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Management By Criticism and Other Ways to Demotivate

I once worked for a manager that had very little positive to say. He criticized just about everything anyone ever did. The term “Good job” just wasn’t in his vernacular. I wrote it off as just an oddity. I was fortunate enough to move on in my career to work for some great managers who … Continue reading Management By Criticism and Other Ways to Demotivate

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Bob Dylan was right: You’re Gonna Have to Serve Somebody

I grew up the youngest of three kids in a typical, middle-class family. My parents never saved for college for any of us. When I graduated from high school, The U.S. was in the middle of a recession. The local manufacturer that my dad and older brother worked for was laying people off rather than […]
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6 Ways to Help the Client Make Decisions

Sergie is a mechanic that I trust with my cars. When I take it in for a problem, he’ll suggest an inexpensive adjustment to see if that solves the problem. If that doesn’t work, he’ll try something more. I know that he has my best interests in mind rather than thinking about how much money … Continue reading 6 Ways to Help the Client Make Decisions

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Stakeholder Management for Project Managers

Case study – The stakeholder from hell Melvin was a project manager on a software development project. On a weekly basis, he reported status via a conference call with project stakeholders that were distributed around the world. The meeting was usually a formality. Melvin sent the status report the day before to all stakeholders for … Continue reading Stakeholder Management for Project Managers

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The Importance of Leadership in Project Management

He managed his project like it was a finely tuned machine. One in which he could manipulate any aspect he wished with the turn of a gear or the press of a button. The problem was that it was not a machine, finely tuned or not. It was an organism. A living thing. It breathed … Continue reading The Importance of Leadership in Project Management

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How to Mentor for Maximum Benefit

We both sat there awkwardly. Two strangers thrown together. As the mentor, he felt obligated to start. But it was clear that he didn’t know what to say. He finally started by asking me about my background. I spent some time summarizing my career and asked him about his. He gave me a digest of […]
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Client Relations for Consultants

“I’m just a programmer. I’ve only been brought in here to write code for this client.” That’s the general attitude I’ve gotten from many consultants on past projects. Some consultants just seem to forget that their really outsiders. There is a double standard. Employees have their assignments. Their employers have expectations for them. When employers … Continue reading Client Relations for Consultants

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Career Management Tips for Project Managers

Worried about your career? Afraid that you’re stuck in a career rut that you’ll never get out of? You’re not alone. Millions of project managers are out there feeling the same anxiety that you feel. Should I move on? Should I ask for more responsibility? Or should I just continue doing what I’m good at … Continue reading Career Management Tips for Project Managers

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Why We Should Listen to Millennials

“They come in here thinking they know everything.” “Somebody needs to put them in their place.” “Put the phone down and listen.” If you are a baby boomer – or even an older Gen-X worker, you’ve likely either said or heard others make at least one of the above statements. There is no doubt that […]
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Project Management Planning Considerations

My wife and friends ridiculed me a few years ago for using a Microsoft Project plan when we moved. But I got the last laugh. Every detail was covered and the move went smoothly. I’m also very organized. The hooks in my garage are labelled so that each garden tool is put in the appropriate … Continue reading Project Management Planning Considerations

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Wanted: Role Models. How We Can Bridge the Racial Divide

“I am not a role model. I’m not paid to be a role model. I’m paid to wreak havoc on the basketball court. Parents should be role models. Just because I dunk a basketball, doesn’t mean I should raise your kids.” – Charles Barkley, 1993 Nike commercial. I recently had dinner with two friends. We’re […]
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Consulting Success from a Good Economy

Things looked bleak in the depths of the great recession. Many major firms collapsed and went out of business completely. Some were deemed “too big to fail” and were bailed out by the U.S. government. For the surviving firms, layoffs were rampant, resulting in unemployment peaking at 10% in late 2009. Effects of the Great … Continue reading Consulting Success from a Good Economy

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How To Be Mentored

My high school basketball coach called me “uncoachable.” In parent-teacher conferences, my teachers told my parents that I was “unwilling to learn.” My parents wondered why I didn’t listen. They had low expectations for me in college. While I did struggle in college, I made it through. Then something happened that changed my approach to […]
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Consultants are Vampires, Clients are Zombies

I’m intrigued with the popularity of vampires and zombies these days. Just doing a simple search for vampires on Amazon.com provides over 51,000 book titles. A search on zombies provides another 24,000. Netflix offers many titles under each category as well. It might have started with the Twilight series, but I think that just fueled … Continue reading Consultants are Vampires, Clients are Zombies

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