Posted in Leadership, Management

The Office Party

Lots of folks look forward to this time of year when they get to ‘let their hair down’ at the office party. It seems though in the age of misconduct, lots of folks are also stopping to take the time to reconsider how and what to do at the office party.

Let me declare early, a party is just a place to have a good time. Once I go, I intend to have a good time; which means – very little food (I never go anywhere hungry); drinks, chatter and dancing. That is what a party is supposed to be. So, for example, after my office party this year, I had to ice my knee regularly for two days after. I am ready for the next one.

That said, I thought I would share some tips that I have found useful over the years:

  • Wear what you feel comfortable in

o   If there is a dress theme, participate, it helps to put you in the mood

  • Go with enough time to meet and greet your colleagues
  • Take pictures with the team

o   Sidebar – take them before you get all sweaty from dancing

  • Don’t overeat, people do take notice
  • Don’t overdrink, people will notice too

Now here’s the part when it gets really interesting:

  • Dancing

o   Enjoy the music

o   Dance and have fun

o   Take a water/drink break ever so often

o   Shake a leg with your boss; shake a leg with your team that reports to you

Note: I am among the first set of dancers once the music is great (live or recorded)

If your office allows you to take your spouse, there is no rule which says you can’t dance with a team member; however, be modest. If you go the party alone, ENJOY. Dancing is an expressive way of thinking, so in dancing and expressing, make sure you are ok to look the person in the eye the next day at work. In other words, do not over express. Too many stories of why have come out of these situations.

Enjoy yourself at the office party, but try not to do anything you’ll regret.







Posted in Athletes, Caribbean, Coaching, Football, Jamaica, Leadership, Management, Sport

Football in Jamaica – the preferred pathway

November 12 – Even before the 2017 version of the Manning, DaCosta, Ben Francis, Walker and Flow Super Cup competitions end, I would like to make some suggestions to the folks who manage football in Jamaica. This includes all the organizations with Prep, Primary, High, Club and Elite football under its purview.

The traditional competitions all together have brought us to the ultimate in 1998, when Jamaica participated in the World Cup of Football. That is what all countries dream of.

What has happened since? And what will happen now? I have suggested over and over that Jamaica needs the football program. It is the sport that will bring the best opportunity for investment and the sport that is likely to attract the greatest level of support in sponsorship, if shown to be well-organized and bearing fruit.

What does this mean?

  1. Prepare a plan that speaks to the pathway to achieve the ultimate (another appearance in World Cup)
  2. Invest in the technical development of all those involved – coaches, officials, strength and conditioning experts, academicians, analysts, other support teams
  3. Improve the facilities – for competition, for training and preparation
  4. ISSA and the JFF must sit together and figure out how the schools’ program feed into the professional/elite program, and what if any adjustments are required     Team-Building       This system then has to match what our competitors are doing globally in this particular age group. We will match the outputs to see what adjustment may be necessary to ensure that the Under 17, Under 23 and Senior levels of football are on par. In the meantime, the academic development  of the athletes must also be comparable. ISSA as a governing body for school sports require a research unit to assemble this information and put a strategic plan to share with its stakeholders for 1. Buy-in 2. Delivery and ultimately for results. Development takes time and we have to be prepared to do the work.

For Jamaica to get back to the World Cup, the timeframe for this cycle, 2017 – 2022, must be in planning stage now and I would hope that this planning in happening behind the scenes. Remember now, sport is judged (ultimately) by Olympic medals, appearances in World Cup/Championship and athletes being able to the among those with the biggest pay checks and endorsement packages.

Is our system ready to absorb this? If so, it is time. So whether the remedy is to reorganize school football, club football and senior program, then now is as good a time. We can acknowledge our traditions by maintaining names of competitions etc, but we must embrace a new way of thinking and approach the sport as a business to meet the goal as required.

The 17-year old in Germany, England, Australia and Brazil is on a path to World Cup…are our players at the same age at the same point? We can no longer depend on talent, as we have seen where that has placed us. We need strategy at all levels to compete.

You may refer to this column I wrote July this year,

Or you can go back to October 2012





Posted in Advertising, Athletes, Branding, Jamaica, Leadership, Sport

Sport in Jamaica deserves better…

Sunday, November 5 – Next year, Jamaica’s name would have been in world sporting news consistently for 70 years. Since the 1948 Summer Olympic Games the country’s athletes have maintained steady and improved global ranking in several disciplines and at times even beating the world. The athletes and administrators deserve all the praise.

The country’s brand positioning has been significantly enhanced by the global appeal of its athletes and as we close in on 2017, there is so much more to look forward to.

Jamaica boasts a solid high school sport program. The governing body for school sport, Inter Secondary School Sports Association (ISSA) has managed over several sporting disciplines out of which a significant portion of the country’s stars used as a platform to grow. Over the years, institutions, clubs and other privately run teams have managed to heighten the county’s solid achievements by forming and maintaining programs for the post-high-school era enabling the athletes not to be over dependent on international preparation. That continues.

What has not happened as consistently is the role of the policy leaders in their ability to facilitate the continued development, by putting in policies to encourage steady/continued growth in the sport sector. The institutions still struggle to find solid footing in creating a more sustainable path towards wealth creation, better facilities, a wider range of service providers which will ultimately earn the island more medals at the global level.

The suggestion that the island is poor is an excuse in my opinion. So much research has been done to show the benefits of sport and how it can change a country’s economic activities if organized, managed and facilitated in a way to bring great return on investment.

This process must look at a path which looks at the link along the lines of education, training, development, research, marketing and how those key areas can earn the most bucks; while doing that should address social inclusion for balance.

Sport in Jamaica deserves better. Better is available. Again, it is time the folks who know better can make that change.

Posted in Leadership

Internships – My View

An internship is job training for a career – by choice or by requirement. The two major reasons for an internship, as I know it, are:

·         Job training

·         Fulfilling an academic mandate

An internship can help a student to figure out if they are or will be interested in a particular career and may eventually determine if the organization they got placed in, is somewhere they want to work in after graduation.

Internships have evolved and some organizations have collaborated with Corporate entities as part of

·         Corporate Social Responsibility

·         Community Development

·         Recruitment


Over the years, students have benefitted as more and more, there is a paid internship. History has shown that an internship is an exchange of services and the academic institution is obligated to offer the student the stipend package to afford the students the opportunity. This stipend ranges from costs to cover transportation, meals and “pocket” money. More recently, some companies have offered minimum pay to the student. That said the arrangement should include some level of payment.

The internship programme, an international practice, varies based on the region, but the common thing is, the intention is to offer students an opportunity to get a taste of the work world.

As an undergraduate and graduate student I was involved in a number of internships for three credits at a time. This was in the 1995 – 1998 period. The first one was for my broadcasting studies. I got no pay, none. It was at CBS Radio 88 in New York City. I had to be at work before 5am as I was placed on that shift with the well-sought after Ed Ingles. I woke up at 3:30 for 15 weeks, one day a week and I got an A for the course. I graduated. For the same BSc I did another at Consumers Union in Yonkers and I got paid US$12 an hour. It was also a three-credit course. I also got an A. For the MSc I opted to work in the HR Unit on campus and I got US$8 per hour. I did get another A.

All three experiences were great. One was to connect to the industry…and by the way, I got Knicks, Giants and Rangers tickets for free. The 2nd and 3rd were more fulfilling as I got paid, but I was just as committed to all three.

Educational institutions in designing courses of study must decide how they want to integrate students into the work world in a changing economic environment. Internships therefore have to be a lien item on both sets of institutions.


The integrity of the internship programmes is to be judged on a few things

·         Relevance to the course/s of study

·         Value added for the student

·         Impact of the organization of the potential workforce

·         How does the country benefit from the exchange between private/public sector and academic development

It is also important to note the differences between an internship, apprenticeship, practical study and vocational study. All have benefits to both students and institutions. The programmes should have an evaluation component which looks at the benefits and downfall to ensure, going forward; there is an adjustment which is market-ready and impacting for all.

 Internship 2

Posted in Athletes, Football, Jamaica, Leadership, Management, politics, Sport

Jamaica and Football Leadership

Football, potentially the sport to bring biggest economic returns to Jamaica is searching for a new President. Since Jamaica’s qualification to the World Cup in 1998, successes have been intermittent.

Football is the richest sport globally. Football also has the biggest television audience globally. Outside of the National Basketball Association (NBA), USA-based, football players combined represent the highest paid athletes in the world. That says a lot; but doesn’t quite add up for Jamaica.

Read here for reference

The search for a new President to lead Jamaica into the 2022 and 2026 World Cups (which should be the aim); must be based on a number of things. I will attempt to highlight some qualities, skill-sets and maybe even personality traits of who I think the leader should have most if not all.

The person should be

  • A Leader
  • A Manager
  • A mobilizer
  • A doer
  • A visionary

That leader should be a contemporary leader, one who can take us from vision to reality. There are some key success factors that this leader should be able to manage in the vision to reality road. He/She must be aware of the:

  • Political
  • Economic
  • Social
  • Technological

…impact the sport has to offer and therefore requires a team that can deliver with all this in mind. I know some of you are reading this and saying, but that is storybook type leadership. True, these things are written in books, but having worked in a few sporting organizations, I can tell you of the value of these factors.

In plain language though…it is important to have someone who knows the lay of the land; but should possess the pizzazz needed to transform national expectations to international goals, while attending to the needs of the boardroom.

The business of football is massive and with so many options to choose from in terms of income stream for athletes; income stream for countries via hosting of events and just the networking opportunities; Jamaica must seek to mobilize the best sporting mind to lead what could one of the biggest decisions we are due to take in Jamaica in a long time.

My suggestion is: go rational and not emotional; think with your head and not your heart. At the risk of sounding cold, pick the person who can transform the football in Jamaica into the most successful sporting bodies.

I won’t use this article to pick who I think is best to lead, but what I can say is the person exists in Jamaica.

What this means therefore is

  • Fix the schools’ programme (Manning and Dacosta Cups)
  • Fix the club system (make it more manageable and meaningful)
  • Prepare an international calendar
  • Host more matches at home (the office is a great location)
  • Negotiate good deals for broadcast
  • Expand your manager roles in your clubs. Have people who know the business manage players for the best results
  • Grow the business so experts/employees get paid competitive salaries

Nationally, we need to:

  • Improve playing facilities
    • Only use certified grounds
  • Review roster of officials
  • Have a better mix of experts at the top

Football globally has enough politics…so I say “stay away from the politicians.”

Jamaica needs a well-run football programme to sustain its stay as a sporting brand with all the returns necessary. Choose wisely!


Posted in Advertising, Athletes, Branding, Caribbean, Jamaica, Leadership, Management, Track and Field

Ticketing Solution for ISSA and CHAMPS

March 29 – Here’s a suggestion for ISSA and tickets for 2018 CHAMPS

1. Have an international ticketing solution that can have patrons purchase online
2. Ensure the seating for the National Stadium is also online so people can choose seats.
3. I know the Stadium seating was reduced for patrons in 2002 (15 years ago) so here’s how you handle that part

a. Allocate seating in this way
i) Overseas/Diaspora – 10 per cent
ii) Season pass holders – 15 per cent
iii) Regular patrons – 50 per cent
iv) Sponsors – 15 per cent
v) Walk ins – 10 per cent

We can’t have such an international meet with the best performances on the track and field anywhere in the world and not have first-class services to back that up. ISSA’s way is BACKWARD and not in keeping with any international standards at all. Also I suggested we do this too:

1. Have online tickets available one month before
2. Sell tickets from the Box office – two weeks before
3. Increase tickets each year by up to 11 per cent – to keep out the scalpers

Patrons will pay with a first class service. I am really bothered that in 2017, we operating like we in the dark ages. Additionally if ISSA want additional revenue they may make better use of the Hospitality Suites at the Stadium. I hope we can improve on this very important issue.

Posted in Advertising, Athletes, Branding, Leadership, Management, Sport

On becoming a professional athlete

September 25 – With more money being pumped into professional sport globally, there are more athletes who are intent on becoming pros. But there are some basic pointers those athletes need to follow. Here are some:

  1. Get involved at a fairly young age
  2. Train smartly with someone who has your best interest
  3. Dedicate yourself to a sustained programme with clear goals
  4. Keep your body in great shape
    1. Eat right, if you can afford it, employ a nutritionist
  5. Pursue education, it will help later on
    1. You may even apply for a scholarship
  6. Join a club that promotes your sport

There are some other basics (health-wise) that you will need to check regularly

  • Eyesight and hearing
  • Reflexes
  • Heart condition
  • Dental

Additionally, as you head towards the pro-game, secure some skills sets around you, which are necessary for you and your management team to be successful

  • Legal
    • Intellectual property
    • Image rights
    • Copyright
  • Financial and Auditing (compliance)
  • Planning and Budgeting
  • Marketing and Communications
  • Branding
  • Commercial
  • Stylist/Lifestyle coach
  • Management – events, photo shoots, courtesy calls

Finally, be willing to compete hard and smart at all times; be disciplined and have your passport ready to travel.


This is really a snapchat of a professional’s athlete’s life, until next time…stay in the game.