Trust in Projects and in Teams

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...And Others Don't

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Author: Jim Collins
Publisher: HarperBusiness
Released: October 2001
Type: Hardcover
Pages: 300
ISBN:978-0201835953

The Challenge:

You are running a project that is supposed to improve the organization to leap out in front of the competition, yet you have had little formal training on what that means. Project managers need lessons in how world class business runs to drive projects to make that happen.

Built to Last, Collins' first book and defining management study of the nineties, showed how great companies triumph over time and how long-term sustained performance can be engineered into the DNA of an enterprise from the very beginning.

But what about the company that is not born with great DNA? How can good companies, mediocre companies, even bad companies achieve enduring greatness?

The Study:

Published in Suggested Books
Sunday, 16 January 2011 00:00

The Consultant's Lore

Icon of man with datastream

"Why is it that when you get hired you are no longer the expert?" A chuckle rippled through the audience; however, the woman asking the question was serious. I turned the question back to the audience of director level managers, "Why is this the case?" There was silence. Finally, I proffered that it was management's lack of understanding the skills of the people working for them. "Who in your organization can you implicitly trust?" More silence. It is sad that organizations know so little about the people that they hired—the people on which they stake their company's future.

Published in Project Rescue
Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In

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Author:Roger Fisher, William L. Ury
Publisher: Penguin Books
Released: May 2011
Type: Softcover
Pages: 240
ISBN:978-0201835953

One of the primary tasks of a project manager is to negotiate—negotiate scope, negotiate for resources, negotiate for money, negotiate end dates, etc.—there is almost nothing that a project manager has as a give. Even in your personal life, negotiation skills are essential for dealing with everything from your kids' bedtime, to the price of your next car. Understanding the art and science of negotiation is critical. This book, especially in conjunction with one of our classes, is a great way to get you down the road to improving you negotiation skills. Don't be fooled though, negotiation takes practice.

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Primal Teams: Harnessing the Power of Emotions to Fuel Extraordinary Performance

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Author:Jackie Barretta
Publisher: AMACOM
Released: October 2014
Type: Hardcover
Pages: 240
ISBN:978-0201835953

This book is currently under review, more details will be added when available

Teams are the center piece of any project. Without a team you will most likely fail at meeting any criteria for a successful project. Jackie, a personal friend of mine, has written a great book that will open your mind on a different approach to teams.

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Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

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Author:Daniel H. Pink
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Released: April 2011
Type: Softcover
Pages: 288
ISBN:978-0201835953

This book is currently under review, more details will be added when available

Drive is a must read for anyone that has to motivate people to do anything. As a project manager, part of your job is inspiring people to work on or support your project. You would be foolish not to read this book and follow its advice.

Most people believe that the best way to motivate is with rewards like money —the carrot-and-stick approach. That's a mistake, says Daniel H. Pink (author of To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Motivating Others). In this provocative and persuasive new book, he asserts that the secret to high performance and satisfaction-at work, at school, and at home —is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world.

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The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable

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Author:Patrick Lencioni
Publisher: Jossey-Bass
Released: April 2002
Type: Hardcover
Pages: 229
ISBN:978-0201835953

Without a team there is no project, there is no success. One of your primary jobs is to build a team from people you mostly likely do not have authority over. The five key attributes: results, accountability, commitment, conflict, and trust, will help you build a better team quicker.

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Getting Naked: A Business Fable About Shedding The Three Fears That Sabotage Client Loyalty

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Author: Patrick Lencioni
Publisher: Jossey-Bass
Released: February 2010
Type: Hardcover
Pages: 240
ISBN:978-0201835953

Excellent project managers are relationship builder both with the project team and the stakeholders. You need to continually build those skills and build trust.

Published in Suggested Books
Sunday, 03 October 2010 00:00

The Politics of Risk

Cartoon on Risk

Risk is a risk in itself. It is risk for you if you dare bring it up. Have you ever identified the risk, in writing, that your boss' inherent inability to make decisions is going to sink the project? How about the company loss of market share will require laying off half the project team? Or, that the project manager has never had a successful project? These are CLMs (career limiting moves). Even mentioning such common risks as a company's inexperience in the project's domain is too risky to put in the risk register. It is as if management enjoys blissful ignorance and relishes the firefight that ensues. Cowboy mentality. Identifying risk, modeling mitigation plans, and compiling contingency are too boring compared to the thrill of disaster recovery.

Sunday, 24 January 2010 00:00

Resuscitating the Knuckle Draggers

No Knuckle Draggers

Walking onto red projects, anyone can see and feel the problems. The bedraggled team wears the pain with their long faces and the slumped shoulders. Knuckle draggers. They are carrying the weight of the world, or at least the project, on their shoulders. How can any project succeed with these demoralized, denigrated, and defeated folks? Their spirits are far from lifted with new project manager's enthusiastic optimism. It only irritates a team wallowing in their misery. Nothing is worse than a chipper cheerleader when you are absorbed in troubles. It is an ugly situation.

Sunday, 20 February 2011 00:00

Fault, Trust, and Confession

Return to sender

A couple weeks ago, I was in eating my pre-keynote dinner with a group of people that I had never met. Without being prompted by some general drift in the conversation, a person across that table said, to no one in particular, "Did you hear about the new app to do confessional?" Being unfamiliar with the group, how was I to know if I was sitting with a group of high-tech Catholics that would think this was great. Besides trying to determine how to react, I was trying to envision how confessing with an iPod would have the same effect as sitting down with a priest. Of course, who am I, a fringe protestant, to make any editorial comment about Catholicism's inner workings? However, I finally blurted out, "What happened to accountability?"

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