceremony, Putin, 59, hailed a "reborn" Russia and promised a new stage in its development.

Putin, who was president of the former Soviet republic from 2000-2008, returned to claim the presidency after an absence of four years in which he served as prime minister. Soon after his inauguration, Putin proposed his predecessor Dmitry Medvedev's name for prime minister in line with a job swap agreement between the two.

Meanwhile, protests were held by the opposition against Putin's continued hold on power. While 120 people, including opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, were arrested and over 400 were detained in a protest.

Thousands of protesters opposed to the inauguration, clashed with police in Moscow. Prominent opposition activists Alexei Navalny, Sergei Udaltsov and Boris Nemtsov were among dozens detained. Putin was forced to step down in 2008 under a Constitutional clause that forbids more than two subsequent terms, but is silent on further presidential stints. He then shifted to the post of prime minister after installing his protégé Medvedev in the Kremlin, but remained by far Russia's most powerful politician.

Putin, a former KGB officer, won a third term as president in controversial elections in March which were marked by allegations of vote rigging in favour of his United Russia party. If he completes his six-year term, Putin will be the longest serving Russian leader since Joseph Stalin.

A Brief Intro

Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin (born 7 October 1952) is a Russian politician who has been the President of Russia since 7 May 2012. Putin previously served as President from 2000 to 2008 and as Prime Minister of Russia from 1999 to 2000, and again from 2008 to 2012. Putin also serves as chairman of United Russia and Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Union of Russia and Belarus.

He became acting President on 31 December 1999, when President Boris Yeltsin resigned in a surprising move. Putin won the 2000 presidential election; in 2004 he was re-elected for a second term lasting until 7 May 2008.
Because of constitutionally mandated term limits, Putin was ineligible to run for a third consecutive presidential term. After his successor Dmitry Medvedev won the 2008 presidential election, Putin was nominated by Medvedev to be Russia's Prime Minister; Putin took office on 8 May 2008 and a period of so-called "tandemocracy" followed. In September 2011, Putin and Medvedev agreed he should seek a third, non-consecutive term in the 2012 presidential election, which he won in the first round on 4 March 2012.

Putin has overseen a return of political stability and economic progress to Russia, ending the crisis of the 1990s. During his presidency, the Russian economy grew for nine straight years, seeing GDP increase by 72% in PPP (sixfold in nominal), poverty decrease by more than 50%, and average monthly salaries increase from $80 to $640. These achievements have been ascribed by analysts to strong macroeconomic management, important fiscal policy reforms, surging capital inflows, access to low-cost external financing and a five-fold increase in price of oil and gas which are the majority of Russian exports.

The fast formation of the modern middle class in the country, the 2.3 times increase in real incomes between 2000-2011 as well as improvements in healthcare and public order allowed Russia to achieve the highest level of life expectancy in its history.

As Russia's President, Putin passed into law a flat income tax of 13%, a reduced profits tax, and new land and legal codes. As Prime Minister, Putin oversaw large scale military reform and police reform. His energy policy has affirmed Russia's position as an energy superpower

Dmitry Medvedev
Russian Parliament overwhelmingly confirmed Dmitry Medvedev's appointment as prime minister in a job swap with president Vladimir Putin amid anti-government protests.


Dmitry MedvedevRussian Parliament overwhelmingly confirmed Dmitry Medvedev's appointment as Prime Minister even as anti-government protests continued in Moscow.

The Lower House, State Duma, voted 299 to 144 to endorse new President Vladimir Putin's candidate for Prime Minister. The assenting votes came mainly from the Kremlin party, United Russia, whereas the Communist Party and Left-leaning Just Russia voted against.

Addressing the legislators, Mr. Putin confirmed that he and Mr. Medvedev had long ago agreed on the job swap but denied it was “manipulation or political game”.

Mr. Putin, who served as Russia's President for two terms last decade, was sworn in for a third term, replacing Mr. Medvedev who had succeeded him in the Kremlin four years ago.

The ruling tandem's decision to trade places provoked the biggest protests in Russia since the break-up of the Soviet Union 20 years ago. The protests for the first time led to clashes with police when some 50,000 Russians took to the streets in Moscow. Dozens of protesters and police were wounded and hundreds were detained.

Police said they have detained about 750 protesters, but opposition claimed the number of arrests exceeded 1,000. In his confirmation speech, Mr. Medvedev said the government must work to reunite the nation.

A Brief Intro

Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev born on 14 September 1965 is a Russian politician who has been Prime Minister of Russia since 2012. He previously served as President of Russia from 2008 to 2012.

Born to a family of academics, Medvedev graduated from the Law Department of Leningrad State University in 1987. He defended his dissertation in 1990 and worked as a docent at his alma mater, now renamed to Saint Petersburg State University, where he taught civil and Roman law until 1999.

Medvedev's political career began as the election campaign manager and later an adviser of St. Petersburg Mayor Anatoly Sobchak. During this time, Medvedev befriended Vladimir Putin. In November 1999, Medvedev was hired in the Russian presidential administration, where he worked as deputy chief of staff. In the 2000 Presidential elections, Medvedev was Putin's campaign manager.

On 14 November 2005, Medvedev was appointed First Deputy Prime Minister and was tasked with overseeing National Priority Projects. He also worked as the Chairman of Gazprom's board of directors, a post which he held until 2008.

On 10 December 2007, Medvedev was informally endorsed as a candidate for the forthcoming presidential elections by four political parties: United Russia, Fair Russia, Agrarian Party of Russia and Civilian Power, and was officially endorsed by United Russia on 17 December 2007. Medvedev's candidacy was backed by the popular outgoing President Vladimir Putin, giving a significant boost to his popularity.

The 2008 presidential election, held on 2 March 2008, was won by Medvedev with 70.28% of the popular vote, and he was inaugurated on 7 May 2008. Although he did not run for a second term as President, Medvedev was appointed Prime Minister by Putin, who won the 2012 presidential election. Widely regarded as more liberal than his predecessor, Medvedev's top agenda as President was a wide-ranging modernisation programme, aiming at modernising Russia's economy and society, and lessening the country's reliance on oil and gas. During Medvedev's tenure, Russia emerged victorious in the 2008 South Ossetia war and recovered from the late-2000s recession.

Recognising corruption as one of Russia's most severe problems, Medvedev has launched an anti-corruption campaign and initiated a substantial law enforcement reform. In foreign policy, his main achievements include the signing of the New START treaty, a "reset" of the Russia – United States relations which were severely strained following Russia's war with Georgia, as well as increasing Russia's cooperation with the BRICS-countries, as well as the Russia's admission into the WTO in 2011.

Medvedev is married and has a son named Ilya Dmitrevich Medvedev (born 1995). His wife, Svetlana Vladimirovna Medvedeva, was both his childhood friend and school sweetheart. They married several years after their graduation from secondary school in 1982.


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