What have you learned recently that boosts your value-added performance and gives you a competitive edge? Ongoing learning and networking is invaluable to finding new strategies.
I'm pleased to invite you to join me for two powerful learning events that will enhance your ability to achieve results.
BREAKTHROUGH CONCEPTS IN RESOURCE PLANNING: TWO FREE SUMMIT TICKETS LEFT
Just about every professional can benefit from understanding the art and science of resource planning. I'll be among a dozen thought leaders at the Resource Planning Summit in Chicago, June 29-30 (www.ResourcePlanningSummit.com), where breakthrough information will be released that has never been in the public domain. These concepts will change the operations in large companies, and give IT powerful information that they have never had before in resource planning. Operations that previously took weeks now take 10 minutes.
The Summit is a thought leadership event dedicated to revealing recent achievements of large corporations, such as Medtronic, Motorola, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals and IDEXX, a $1B medical devices manufacturer. The Summit program is unique in that it covers how the resource management/capacity planning PM sector intersects with Finance and Operations. This integration allows the application to "run the business." These new processes are of vital interest to firms where time-to-market product development is crucial, and to firms which need to accurately forecast resource planning out six or more quarters. Companies, where across the board cuts have been mandated, risk that they will unwittingly eliminate the critical skills they need early next year. These processes reduce that threat as well as allow IT to present clarifying information in debates with stakeholders.
These new processes and tools offer better graphic and more accurate display of capacity management, which allows IT Execs to show stakeholders the precise impact of adding a projects or killing a project so that IT is not beaten by political considerations that often overrides IT.
Resource Management, up until now, has been like developing a Project Plan and never looking back at it. It is not accurate. Because the essential data often comes from manual sources, like spreadsheets, it's not complete or accurate. So, in large operations it is useless. Not to mention that some of the operations take weeks, which now takes 10 minutes. It's a Spreadsheet Killer.
The registration fee is $995; I'll draw two complementary tickets (where you would save the registration fee and just cover your travel and hotel expenses). If interested, let me know and you may be one of my guests! For others who are interested, they can get a "three for one" registration - two free with one paid. Check out www.ResourcePlanningSummit.com.
MIT SUMMER PROFESSIONAL INSTITUTE
Successful team-based organizations require leaders to be collaborative and empowering in order to create high-performance environments. Join me for a stimulating week July 20-25 on the MIT campus to learn to handle twelve specific challenges effectively.
This program is appropriate for a general audience, including but not limited to Managers, CEOs, CFOs, Doctors, Lawyers, Engineers, Scientists, Government and Military Personnel, Financial Managers, and Project Managers in any field.
Knowing how to handle these challenges prepares leaders to manage the complexities of leading teams in these complex times. Learning these skills will enhance your ability to empower team members to achieve high performance.
This program includes several assessment instrument that will clarity participant styles concerning conflict resolution, decision making, emotional intelligence, etc.
You'll learn strategies for dealing with these twelve team leadership challenges which are easy to apply in any management situation.
For more information, go to http://web.mit.edu/professional/short-programs/courses/challenges_leadership.html
Are You an Attractive Mate?...The Mirror Won't Tell you but Mother Nature Will!
by Dr. Hendrie Weisinger
I was in Las Vegas speaking at a conference for insurance agents, my audience being the agents' spouses. The day before my presentation, I was in an elevator with a group of people (most wearing the company's bade). As we began to climb, I overheard a conversation between a wife and her husband in which she berated him for losing a few dollars in the casino. It would be the example that I would use to introduce the subject of my presentation: '"The importance of being a supportive spouse," According to mother nature, being supportive is one of the basic essentials to being an attractive mate and maintaining the love of your partner.
Flash back to the young man coming home from a hunt: "I didn't do well. I caught nothing. Everyone else got something." The cave-woman who stroked his face soothingly said, "Don't worry, you will be the best tomorrow. I know you will. I believe you will," was supporting him and strengthening their bond. The woman who retorted, "You caught nothing? How could you catch nothing?" drove him away. A few hundred thousand years later, when these couple's descendants were attending a conference in Las Vegas, whose descendants do you think were having a better time?
We all want to be attractive to our mate; we all want our mate to desire us. However, while a look in the mirror might make you think you're a beauty, if you're a non supportive partner, you're probably a beast.
Being supportive to your spouse when he or she is feeling down or has experienced a setback rebuilds their confidence, and this confidence and the positive feelings it breeds fuels their belief that he or she can rebound and be successful tomorrow. This is one of the evolutionary functions of support -- it helps people recover from adversity, thus increasing their chances to survive. Being a supportive mate made you more attractive because over time, the supportive spouse is felt to be a confidence builder.
We like to feel confident so it is only natural that we would be attracted to people who build our confidence. "I couldn't have done it without my husband/wife," is homage to the supportive spouse. Thus being supportive to your spouse makes you desirable to your partner; he or she wants to be with you because your support provides them with positive energy. And there is overwhelming contemporary research indicating that marital discord is often rooted in a lack of support.
How do you express support to your partner? One way I express support to my wife and my friends is to be encouraging -- I make direct statements to them that I believe in their ability to be successful in their endeavors. I'm a positive thinker for them! Another way I provide support is simply to listen in a non-evaluative way, my goal being to clarify and validate feelings, and help them problem solve if asked. I'm curious to hear the recent ways you have been supportive to your partner or how he or she has been supportive to you?
Remember, being supportive to your partner increases the chances that when you ask, "Mirror, Mirror, in my house, am I attractive to my spouse?" you will hear a resounding "Yes", if the mirror is made by mother nature.
Coming soon, mother nature's other recommendations for being a more attractive mate.
(See Dr. Weisinger's bio in the Book of Month review.)
The essence of strategy can be expressed using simple If-then logic which connects objectives into a chain of cause effect. In my book, I describe the movie Field of Dreams, when Kevin Costner's character contemplates building a baseball field in the middle of an Iowa cornfield and says to himself:
"If we build it, then they will come."
These words capture a strategic management principle that is both simple and profound: If-then thinking. It-then thinking offers a logical language that clarifies the thinking behind any project.
If Costner had done the upfront planning using a LogFrame, his project plan might have looked much like the example LogFrame provided here.
Managing Your Emotional Operating System
By Terry Schmidt
Each July, I teach Emotional Intelligence at MIT's Professional Institute during a one week program which tackles human challenges in project teams. ( http://web.mit.edu/professional/short-programs/courses/challenges_leadership.html)
Last year, my audience was heavy with scientists, engineers and project managers. Most were suspect about the concept of an "Emotional Operating System" until I presented the metaphor that follows. They rapidly grasped that emotions function as a logical system, which could be actively managed to increase performance.
An Emotional Operating System (EOS) is much like a project management system or any logical system. Seasoned professionals understand that projects - of whatever type - are organized systems designed to achieve important objectives. All systems contain five basic elements-Inputs, processing (throughputs), Outputs, a feedback/ measures loop-all within an environment of some sort.
Any system or project has these same elements: (1) Inputs include resources, people, technology -- the raw project ingredients; (2) Outputs are the deliverables and business results you are responsible for producing; Execution boils down to convert Inputs to Outputs through (3) processing using Project Management. You collect (4) feedback from key success measures; and every system operates within an (5) environment.
What's surprising is that these same five elements found in project management systems are also found in your EOS.
Your Emotional Intelligence (EI) is formed by the ability to be aware of your EOS as well as by being able to be sensitive to and influential in employing other people's EOS. This systems perspective lets us understand how emotions can also be managed in a logical fashion to achieve project results through people.
When the system of interest is you, rather than the project, Inputs are the events and the people around us that provide sensory information. We receive sensory information primarily through human interaction and by what we see and hear around us, by noticing other people, their behaviors, actions, body language and so forth.
We then process that information, where the outputs then become how we respond behaviorally with Outputs-our own words and actions. But remember that like with any system, your output responses depend on how you process-and that's the vital job of your EOS.
Now let's dive deeper by viewing your EOS as "internal software" that consists of three interacting components:
- your thoughts -- what you think and say to yourself
- your physiological state -- sensations and arousal in your body
- your emotions -- the feelings you hold at that moment (or the thought/labels you attach to those physiological states)
Picture these three components as an equilateral triangle - thoughts at one point, your physiological state at another, and your emotions at the third.
These three components operate as an integrated system, with each one influencing the other. When you sense anxiety (an emotion), you are probably tense (physical); and those conditions are usually caused by what you may be thinking about (e.g., upsetting problems). For example, thinking angry thoughts makes you become angry and increases your heartbeat and blood pressure. If you find yourself shouting, no doubt your thoughts are laced with anger. There are ways to separate the interconnections in order to disconnect the input and output such as through taking a deep breath and relaxing, which changes both your thoughts and physiology to diminish your anger.
You can use these concepts to put yourself in good moods, reduce discouragement and anxiety, and have a greater sense of joy as well as get more done.
Remember this: It is not the external inputs that cause your reaction and behavior, it is how you process that input and respond. It doesn't matter what a jerk Charlie seems to be or that Mary comes off as inconsiderate. Their "annoying behavioral Outputs" unfortunately become your "annoying Inputs." But, you have choices regarding how to process those Inputs and respond. By talking to yourself in a different way, you can recall all the times that Charlie or Mary have been helpful and view the situation as an isolated incident, which helps you process the incident more positively.
Multiplying interpersonal effectiveness begins with being aware of the dynamics of your EOS. By being aware of how emotions operate systemically and within your system gives you an edge to managing and influencing yourself - and others - towards positive outcomes.
The Genius of Instinct: Reclaim Mother Nature's Tools for Enhancing Your Health, Happiness, Family, and Work
Dr. Hendrie Weisinger
This month's book is The Genius of Instinct: Reclaim Mother Nature's Tools for Enhancing Your Health, Happiness, Family, and Work by Dr. Hendrie Weisinger. By way of disclosure, Dr. Weisinger is a former fellow faculty colleague at the UCLA Technical Management Program and a close friend.
There are thousands of self-development books that promise solutions that will let you feel good and function better. You'll find good ideas, tools and techniques among them, such as calling for positive thinking, loving yourself and taking action. You'll also find a predictable "list of 10 steps."
Weisinger's book takes an unusual and provocative path, drawing from evolutionary psychology and offering fresh new lessons about the power of instincts and their capacity to transform our lives.
Weisinger makes a compelling case that you are automatically hardwired for success, and by reconnecting with the instincts Mother Nature gave you, you can thrive in every aspect of your life-at home, at work, in relationships with others and with yourself. Parents, managers and just about anyone will resonate with the very practical insights he provides while helping you rediscover the six most indispensable human instincts that have evolved over millions and millions of years.
Written in a simple and lively style, Weisinger uses vignettes from animal life to illustrate mother nature's ways. For example, he explains the roosts used by female bats must provide a safe and secure environment that protects her family from predators, and provides a suitable microclimate for supporting her offspring both in the womb and after birth. He goes on to show how we humans seek an empowering environment, and how shelter-seeking instincts cause people to stay in relationships or jobs, even when they are imperfect because we are loss averse.
The pages are sprinkled with delightful examples and common-sense insights that support his premise and provide a deep sense of meaning.
I particular enjoyed the Appendix, with its "Life Enhancement Instinct Inventory" that let you self-evaluate and identify ways to apply the specific instinctual behaviors to increase your effectiveness on the job and off.
This is a book to be highlighted, savored, and discussed around the dinner table. My instinct tells me you'll enjoy it!
Table of Contents
Part I: Shelter Seek...So You Can Find Your Home 9
Chapter 1: Selecting an Empowering Environment 11
Chapter 2: The Face of Emotions 17
Chapter 3: Home Hunting 27
Chapter 4: Shelter Seeking Today 37
Part II: Care Solicit...So You Can Protect Your Vulnerabilities 51
Chapter 5: Protecting Your Vulnerabilities 53
Chapter 6: The Benefits of Vulnerability 65
Chapter 7: The Importance of Ghost Busters 71
Chapter 8: Care Soliciting Today 77
Part III: Care Give...So You Can Develop the Future 89
Chapter 9: Developing the Future 91
Chapter 10: I Gave at the Office 95
Chapter 11: Care Giving Today 99
Part IV: Beautify...So You Can Pull People Toward You 115
Chapter 12: Pulling People Toward You 117
Chapter 13: Beautify Today 123
Chapter 14: Broadly Attractive 133
Part V: Co-op...So You Can Get People Working Together 143
Chapter 15: Team Game 145
Chapter 16: Interaction: Play Ball! 153
Chapter 17: Stimulating Cooperation 161
Chapter 18: Co-Op Today 173
Part VI: Curious?...So You Can Stay Ahead of the Pack 185
Chapter 19: Accelerating Your Learning 187
Chapter 20: Becoming a Curious George/Georgette 193
Chapter 21: Curiosity Every Day 205
Chapter 22: Curiosity Satisfied 219
Conclusion: Use Your Natural Genius 231
Appendix: The Life Enhancement Instinct Inventory 233
Dr. Hendrie Weisinger is trained in clinical, counseling, and organizational psychology. His work is known internationally. A New York Times bestselling author, he is a leading authority on the application of emotional intelligence, an expert in anger management, and the originator of the highly regarded techniques of criticism training. He has consulted to and conducts workshops for numerous Fortune 500 Companies and government agencies. Learn more about him at www.HendrieWeisinger.com
A Lawyer, a Blonde and a Bet on a Plane
A lawyer and a blonde woman are sitting next to each other on a long flight from L.A. to New York. The lawyer leans over to her and asks if she would like to play a fun game. The blonde is tired and just wants to take a nap, so she politely declines and rolls over to the window to catch a few winks. The lawyer persists and explains how the game works, "I ask you a question, and if you don't know the answer, you pay me, and visa-versa."
Again, she politely declines and tries to get some sleep. The chauvinistic lawyer figures he will easily win the match since his opponent is a blonde, so he makes another offer, "Okay, how about this. If you don't know the answer you pay me only $5, but if I don't know the answer, I will pay you $50."
This catches the blonde's attention and, figuring that there will be no end to this torment unless she plays, she agrees to play the game. The lawyer asks the first question. "What's the distance from the earth to the moon?"
The blonde doesn't say a word, reaches into her purse, pulls out a five dollar bill and hands it to the lawyer. Now it's the blonde's turn. She asks the lawyer, "What goes up a hill with three legs and comes down with four?"
The lawyer looks at her with a puzzled look. He takes out his laptop computer and searches all his references. He dials the airphone and searches the internet, from Wikipedia to the Library of Congress. He sends e-mails to everyone he knows, with no success. After an hour of searching for the answer, he finally gives up. He wakes the blonde and hands her $50. The blonde politely takes the $50 and turns away to get back to sleep.
The lawyer, who is more than a little frustrated, wakes the blonde again and asks, "Well, so what IS the answer?"
Again without a word, the blonde reaches into her purse, hands the lawyer $5, and goes back to sleep.