Monthly Archives: December 2007

Best Lifehacks 2007

I discovered lifehack.org and love what I have seen so far.  I will try not to redirect you to other sites without adding my own comments/perspective but Year in Review: The 70 Best Lifehacks of 2007 has so much to offer that I can’t help but point it out for you!

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Filed under Encouragement, Personal Development

2008 Accomplishments (Claiming Victory Before The Year Starts)

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I made my plan for 2008!  I am making them public so I can be held accountable.

  1. Follow Weight WatchersI lost 60 pounds before and I am gonna do it again!
  2. Read or Listen to 12 Books Minimum (Fiction or Non-Fiction)In my heart I wanted to top 30 this year, but it scared me to commit to that many this year.
  3. Perform Daily Bible or Christian Reading/Meditation  This will continue my walk with God as I get to know Him better. 
  4. Exercise Five Days a WeekI thought of putting a time limit or specific exercises, but I plan on increasing both within a couple of months.  This wording will help me focus on the basics of what I want to accomplish.
  5. Seek Healthier Options and Choose Them – It is so easy to back into a corner of saying there are no healthy options so I am making it a point to seek them out.
  6. Increase Discernment In Spending and Savings – I am an impulse buyer so this will help me make better choices.  I may still buy silly non-practical stuff, but if I use discernment in making the choice, I will not regret my spending.
  7. Date My Wife – We are blessed with a happy wonderful marriage (10 years this August!).  I want to ensure we still take time to go on dates and not get in a cycle of routine.
  8. Bring Camera With Me – Life goes by so fast and digital pictures are cheap.  Why not capture it and the people around me?
  9. Create and Follow a House Upkeep Schedule -Sometimes house projects get overwhelming and cause me to procrastinate.  A schedule with focus on specific areas will help make this more doable.
  10. Complete My PMP Certification Training Sometimes classes with self directed schedules can get out of whack.  I want to add this so I ensure I complete it!
  11. Post on Pass The Buck a Minimum of 3 Days a Week I have discovered a new love of writing since I started this.  I also read blogs and know there is nothing worse than wondering if the author is ever going to update the site.  This commitment will give a deadline of sorts which is important in self-publishing.

I hope all of my readers have their 2008 goals written down.  I hope you are more than just encouraged, but that you take action on your inspiration.  We can all have a great 2008!

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Filed under Encouragement, Personal Development, Project Management, Weight Watchers

2008 New Years Revolution

Don’t just plan little 2008 resolutions, strive to make a major REVOLUTION!

Many new years resolutions are wimpy.  Most of the time they are focused on what we want to STOP doing:  quit eating junk food, end credit card spending, don’t buy Starbucks every morning, etc.

I challenge you to make your 2008 goals to be about what you want to accomplish.  Instead of quitting junk food, decide to eat healthy.  Don’t end credit card spending, choose your debit card as the only plastic to be used for spending.  I have no advice for Starbucks since they own my mornings!
The general consensus is that all new years resolutions fail.  I think it is because we are not passionate about what we want to accomplish.  We all know deep in our heart who we want to be, what we want to do, and how we wish to positively impact those around us.  When making your 2008 plan, don’t scratch off something because you already feel defeated before you even try.
Dustin Wax has a great guideline for 8 Ways to Achieve Success in 2008.  I think all of his tips are relevant but I really liked these three:
  • Find a support group
  • Accept failure graciously — and move on
  • Change yourself, not the things around you
Scott Young has 14 Tips For Resolutions That Stick in the New Year.  I like how he points out resolutions require strategy and not willpower.  These are the three that really stood out for me:
  • Create a Trigger
  • Behavior First, Results Later
  • Consistency Counts
I am wrting down my 2008 plans this weekend.  I hope you take any inspiration you received here and turn it into action.  I hope you dream big and strive to make huge transformations that will revolutionize your life.

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Have a Great 2008 (But Plan For It!)

I am incredibly behind planning what I want to accomplish in 2008!  How about you?

I truly believe it is important to be intentional about how you approach your life.  Holidays and personal things can distract us and we end up in REACTIVE mode instead of taking the time to make a 2008 project plan!  I really should use my PM skills in my life and not just keep them at work.

If you are like me and have not spent the time planning 2008 yet, I found some great articles that are spurring me into action.  I hope they inspire you as well.

Isaac Tolpin talks about How an Extraordinary Year Happens.  If his comment about reading 30 books by years end doesn’t make you want to “up your game” I do not know what else will.

Karthik Gurumurthy discusses a Mission Statement.  This is such a great idea to incorporate into 2008 as a way to live with purpose. I will have to make one for myself.  It will be hard to top Karthik’s “To have a positive, profound effect on as many people as possible.” 

Kevin Gerald kicked off 2007 with a four part series called Your Power To Choose that still inspires me almost a year later.   Watch the Video and/or purchase the Audio for more on the series.

We have six days to plan for the year we want!  Sure there will be some progressive elaboration in 2008, but at least we can know the scope of what we will accomplish!

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Holiday Break

I will be taking a break from this blog until after the holidays.  I look forward to writing next year!  Merry Christmas!

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Ka-Ching!

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Prosperity and poverty in our life is a reflection of our thinking and the actions we take.

Steve D’Annunzio wrote about money in a perspective I have not heard before.

 “Money is called currency because it carries an energy current similar to electrical current. Like copper wire is a conduit of electricity, money is a conduit of value. The copper wire is conducting the electricity, but it is not the power it merely carries the power. It is the electricity that is the powerful thing, right? When you need to plug in a lamp, you do not look for copper wire do you? You look for an electrical outlet because that’s where the power is.  Similarly, money is not the power; it is merely the conduit for the real power which is value.”

My faith states the real power is God, but we must remember He gives us our talents.  Our talents and dedication to developing them will help us create the value Steve is talking about.

Being good stewards of our talents will increase our marketplace value and allow prosperity to flow in our life!

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Career Sabotage

We always hear how to build our careers but how often are we warned about what can sabotage them?

Andrew Kordek’s blog helped me discover a great article from Global Knowledge called 10 Career-killers To Avoid.  The article states it is for an IT perspective but I think it applies to Project Managers and all other careers as well.

I believe all ten points are right on the money, but I will comment on the five I find most relevant for PM’s.

  • Forgetting to give credit to othersProviding positive feedback to a project team member’s manager will go a long way for both of you.
  • Believing that you are irreplaceable:  See my Value Meal post for my thoughts on this.
  • Confusing efficiency with effectiveness: Understanding how to manage the Triple Constraint can help balance time and quality.
  • Failing to deliver results:  Deliverables are the name of the game for PMs!
  • Not keeping your skills current: As knowledge workers, continued learning and growth is essential.

There are so many great authors and mentors around us to provide wisdom to develop our careers.  I hope this article is helpful to you.

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Filed under Improve With Lean, Learn Leadership, Personal Development, Project Management

Value Meal

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Increasing personal value is very important. 

Many people want a raise or promotion before they perform at a higher level.  I have found increasing my knowledge, skills, and productivity always results in something good.  Yes, there is a chance I am doing more than I am paid to do, but the rewards will come eventually!

Utilizing John Maxwell’s Law Of Duplication allows my growth as well.  Once I can develop others around to me to do what I can do, I am able to tackle new things.  These new ventures increase my value.

I recently worked on a project where the subject matter expert dug his heels into the ground and refused to share any knowledge.  Do you think this person was highly valued for his specialized knowledge?  A management opportunity for this person was taken away because he had to remain “in the trenches” since nobody else knew the product.  Think about the missed promotion and salary opportunity!

For further reading, I highly recommend the post How Easily Are You Replaced? by Stacey Douglas.

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A Dim Outlook

It is so easy to hide behind email in Project Management. 

Email is a great way of communicating clear requirements and keeping a documentation trail for your project team.  It is especially handy for working in virtual teams.

Email can also be a noose! 

I have heard project team members advise their deliverable is delayed because they never received an answer to their email request.  Communication is a high percentage of project management so we need to step away from Outlook and call people (maybe even face-to-face if possible).

Many people manage their tasks via email as well.  If your deliverable email is not in the top 20 of their inbox, the task gets buried.  As project managers, we need to ensure we recognize the way our team members manage tasks so we can ensure we help them deliver on time.  I call this “gentle nagging”.

Dan Markovitz recently wrote a great article about how the problem is the lack of a decent process for handling email, not a lack of time to handle it.  Tim Ferriss wrote about implementing Zero E-mail Fridays.

Once we stop hiding behind email as a single tool, our communication can only improve!

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Take Note!

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HENRY: Well, he who finds the Grail must face the final challenge.

INDY:  What final challenge?

HENRY:  Three devices of such lethal cunning.

INDY:  Booby traps?

HENRY:  Oh, yes. But I found the clues that will safely take us through,in the Chronicles of St. Anselm.

INDY:  But what are they? Can’t you remember?

HENRY: I wrote them down in my Diary so that I wouldn’t have to remember.

Writing notes is a key success factor.  Even if you never refer to them again, it will help reinforce your learning.  I have conducted a lot of training and I notice the people who do NOT takes notes are usually the people who ask for help two weeks later.

One key I have learned is to always take notes like you are going to have to teach on the subject.  Tim Ferriss’s blog had some other great suggestions for note taking and indexing.

As Knowlege Workers we must do all we can to retain what we learn!   You never know when you will need to remeber how to overcome devices of such lethal cunning!

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Wake up Cat

This is the story of my morning EVERY day thanks to my cats!

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Offensive

People aren’t perfect.

We can easily be offended by a person’s intentional or non-intentional actions.  I have seen people get upset because an action was NOT taken (“He/She SHOULD HAVE done such and such”).  Gossip can make us offended on behalf of somebody!

I have found lack of communication to be a primary reason for remaining offended.  Either I have not explained my expectations to someone or I haven’t asked the reason why something was done. How many times have you discovered somebody acted rude to you because they were dealing with something aweful or stressful?  It would be great if people remained civil when they were stressed, but wouldn’t it be greater to reach out to them and help reduce their stress instead?

Kevin Gerald wrote: “You do yourself a favor when you forgive others. We must be careful not to pick up someone else’s offense. Even though it’s hard for us to deal with someone offending someone close to us, God calls us to take the high road. Anger, resentment and the desire for revenge can waste valuable energy that could be directed towards positive actions.”

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Shake it off and Step up

I am an optimist.  Some people see the glass as half-full or half-empty.  I see the glass as half-full AND know there is a endless tap where even more is available to REFILL the glass!

I read Karthik Gurumurthy’s post today and thought it was quite inspiring!  Check it out!  I added his site to my links as well!

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Knowledge Economy

I was inspired last year when I read about the concept of the Knowledge Worker.  Here is a little bit of the concept from Wikipedia:

  • The first wave was the Agricultural Age with wealth defined as ownership of land.

  • In the second wave, the Industrial Age, wealth was based on ownership of Capital, i.e. factories.

  • In the Knowledge Age, wealth is based upon the ownership of knowledge and the ability to use that knowledge to create or improve goods and services.   In the Knowledge Age, 2% of the working population will work on the land, 10% will work in Industry and the rest will be Knowledge Workers.

I truly love to learn and enjoy sharing knowledge. 

I hope to use this blog as a demonstration of the Law Of Duplication from John Maxwell’s The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.  I plan to capture the knowledge I have learned and make it available for my readers for their development. 

Together we can all increase our knowledge!

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Welcome to my blog

I am still determining the content and direction for this blog.  I hope to have someting interesting for you soon.

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