If you’ve ever been inside of a tin of sardines you will have a pretty good idea of what it’s like to ride the subways of Tokyo during rush hour – only in the subway the sardines are still alive. Even though we are packed together with greater intimacy than most sexual encounters, my inscrutable Japanese companions manage to wear a mask of serenity and composure. Most of my fellow riders have their eyes fixed on their mobile phones, looking up train schedules, checking email, texting their pals, or doing a little shopping on-line. These 21st century urban dwellers use their phones for everything! (I’m told that the average mobile phone purchase in Japan is over $50!) My phone works there, but it costs a bundle per minute, something approaching the cost of a college education, so I tend not to use it much. Instead, I’m looking around to see if anyone else notices that those of us fortunate enough to have a seat have our faces at crotch-level with the people standing.Continue reading
Thomas Edison, when asked why he had a team of twenty-one assistants “If I could solve all the problems myself, I would.” Another rather amusing fellow I know said “There is no “I” in TEAM, but there is an “I” in WIN!” Whatever your philosophy, working in a team is challenging, especially when separated by distance and time zones. Team work requires taking into account the views of others with whom you may not agree, and working with people who may seem irritating, stubborn, or just plain sociopathic at times. And there is always some level of conflict, which most people don’t enjoy (although some people argue for sport!), so the road of “journey shared” can be a bit rocky at times.Here are some survival tips based on my 20 years of working in teams:
AVOID TEAM WORK!
– Well, only if you don’t NEED a team, of course! If you can accomplish the goals without investing your time and energy into building a team, avoid working in a team. Teams should only be used to accomplish what cannot be accomplished alone. If you are playing a game that only a team can win, you’d better have a team!
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with others.” – African Proverb
CHOOSE TEAMMATES CAREFULLY
– OK, we don’t always have a choice of who’s on our team. But, your individual success will be tied to the success of the team, so when you do have a choice, be selective in choosing teammates. Personality clashes and lack of shared values are a recipe for lots of angst and very little progress. I’ve quit plenty of teams, and even jobs, to escape torturous teammates. Life is just too short!Continue reading
Most of my work revolves around the power of creating breakthroughs through extreme optimism and hideously positive thinking for which “hyperbole” simply isn’t a big enough word. I frequently rant and rave about the hazards of know-it-alls who poo-poo every idea and wield their negativity like a scythe, cutting down anything new or imaginative in its path. But the popularity of negative thinking is undeniable, and, like most veteran business leaders, I’m a pro at it. I was reminded of this when I recently received a note from a guy I used to work for at HP who, after reading my book, mused “It seems a bit cynical. Is that intentional?” Jumpin’ Geezus on a pogo stick! Yes, of course it’s intentional! Any human being who’s been a manager in the corporate world for more than a couple of hours and hasn’t become a tad cynical simply hasn’t been paying attention.
Negativity for its own sake is an annoyance at best, and a soul-sucking experience similar to what I imagine a psychic vampire would produce. But in the right hands, it’s a weapon of mass construction, freeing the mind of half-hidden dark thoughts, and an on-ramp to the superhighway of results in your business. Jump in, strap in and hold on ‘cause we’re going to take the curves up on two wheels.
Negative Thinking is Easier, I’m Positive!
Perhaps due to some quirk of evolution and slight survival advantage (my apologies to the creationists out there), human beings seem to find it easier to think of things from a negative perspective. Don’t believe anything I say, of course; check it out for yourself. Continue reading
Kimberly is one of the most enthusiastic and up-beat people I have ever worked with. She is driven by the belief that it is more than her job, it is her obligation, to make those around her successful. She is an exceptionally quick study with a firm grounding in science and engineering. Kimberly…easily identifies choke points to progress as well as opportunities for leverage. She is a model of persistence…
As an old program manager myself, and now as President of a large technology company, I find your book spot on the money. Your readers would do well to read the book several times and practice what your write until it becomes second nature. The world around them would become a much better place – and the satisfaction that goes with high achievement would fuel a long and successful career. While your book was written for program managers, it applies to anyone who works with people. It is a mus…
Kimberly is one of those people who’s enthusiasm is infectious. You can’t help being motivated by her, even if it’s via email. Her wit, experience, and business savvy make her someone I am honored to be associated with. I am a guest blogger on the University of California Santa Cruz Extension PM website, and Kimberly is our fearless leader and motivational cheerleader. She keeps us going strong with her creativity and pizazz.
All the advice you gave me during our last meeting is paying off. Who could believe having a white board would do wonders – – just as you said. . . . this afternoon my manager said “You’re so organized and such a good communicator.
Kimberly is a wonderful blend of energy and creativity melded with a keen mind that knows how to get things done. She is constantly looking for possibilities and then devising ways to bring them to life. She enjoys helping and mentoring others, and I am delighted to know that she is doing that now for organizations ready to go to the next level.
If you want to build energy, velocity, and momentum toward an outrageous goal, Kimberly’s Scrappy Project Management is just what you’ve been waiting for to help you get those results with more pleasant surprises and fewer disappointing shocks along the way.
It is delightful to have you work with us. You are already having a positive impact on the whole project situation.
The recommendation of a transformed cynic: Kimberly is a bit like a cyclone – she will turn your world upside down and blow you away. Unlike a cyclone, however, she will be sure that all of the important pieces remain; neatly reorganized and stronger than before she met you. She will also, undoubtedly, leave many gems behind for you as well – some ready to display and others for you to continue polishing throughout your life and career. You will definitely be richer for having crossed her pa…
Kimberly facilitated executive offsite strategy meetings, provided executive coaching, and managed a product rollout project at Rockliffe. She’s incredibly dynamic, insightful, and motivating, with an incredible skill at using humor to get people to understand and accept what they otherwise might not. I wouldn’t hesitate to bring her into any situation where management consulting was needed.
In one hour Kimberly uncovered true essentials of professional development and networking skills that now shine like diamonds in my head.
Books in the Scrappy Guides Series
By Kimberly Wiefling
A Top-selling PM Book!
Scrappy PM Audiobook
Authors: J. Abrams, C. Amos, E. Davie, M-H. Le, H. Kain, S. Lebeck, T. Mui, P. Obuchowski, Y. Shibata, N. Udo, B.J. Waxman, K. Wiefling
By Michael Seese
By Michael Seese
By Michael Horton