Category Archives: newsletter

why are smart people so boring?

Simple Tips to Become a More Interesting Speaker

How many times have you attended an event strictly to hear the speaker or a panel of speakers? These speakers might be experts in your area of interest or big names at big companies. They are successful and you want to get just a little bit of insight from their brilliant minds. So you will pay to hear them speak. And yet you find yourself drifting off during their presentation, wondering if you remembered to feed the dog or thinking that the meal you were just served was definitely not worth the money. All of a sudden, you snap back to reality and realize you probably just missed some key piece of advice that was sure to make a difference in your life! Continue reading

Is the comfort zone really comfortable?

The comfort zone is that cozy place we like to hang out, where we feel secure and can just be ourselves. Unfortunately, we cannot be a great leader or easily pursue our dreams from the comfort zone. We have to step outside of it occasionally to try new things and take our lives in new directions. Often this is exciting, but sometimes it is so nerve-wracking that we procrastinate and avoid doing it at all. Continue reading

leadership and interviewing

I was sitting in the local coffee shop writing a few chapters of a book, when two ladies sat down at the table next to mine. Immediately, one of the ladies said very loudly to the other, “Give me an overview of who you are.” She was holding a clipboard tilted toward her so the other woman could not see, with pen poised to start writing. The other woman sank down in her chair and crossed her arms. She gave a short, uncomfortable laugh, looked around, and then offered a very brief response which I could not hear. Continue reading

laughter and leadership

When I ask people what it takes to be a great leader, I get a wide range of answers including things like vision, wisdom, talent, and the ability to persuade others. Rarely do I hear “a sense of humor.”

Let’s not underestimate the power of laughter. Laughter opens our minds and helps us tap into our creativity. Laughter helps us cope with the difficult challenges we face in life. Laughter helps us to be more tolerant and accepting of one another. Frankly, I like hanging out with people who make me laugh. Even better, I like hanging out with people who will laugh at my stupid jokes and stories. How about you? Continue reading

ten reasons projects fail

reason three: unrealistic expectations

All good project managers know that in order to execute a successful project you must properly negotiate and manage the Project Management Triangle or triple constraints known as scope, time, and cost. But what do you do when your customer or upper management team has unrealistic expectations and will not negotiate? What do you do if they threaten your job, your position, or to take the project away? Continue reading

getting what you want from others

One fact of life is that we will always need the assistance and cooperation of other people. Maybe you run a company and need your staff to go “above and beyond” to carry out a big project. Maybe you need approval from your boss to implement a new policy or put a new system in place. Maybe you want to change careers and need support from your friends and family. Maybe you just need someone to listen to you. Heck, wouldn’t it be great to tell someone about your job and have their eyes light up with interest instead of glazing over with boredom?

Here are three simple steps to getting what you want from others: Continue reading

ten reasons projects fail

reason two: lack of visibility into the project

Following is a list of common problems I have encountered repeatedly in the software industry. Checkmark or mentally note each scenario below that is similar to one you have observed or encountered in your own industry: Continue reading

issue management

Have you ever voiced a concern to your boss, only to have her chastise you for bringing it up or worse, put you in charge of resolving it? Or maybe you ARE the boss and people are traipsing in and out of your office all day with every manner of issues and complaints. Neither situation is enviable or likely to make you feel appreciated and happy with your day.

I have experienced the bad end of both scenarios during my career, so I figured out a way to approach the situation that satisfies everyone involved and ensures issues are addressed more productively. Continue reading

10 reasons projects fail: CYA

We gathered for the teleconference call at the scheduled time. Everyone we expected from both locations was on time and connected in a matter of seconds. Excellent. I briefly reminded everyone of the purpose for the call and the issues we would address in the next half-hour. There were no questions, so I proceeded to the first issue: a small software application that still needed to be created before we could deliver our product to the customer. Continue reading

running efficient meetings

Meetings are one of the most time-consuming and costly activities in which we engage. How many times have you attended a meeting that was suppose to last 30 minutes, but you did not leave until 2 hours later? As an Executive or Manager, calculate how much money you are paying each individual in the room for that 1.5 hours of wasted time. How many times per week does this occur? Continue reading