The Discipline of Project Leadership

Last week I began studying The Art of War by Sun Tzu. While reading some of the tenets of strategy I picked a few of my favorite and re-wrote them to apply toward project management. In my list, I believe a project leader is a disciplined manager who has transcended the basic application of best practices and become a master of the art. The following represent my top four laws for project leadership:

  1. The project leader is evident when the number of applicants exceeds the conscripts.
  2. Project leaders evidence their abilities by accomplishing difficult goals.
  3. A project leader delivers results from the resources at hand.
  4. A project leader is evidenced by the time devoted to the applied enhancement of skills.

15 Job Opportunities – Washington DC

It may not be enough to change the national economy, but these jobs will improve 15 qualified individuals personal economy.
The company I work with 3TI is in immediate need of hiring 15 new positions including Project Managers, Administrative Support and Procurement Specialists.


Link with info

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

This profile describes the results of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assessment. Based on individual responses, the MBTI instrument produces results to identify which of the sixteen different personality types best describe the subject.

Personality types represent preferences in four separate categories, with each category composed of two opposite poles.  The four categories describe key areas that combine to form the basis of a person’s personality as described herein.

Not having found a good single page overview of the assessment today I sat down and created one. If you have completed this assessment and would like to use it I have copied my template here as well as a copy of my completed profile.

MBTI Template (MS Publisher)

Paul Done’s MBTI Report

Document Fidelity Management – Part 2

In Part One we discussed why documents using the PDF standard maintain a consistent means of sharing and displaying electronic document data. In this discussion we’ll outline the features that differentiate Adobe Acrobat Reader from Adobe Acrobat Professional. Finally, we’ll conclude with some free and open source tools for doing some of the functions found with Adobe Acrobat Professional.

Tools of the Trade

Adobe created the PDF format to share documents that maintained the look and intended layout regardless of the computer or version of the software used by the recipient. This format became an open standard allowing any company to create tools that used the PDF standard of sharing documents. The two parts of the Adobe Acrobat PDF are Adobe Professional and Adobe Reader.

Adobe Professional comes in basic and premium versions (Adobe calls these Professional Standard, Pro and Pro Extended). The difference between the versions are certain features for creating and annotating PDF files. The Adobe Reader simply displays PDF documents and the activates features created by the author of the PDF file. In the Adobe family to create a PDF you must have the Pro, Standard or Extended versions. These are software titles where a license must be purchased for each installation. Prices currently start at $299.

The Adobe Reader program is a free software title that allows anyone to read, view and print PDF files.

For a comprehensive list of the differences between Adobe Reader, Adobe Acrobat Standard and Pro Extended please click here.

Creating a PDF file is done by using the connection Acrobat Pro (any paid version) makes into programs that print. For example if I have a spreadsheet that I want to share as a PDF document I will make my spreadsheet in Excel and print or save the file as a PDF document from Excel. The Acrobat Pro version(s) do not edit the basic PDF file, it is simply used to compile the pdf file. Anyone with the Adobe Reader will be able to see the PDF file I created in Excel on their computer if they have Excel installed or not. The functionality of the spreadsheet may be gone, but the data it displays is consistent regardless of the computer they use to view it.

The value that comes from Acrobat Pro versions are the ability to add functionality into the PDF document. The PDF document may be created into a form that can be filled online and printed by anyone using Adobe Reader (note: not saved). Document manipulation such as cropping margins, reordering pages or extracting some pages may be done using the Acrobat Pro versions.

Cutting a PDF File (Split & Merge)
So far we have discussed how Acrobat Pro versions work. As the PDF standard is now opened many organizations are developing tools that apply the standard in software that is distributed from companies other than Adobe. The following piece of software is free and will cut PDF files without having to buy  Acrobat Pro. Adolix Split and Merge PDF 1.5 is a free download (click here) allowing users to manipulate PDF documents without purchasing the full suite of Adobe Acrobat Pro. There are some limitations to this software but for the majority of users these functions make sense and avoid high license fees for common PDF manipulation functions.

In upcoming installments of the Document Fidelity Management series we’ll discuss other tools (some that exist online) for managing and manipulating PDF files without the cost of license fees.

1) Create a PDF document (click here)
2) Cut PDF files (this document)
3) Merge PDF files (link pending)
4) Sharing PDF files (link pending)
5) Live Collaboration Techniques (link pending)

Manage How People Use You

This title almost makes it sound like you put on the doormat to let people walk all over you. Today, the problems we face are often too complex to do them alone. Our expertise may not be sufficient to accomplish a task by ourselves.  Someone else may be better suited to complete a task requiring skills you have yet to develop. In turn, others need you and your expertise as well. Managing these relationships will require a welcome mat; instead of you wearing it, the mat needs to be placed in front of your door.

There are two principles which I believe are the basis to becoming a reciprocating relationship manager. The first characteristic is a Meet-er.

The Meet-er is known by people, not simply a reputation but people know who you are and what you do. The Meet-er will interact with people in positions they aspire to as well as in a mentoring or coaching role. This person will also be involved in groups that solve problems, develop strategies or simply interact. The Meet-er will introduce people they know to others with similar interests. Finally, a Meet-er will visit people without culitvating the person for a request. The Meet-er is generally interested in other people.

The Meet-er does not have to be extroverted, a social butterfly or have a bubbly personality. In fact most people innately have many characteristics of a Meet-er and act this way without knowing it. The second characteristic is a Greeter.

The Greeters greatest ability is to listen. Active listening is not a passive activity. A Greeter may listen more with their ears than with their mouths. They are aware of organizational dynamics because they have a network of people who speak. The Greeter surrounds themselves with people who have suggestions. They will solicit these people with potential solutions to problems or exercises and meet with them often. The Greeter is a great listener, but also shares information when they become aware of related needs.

If we are to develop relationships with people that are healthy, productive and mutually beneficial it will require that we exercise the characteristics of Meet-ers and Greeters. It is not difficult for example to listen, to share and connect people with your similar interests.

5 Best Websites? Tough One

I was recently asked what are the 5 best websites. That is incredibly difficult. If you are as involved in electronic media as I you can rattle off 50 websites with their complete URLs in less than a minute.

Here is my quick list: – more than a website the phenomenon that is Google easily tops my best of list if it is a website, a research tool, or applications for the new knowledge-worker, the list goes on. – again, more than a website this application gives me a pulse of what is going on among my circles. In many cases my followers and I have never met. Yet we exchange common interests and backgrounds across a wide spectrum of topics. I discover and have been discovered as a result of this tool (a topic for a future post). – for me this is more than an idle time-sink. Facebook again gives me a pulse of those I know and some I do not who share interests. The networking done in facebook is reflective of person to person interactions but extend beyond realms and complement our interactions. – I heard almost 15 years ago that people will create personal websites based on their name. I have done this created a website which is an ever-evolving project where I dream, experiment and develop tools to creative innovative technical solutions. I like my own website for the sandbox ability it provides of thinking, testing, developing and sharing. – my number 5 spot changes a lot. However, I come back often to LifeHacker with its creative tips tricks and secrets for improving life and how we do the things we do.

What about you – what are your favorite websites? Leavc your favorites below as comments to share and compare.

Get Real; Get Focused

“I have never met a lazy person who thinks he is lazy. If you take time off and call in sick when you are not sick or if you work at half speed when the supervisor is not watching you are guilty of theft. You steal from the company that supports your family, but worst of all, you steal from yourself and make a statement about who you really are.” (Financial Peace Revisited, Dave Ramsey 2003 pg. 50)

These are serious claims, yet ring true for each of us. I realize better than most that if you run full tilt all the time something is going to break. Balance is necessary.