7 things you can do while riding the Metro train

Ready for work

Heading for work

I recently move to Washington DC from Phoenix in Arizona to work at The World Bank Group. Staying in Falls Church Virginia, 10 kilometers apart, commuting by Metro bus, the Metro train or a combination of both is what many people do here in DC. I enjoy the train more because it has less stopping points unlike the bus, albeit it cost $2 more. Having taken the train for two weeks, here is what I observed people doing in the train while heading to or from their place of work:-

1. Check emails
It is a good time to check all the emails that you might not have had the time to check and reply. So instead of spending the first 30 minutes at work reading and responding to emails, why not log on and save your precious time.

2. Edit that presentation
That assignment that is due can be fine-tuned while enjoying your ride. Although people are moving in and out, editing the slides in Prezi, Slidedeck or Microsoft Powerpoint you edited manually can be a valuable way to utilize your time while moving underground. It’s time to turn your tablet or laptop on.

3. Read that book, newspapers
It does not matter whether you are sitting or standing. You can read that favorite book while riding the Metro. Only now, there are more kindles than actual books. And, newspapers are still there. Grab one and read while on the go. If you are a digital native, open Flipboard, Circa, Pulse or your preferred new reader apps and read all the news headlines and stories on your smartphone.


Reading during the ride

4. Watch that webinar 
With your smartphone and ipod storing hundreds of songs, it’s time to set the mood right by listening to or watching your beloved music videos. Just make sure you have headphones with you because, as one poster read in a train in Philadelphia, “Your music is not my music”. And if you missed a podcast, a webinar or a webcast, the time in the train can be put to good use. Log on and watch your video away to your destination.

5. Check Facebook, map and direction 
Check comments on your status update, see what’s happening the other side of town or wish your friend a happy birthday. If you are not sure the exact place you are going or you want to find the nearest coffee shop, well dive to Google map and get the directions.

6. Talk with someone
A ride with the Metro is a networking opportunity. If you are comfortable introducing yourself to someone, go ahead. You will never go wrong in complementing someone.

7. Make a phone call
If you promise a friend a callback, it’s time to honour it.


My leadership Style

For the past three months, I have been studying public relations and leadership styles as part of my Fulbright Scholarship at Arizona State University. From authoritarian rule to democratic principles, I have looked at the merits and demerits of various leadership styles such as servant leadership, transformational leadership, participatory leadership and many others. I have studied Vladimir Putin, Barak Obama, Indira Gandhi, Aung San Suu Kyi, Martin Luther King Jr, etc. It is now time to decide and build my leadership style. Before I do that I would like to learn from the best in the communication industry about leadership in practice.

I therefore invite you to contribute to my leadership style by answering four questions below: The answers will be confidential and used for the purpose of my course work only and for developing my leadership style.

1. Briefly explain your journey to the current leadership position

2. What does the term leadership means to you based on your professional experience

3. What is the most important character or principle that mid career professionals should develop in order to excel in future leadership position within and outside the communication industry

4. What is the most important lesson you have learned in your leadership journey

5. Please share with me any other comment you might have on leadership?

Please send your responses to skapoloma@asu.edu

Thank you for your time to answer my leadership questions.


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Phoenix – The City that lives on air-conditioners

Arizona is the sixth largest state in USA. Its 6.5 million inhabitants just call it AZ. Its capital is Phoenix. I am a drop to the 1.6 million people calling this city home. AZ is well known for guns, drugs and tough immigration laws. You remember her senator? Yes, its John McCain since 1987. ENOUGH with stats.

I am fascinated by this city. There are more reasons. Let me shared two. One is the heat. Remember its a dessert. Day and night the temperature is 35 and 42 Degrees Celsius. ITS CALLED SUN DEVIL. This is where the devil is nothing but the scorching sun. The night doesn’t cool either. So the air conditioners are pumping the much needed cool air 24/7 everywhere. In class, church, bar, train, bus, stadium, the thermos are running. You can’t dare to switch them off. Without that this city will be dead.

The second striking feature is the relationship between vehicles and people. Here you can see all different kinds of vehicles, all in good condition of course. So are people. Fat, slim (actually thin) black, white, short, giant, – its a mixed bag. But ….but…..you only see these people when you go to shopping malls, classes, pubs etc…..but not in the streets. The streets are quieter. This is not a walking city. There are more vehicles on the roads than pedestrians. The reason is simple people are avoiding the heat. What do you expect people to put on in this heat? Well that a subject for another day.






My first experience in Arizona

Fellows with the ASU President Michael M. Crow

Fellows with the ASU President Michael M. Crow (in the middle), with Dr. Bill Silcock and Kristi Kappes

Its my first time in USA and its Arizona State welcoming me with scorching heat. Imagine its 42 degrees celsius today. But make no mistake USA is a land of plenty — we are staying indoor (classes) and drinking water. And check out this blog for daily updates about life in Arizona, Phoenix down town.

Today, I will share with you my Humphrey fellows. We are a group of faboulus 10 people; three men and seven ladies. Last week the fellows met the President of the Arizona State University. One thing I took from the meeting is that as a leader you need to question everything. Question why certain things are being done in that way. Why! Why! Why!. The second point i learnt from President Crow is that as a leader do not be contented with the handful of ideas you have. He said and i can praphrase ‘If I have 100 ideas and 70 of them work’ who cares about the 30. So if you have ideas bring them up; it does not matter how many you have.

The fellows in the row include Issa Napon, Steven Kapoloma, Ivana Braga, Wahida Ifat, Hina Ali, Maja Cakarun, Derya Kaya, Fernando Aguilar Reyna, Kristi Kappes, Javeria Tareen, Rhonda Jaipaul and Bill Silcock at ASU.

If you want to know more about the fellows click here Humphrey Fellows 2013-14



Crow taking questions from the fellows

Crow taking questions from the fellows

Smuggling does not pay


On 31st May 2013, I witnessed the offloading and seizing of 871 pieces of ivory (elephant tusks) weighing 2640 kgs that was loaded in a van registration number KA 4948. Roughly, 435 elephants were killed in order to obtain the tusks.

The total value of the pieces of ivory is estimated at US$158,400 (MK57, 377,612.16). The seized consignment has since been handled over to the Department of National Parks and Wildlife in Mzuzu.

The ivory was hidden between bags of cement in the track traveling from Mbeya in Tanzania to Lilongwe, Malawi. The vehicle was intercepted at Phwezi roadblock between Songwe border and Mzuzu city.

Ivory is a prohibited product in Malawi and as such the importer and the owner of the vehicle, once discovered, would be prosecuted under Section 134 of the Customs & Excise Act.





i find this quite good

The Dorset Rambler

Well as I sit at my desk typing this blog, the rain is pouring down outside – yet again!!!  It’s been one on those years so far in England, just rain, rain, and more rain with just the odd better day in between.  Ah, the good old English summer – lazy, hazy, crazy days – don’t you just love ’em!  We wish!  Actually I don’t mind walking in the rain if it starts raining when I’m already out, but there seems little point in going out if it is raining already…….but I miss walking when I am trapped in by the weather.  Still, without it what would we English have to talk about ;)!

I did manage to get out recently for a great walk through some lush countryside and some beautiful meadows, not to mention a couple of hill forts and an old mill.  It started with a lovely…

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