Monday, September 16, 2013

You Must Begin with YOU!

It goes without saying that you can't be an effective project manager without being personally effective, yet there are individuals who seem to think the two facets are separate. Furthermore, there aren't any "tricks" that you can use to be more effective. No shortcuts. No gimmicks.

In effect, it's about building character, and developing habits that make you more effective. Some of this is pretty easy, and some is hard.

Stephen Covey hit a nerve when he wrote The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. The book was on the bestseller list for several years, and has sold over 10 million copies. In the book, he said that Benjamin Franklin would work with a principle each month and after a year, he would begin his list again. It takes time to master some habits, but in the end, it is worthwhile.

Fortunately we know more today about habit formation than was know in Ben Franklin's time. Two excellent books have been published that shed significant light on the subject. They are:
  • Making Habits, Breaking Habits by Jeremy Dean
  • The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg
Over the past 32 years, I have taught project management principles to over 40,000 individuals around the world. Of course, the principles of project management can be practiced without a person actually being very effective at the job, in part because you need more than the tools of project management to be effective. After all, at least 80 percent of the job is about dealing with human beings, and so-called people skills are much more difficult to learn than scheduling and earned-value analysis. In fact, what many project managers don't understand is that, without knowing how to deal effectively with people, the tools of project management will simply help them document their failures with great precision!

In subsequent blogposts, I'll be presenting methods for developing your skills so that you can be more effective as a project manager. Doing so can have significant effects on your career path. Being a really good project manager is good preparation for moving up to a C-level position in an organization. Not only are the methods of project management useful for any position, but you will deal with all kinds of stakeholders as a project manager, and that experience is invaluable to the senior executive.

You will also find valuable insights into being more effective in my published books. Go to my author's page on Amazon for more information.

I would like for this blog to be as useful as possible, so it will be very helpful to hear from you. You can interact with me at my membership website,  Thanks for your interest in my blog.

Warm regards,
Dr. Jim Lewis

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