Purpose and Priority

Doing the Right Things in the Right Order My tagline for a long time has been “sleep is for the weak”, but the truth is, I love to sleep. I have to make myself get up and get rolling every morning, and I have to fight the urge every night to call it a day and turn in early. There’s nothing I love more than sleeping till noon Read more…

Making Decisions Inside the Golden Triangle

Find the “And” That Lets You Serve All Your Stakeholders “The Golden Triangle” is a term I coined several years ago to serve as a counter to the classic “Iron Triangle” of Project Management (scope, cost, schedule). The Golden Triangle serves as a simple guideline for leaders in the organization to help make decisions and to understand what we mean when we talk about providing an environment that Read more…

Leave Out the Ball Bearings

A Parable About Knowing When to Stop Talking This is a common story they tell at Sandler sales training. I’m repeating it here from memory — I might have some of the details wrong. The Story A nice young couple walk into a furniture store. They’re looking for a desk. They’re approached by a salesman on the floor. He’s helpful, he’s informed, he asks all the right questions to understand Read more…

Getting All the Liars in One Room

Know When it’s Time to “Call The Meeting” The Why If you have more than two people involved in making a decision, and it’s not happening on its own, don’t try to get it done by having a series of 1×1 conversations. Get everybody together in one place, looking at one common goal and one complete set of information, and leave with a written agreement of what you’re Read more…

Pick Up the Phone!

Know When and How to Escalate the Communication Channel When I was in consulting, one of our firm’s distinguishing characteristics as a provider of professional services to enterprise organizations was that we didn’t deliver with a heavy on-site presence. Where most of our competitors established relationships and maintained “stickiness” with their clients by being omni-present inside their clients’ organizations, we delivered solutions primarily from within our own offices. Read more…

Managing the Emotion Pendulum

Help Clients Feel Good About a Project Because it’s Their Idea to Feel Good About it The Emotional Pendulum is a mental model I’ve found useful when interacting with clients, especially in situations where things aren’t going as well as we’d like (or as they’d like), or when we need to deliver bad news. Those situations are as much about how we communicate with the client as about Read more…

Don’t Trade Accuracy for Precision

Know When to Stop Shaving the Yak If you’re around my age, you might remember Phil Hartman’s “Anal Retentive” character from the ’80’s and ’90’s. He had a classic skit called “The Anal Retentive Chef” that spawned a whole series — “Anal Retentive Carpenter,” “Anal Retentive Fishing,” and the like. The joke was always the same — he starts off with a great goal, like “Today we’re going to make a pepper Read more…