Category Archives: Leadership

How Making Noise Hurts Your Team’s Productivity

making noise hurts your team
How making noise hurts hyour team

It can be a difficult transition when someone makes the move from worker bee to management. You find yourself going from someone who had lots of tasks and was always busy, to being in an oversight position.

Certainly a manager keeps busy. There are plenty of things to do. But when a deadline approaches and the team has a ton of work to do in a short time, managers often find themselves in a situation where they watch people working, waiting for the rest of the team to get it all done.

Meaningless activity

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How Focusing on the Wrong Things Causes You to Fail

focusing on the wrong things
Are you Focusing on the Wrong Things?

Office coffee politics

Once early in my career I worked on a project in which I attended weekly client meetings where we reported our status to one of the executives. This particular executive had an agenda for the meeting each week. He would list the projects from which he wanted updates, and listed specific issues when he wanted specifics.

The department I worked for had a coffee pot out in the open. People who drank coffee were expected to pay on the honor system for each cup. The accumulated money was used to purchase more coffee and filters.
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How To Deal With the Renegade Team Member

renegade team member
Do you have a renegade team member?

Every once in a while – maybe even more often than that – you experience a renegade team member who wants to do things his way rather than what you’ve tried to set as the norm. When this happens, the project manager has to decide whether to act and what to do if they decide to act.

The first thing the project manager needs to decide is whether the “renegade” activity is unhealthy or undesirable. Too often, project managers see someone acting outside of the norm and attempt to reign them in before determining the consequences.
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Project Management Role: Removing Obstacles

Project Management Role
Project Management Role: Removing Obstacles

When the role of project manager is brought up in every day conversation, many people think of the task-master, always trying to get status from the team member, reminding him of just how late he is on his task.

One can almost picture the PM standing there pointing to her watch, tapping her toe impatiently.
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Strategy: Focus on the Target

Strategic Target Focus
Strategy: Focus on the Target

Imagine that you are planning a vacation from Chicago to visit a friend in Los Angeles. As part of that trip you decide that driving and seeing the countryside will be a great way to enjoy the trip.

A little south of Chicago, you get on Interstate-80 and start heading west. You drive for hours and then days, feeling yourself getting closer the further you head west. You feel your destination getting closer as you drive through Salt Lake City and enter the state of Nevada. You can almost smell the ocean as you pass through Sacramento and begin driving through wine country.

Then, unexpectedly, after days of driving, you are welcomed to San Francisco. San Francisco? You wanted to go to LA. Which is six hours southeast.
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Just Do It My Way

Inflexible management
My way or the highway.

Do you like the toilet paper to roll up from the bottom? Or do you prefer that roll down from the top?

Chances are that you have a preference.

I deliberately ignore the direction of the role when I replace it (yes, I do replace it). By doing this, it rolls from the top and from the bottom each about 50% of the time.  And something amazing has come out of that. I haven’t once had trouble unrolling this bathroom essential, regardless from where it unrolls.
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Too Much Process. Not Enough Thought

process
Too much process

When I was a kid, I would watch my mother bake.  She meticulously measured the cups and tablespoons of ingredients to ensure they were precise.  The resulting products were unsurprisingly consistent.

When it tried baking and cooking as an adult, I followed the same process.  I measure things out with precision.  I eventually learned when that type of precision was necessary and when it was not.  For example, when baking, I learned that things like baking soda and yeast had to be accurate.
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The 2 Biggest Project Management Decisions

Project management decisions
Project management decisions

Throughout my career, I’ve managed a lot of people and probably mismanaged a few.  I’ve learned from most of my mistakes.

I’ve also been managed and mismanaged by many bosses along the way. Any success that I’ve had, I can attribute to the fact that I’ve been managed more than I’ve been mismanaged.  I am sure that I’ve learned at least as much from being mismanaged as I have from being well-managed.

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