Monday, December 19, 2005

World's Largest Floating Bookshop and the Oldest Passenger Ship In Colombo

There are certain procedures to be done before you see her.........

Because yesterday I went to see her, but it was not a easy task, actually it’s a huge project, they have arranged bus service from gall face to the Ship (port) at gall face ground near by gall face hotel premises. There was long... and long couple of queues, one for issue tickets, (Rs.5o/= per head) and another one for the bus, it seems the organizer would have hired few (about 4) tourist passenger busses. That is hardly enough for the crowed and they won’t load more than 50 passengers. And it would take about 10 to 15 minutes to return.

Lot of people couldn’t make it including my self, the fact that, I feel it is not organized properly, as you know its a usual mistake of our authorized persons.

So my advise is be there in time.

Doulos, the World's Largest Floating Bookshop and the Oldest Passenger Ship, owned and operated by Gute Bucher Fur Alle (Good Books for All- GBA),a nonprofit making charity organisation registered in Germany, will be in Sri Lanka from Friday, December 16 to December 31. From Colombo the ship will move to Galle harbour and Southerners could view Doulos from January 4 to 11, 2006.It will be docked at the Bandaranaike Quay,Leyden Bastian Gate,Colombo Harbour and on Friday, December 16,at 2.00 pm the `family book fair' will be officially opened by the First Lady Shiranthi Rajapakse the Guest of honour of the opening ceremony.

The Doulos will entertain visitors from 2 pm to 6 pm on December 16, and from December 24 to December 31 at 10 am to 3.00 pm daily. While the book-ship is closed on December 25 in lieu of Christmas, on Tuesdays and Saturdays the public can enter the ship during the opening hours 10.00 am to 6.00 pm; on Sundays and Mondays from 2.00 pm to 6.00pm.

The Floating International Charity Book-ship the MV Doulos comes to the Sri Lanka shores when it is holiday time and season for `buying gifts'.

The Book-ship, carries with her a stock of half a million books featuring around 6,000 titles on display and for sale, and these books cover a wide range of subjects such as Science,Sports,Hobbies,Cookery, Arts, Philosophy,Children's books and the like.

Doulos hosts on her upper deck the largest floating Book Fair in the world. The books have been carefully chosen to treat the interest of each and every member of the family and with the educational and social needs of the local community in mind. Most of the books are in English although a small selection of books in local language is available.

The MV Doulos built in 1914,just two years after the Titanic sank an it is still afloat and the uniqueness of the lies being the book-ship recorded in the Guinness Book of Records, being the World Oldest Ocean-going passenger ship still active.

It is on record that this Book-ship has travelled visiting 100 countries during the past 27 years. Princes, Prime Ministers,Sheikhs and Presidents have greeted this `Grand Old Lady of the Oceans" passing through their respective territorial waters and over 17 million people in the countries in Latin America,Africa,Europe, Asia and in the Pacific have climbed the Ship's gangways."It is with this modest pride in mind we return to Sri Lanka for another exciting visit", a communique released by the Doulos said.

The Good Books for All organisations which own the vessel has operated since 1978, and seeks to promote good education and international understanding through its floating book-shop and cultural exchange program. This unusual ship which is a home to over 300 Christian volunteers from 40 different countries and is dubbed as the"Floating United Nations". The caption and the crew members do not earn a salary by working in this ship but they are being sponsored by their families or friends.

The crew on board has been involved in providing long term humanitarian relief in areas of great need or tragedy. This ship at intervals has provided food,material aid,primary health-care and education,rebuilding and re-equipping of medical and educational facilities.

"We hope to give our contribution to the beautiful country Sri Lanka during our stay as we do in some way every port we pass through, an expression of our practical concern", the media release said. (WIRUMA)

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Five Defining Characteristics of Great CEOs

by: Jan B. King

1. Personal insight. Great CEOs are great leaders. They know themselves and what they stand for. They have been called on all their lives as problem solvers because others know them to be fair and impartial. People respect their opinions and look to them for guidance. Great CEOs are mature as people. They can suffer disappointment more gracefully than others and give others credit for their achievements. They don’t come in the office door yelling for something they need. They aren’t as concerned about titles or power structures as they are about the welfare of those who work at the company. They are trustworthy because they’ve always been honest with people and have earned that trust. They care about families, and they know that people are more important than dollars and express it in their actions every day. Finally, great CEOs seek out feedback. They want to know how others see them so that they can understand themselves better and continue to grow as people. They also want feedback about the company from an employee perspective, and they use surveys as a starting point for creating a dialogue to make things better.

2. Resourcefulness. Great CEOs seem to have boundless energy. They come to work with the greatest enthusiasm. Even when they don’t feel like it, they find ways to reenergize themselves and come in ready to go. They take good care of themselves physically and emotionally so that they can be there for the employees and the needs of the company. They give much more than they take every day. They don’t give up. If the wall is too high, they back down and find another way around. They don’t blame, but they do look for solutions to problems so that those problems are less likely to happen again.

3. Courage. The CEO has one of the world’s toughest jobs. No matter how tough it was to start the company, it’s even harder to keep it going and growing. A CEO must decide what he or she stands for and do what is right, all the time. It takes courage to fire the salesperson responsible for the company’s biggest, most lucrative account when that same salesperson drives a company car drunk and causes an accident. There will be many times when CEOs will want to smooth over something that requires decisive action because of the potential consequences or because they just can’t take on one more challenge at the moment. However, CEOs who exercise poor moral judgment will lose their personal integrity with all of their employees watching.

4. Willingness to look at risk. A great CEO isn’t afraid to look at the downside and answer the hard questions he or she hopes will never become a reality. The CEO needs a backup plan—one that is designed by looking at the company’s worst-case scenarios. This plan addresses questions such as: What if your industry experiences a slump? What if new governmental regulations affect your business? What if you lose the client that accounts for 50 percent of your sales? Preparing yourself and your company for these eventualities may be the difference between a tough year or two and bankruptcy. If you are in business for 20 years, some of your worst-case scenarios will probably happen. The key is to be ready and able to take immediate action to reduce the loss.

5. Foresight. It seems some CEOs have an uncanny ability to predict the future. They may have unusual insights into their particular markets, and luck may play a part as well. In addition, they are prepared to create their own luck by cultivating an ability to see opportunities for their company and to make the deals that convert those opportunities into realities. Some things that may seem like amazing foresight are actually the result of the hard work and discipline it takes to constantly look forward to build a successful company. Great CEOs must also constantly develop new products to build and retain a customer base. Foresight is also the ability to hire and retain the right people, looking ahead toward the growth of the company. Finally, over time, each company must develop a steady source of business during both good economic times and bad, because there are sure to be bad economic times during the life of a business.

About The Author
Jan B. King is the former President & CEO of Merritt Publishing, a top 50 woman-owned and run business in Los Angeles and the author of Business Plans to Game Plans: A Practical System for Turning Strategies into Action (John Wiley & Sons, 2004). She has helped hundreds of businesses with her book and her ebooks, The Do-It-Yourself Business Plan Workbook, and The Do-It-Yourself Game Plan Workbook.

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