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Seven Lessons #4: Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker

In walked a candidate for a job that I was seeking to fill. As the interview commenced, I rolled through the standard litany of questions to gain an overall picture of the candidate’s skills. I then asked for the candidate to describe their greatest failure. They paused only briefly and stated that due to their …

Play Card Methodology, Pt. 4

If there is one area that is universal to teams and is in constant need of improvement, it is communication. Whether it is extending clearly defined deliverables, or requesting help to overcome obstacles we have bad habits of vagueness, hesitancy, or unfortunate timing. Additionally, our listening skills are used to identify pauses in the dialogue …

Seven Lessons #3: Only an empowered team reaches their full potential

A well-distributed meme in social media is a photo of Steve Jobs in a thoughtful pose with the quote, “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.” written in an italicized font above his head. Indeed, this …

Stability and Adaptability

A stable business environment provides many benefits to a business. Clients crave a consistent product. Walk into any McDonald’s and the Big Mac that you order will be prepared according to a well-documented process, with recognizable ingredients, and predictable quality. Coca-cola experienced, first-hand, the consequences of changing a much-beloved cola formula with their attempt to …

Play Card Methodology, Pt. 3

Any project planning methodology offers a visual means of communicating the goals, tasks, and progress of the given project. Examples of such items are Gantt charts, timelines, mind maps, status reports, and calendars. These visual representations provide the team and leaders a mechanism to rapidly process the details of the plan and understand its current …

Importance of Schema Design

Building houses require a blueprint. The blueprint identifies the placement of doors, windows, and outlets. It defines the size of the rooms, whether there is a basement or crawlspace, and the location of the furnace. This plan outlines the skeletal structure and outer skin of the house which directly translates into the integrity and ease …

Seven Lessons: #2 Fear is not part of the recipe of success.

If you were to scour a proverbial cookbook for recipes on success, achievement, and effectiveness, you would find a myriad of essential ingredients. You will see passion, purpose, confidence, empathy, compassion, and vision. While other components may come and go based on the latest trends, there is one element which should never emerge in any …

Play Card Methodology, Pt. 2

Without goals, the team cannot identify when the project is complete. Without tasks, the team cannot understand how to achieve the goal. All project management methodologies involve tasks and goals, including the Play Card Methodology. In this light, to claim that the unique nature of the Play Card Methodology as being a goal-based method rather …

Seven Lessons: #1 Personal Connection

Leading teams and people toward a common goal can be one of the most challenging aspects of management. People come in a wide array of emotional, interpretative, and functional capabilities and simple input of instruction and compliance is not sufficient to operate a successful venture. Enduring leadership requires trust, relationship, and connectedness. Trust is earned …

Play Card Methodology, Pt. 1

In the world of getting things done, managers encounter a list of project management methodologies and techniques as extensive as a menu from The Cheesecake Factory. Some methods are suited for large, high-risk, and complex projects such as building a skyscraper, developing a medical product, or sending a person to Mars. Such efforts may leverage …