2018 in Review 2019 Plan

2018 review….2019 plan…  

2019 is my time to apply everything I’ve learned in my life – personally, professionally, and what I’ve learned from others.

I’ve been in transition for years now – 2018 isn’t that much different than 2017 or 2016 professionally.  Understanding who I am, what I’m good at, what I I see, how that helps, why it matters…It’s been an amazing, sometimes painful, journey.  I value friends more, I value myself more, I value connections more, I value chance encounters more, I value people more.  I value different looks, different perspectives, lots of tolerance, and listening – as well as hearing. 

I’m willing to change my stubbornness for the common good. I’m willing to sit still and just be.  While I’ve been insistent on being the first to admit when I’m wrong, I’m now willing to be wrong.  I’m willing to trust my instincts which makes them stronger.  I’m willing to ask more questions.  I’m willing to hear the answers and modify my thoughts accordingly. 

I’m ready to fly – truly fly.  Help people.  Help increase our chance of success.  Help grow.  Help nudge.  Lead.

Zombie Scrum – or any methodology

I just found out about Zombie Scrum and I had a great laugh!  Go ahead Google it – zombie scrum.  It’s hysterical and 100% true.

And it’s why I feel compelled to write.  It has a name now – ‘ZOMBIE PROJECT MANAGEMENT’.  It drives me insane – at all levels.

To be clear – this is not just about scrum and agile, this is about waterfall too and all hybrids.  This is equivalent to bean counters, box checkers, boring status meetings.  This should be at the VERY top of every ‘common project management mistakes’.  Going through the motions, no emotional intelligence, no foresight, no life, no caring.  That’s what this is really talking about – moving those stickies across the wall without giving a sh*t about what you’re doing or why.  Makes me so frustrated.

I LOVE the term Agile Coach.  What a great segue away from the mundane to something active and alive.  Waterfall is too old fashioned – for many reasons and at many levels but it’s not completely obsolete yet.  I’m not a huge proponent of Agile by the way – it has it failures too.   I am a proponent of do what’s needed in the situation you’re in – maybe it’s agile, maybe it’s waterfall, maybe it’s a hybrid, maybe it’s pure lean.  Take the time to see what is going on and pick the right process and methodology for the personalities/project/time you have to do it.

Be smart.  Be engaged.  Be caring.

Accountability

In my opinion, accountability is the most important tool we have as humans to become better versions of ourselves.  It provides the checks and balances to keep our egos humble; gives us the opportunity to become self-aware, to learn from our mistakes, and to say we are sorry.  Probably why Executive Coaches have become so popular now?  The Coaches provide an objective voice to hold the Executives accountable.

Interviews with VC funded young companies that failed go:  I lost my way – I moved to ego metrics instead of cash flow metrics; Our salaries were too high with high expenses, so we ran out of money.  The list goes on.  Were they told the truth? Where was their expert to hold them accountable? Were their egos so high they didn’t listen?

I see it in project management all the time.  PM’s who are afraid to tell the truth to their Sponsors.  Fear is the number one enemy of accountability.

 

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Hit the Reset Button / Blow up your World / Pivot

I just moved to Seattle.  Let go of the past, let go of the mistakes, let go of the mishaps, let go of all of it – except the good friends, of course.  Starting fresh. 

While moving sucks – completely – I do feel a lot better.  There is a shift in your mind about changing everything.  You get humbled as you get lost finding your way around a new city.  You remind yourself how important friendships are as you smile more at neighbors thinking ‘They could be a friend’.  You must ask for help on a regular basis. It changes how you see the world.

Instead of the limitations, real and imaginary, that you saw lived within, now the world is alive and real.

It’s scary, takes time, makes you let of stuff you don’t need any longer…but the benefits of being lighter, freer, more open, more vulnerable, and the potential for happiness…priceless. change us not for us

Bullies In the Office

I have had three true bullies in my career – all women. Each situation was different, and each woman was a bully for different reasons and in different ways.  Only one of them was my direct manager.  All made my life miserable and difficult despite my attempts at trying to make things better – part of my job as Project Manager and part of my personality.  Despite every Lifetime movie showing that bullies can be ‘turned around’ – that’s not true for the office where you have no insight into their personal world where the damage is being created.  Forgive me my HR friends, there’s nothing you have done in any of these situations – for the same reason.

Bullying is one of those toxic situations with no way out – like narcissism.  So, what DO you do?  The internet is filled with tactics to help you survive.  But, I think the real answer lies in looking in the mirror and deciding what you want to do with your life. Forget the bully – What is in your best interest?  Do you like what you’re doing? My guess, what you want to do is hard to do.  There are kids, spouses, money, or knowledge in the way.   Most likely there’s fear too.  Change is scary, but change is our only option.

Twins looked at each other in the womb and say “It’s so scary out there.  It doesn’t matter that I can barely move – it’s safe here.”

karenwiley@appliedteamdynamics.com

Making the Impossible Feasible, then Successful