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PMINJ 1997 November Meeting

18 November 1997 - Woodbridge - Hilton



Doug DeCarlo, ICS Group
Project Management Consultant & Coach

PDP Information

It's a Jungle Out There
Leading Project Teams in Project Unfriendly Cultures
How to Survive and Thrive
PDUs: - 1.5
Leadership - 0.0
Strategic - 0.0
Technical - 1.5


  Doug provided a very entertaining evening with his insights to surviving in our project environments.  He provided three (3) secrets and ten (10) laws as a template for success with sidebars which some will never forget.

Following are some of the key thoughts from his presentation:

The project unfriendly organization =
  • Roles: sponsors, functional and senior managers micro manage
  • Rewards: you get to keep your job
  • Project Management: no consistent, common methodology in place
  • Communication: One way, incomplete, and hidden agendas
  • Priorities: Priority of the day
Circle of influence vs circle of concern • Know the difference between what can and can't be changed
  • Influence - health, family relationships, financial well being
  • Concern - economy, company, weather
  • You should be proactive to expand your circle of influence
First Secret - Your Goal is to Flourish (Not just get rid of pain)
  • First Law - Discover Your Purpose
    • Always striving, never arriving
    • The reason I am alive is _____
    • If money were not an object, what would I be doing?
    • Create a two (2) sentence mission statement:
      • 1- who are we, what is the end result and who is the customer
      • 2- why are we doing this
  • Second Law - Have an Inspiring Vision
    • Collection of thoughts and visions of success
  • Third Law - Embrace Your Worst Fears
    • What we don't embrace is our fear
    • Fear controls us
    • Brainstorming fear is risk analysis
  • Fourth Law - Choose Your Attitude
    • Are you half empty or half full
    • Keep your friends close
    • Keep your enemies closer
  • Fifth Law - Assert Yourself
    • Have the ability to say NO
    • Don't fire yourself
    • Establish:
      • Sponsor norms
      • Functional manager norms


  • Sixth Law - Resolve Conflict
    • Split between what I want versus what they are
    • DENT model:
      • D - Define conflict
      • E - Explore cause
      • N - Negotiate
      • T - Take action
    • See yourself in their position
    • Seek to understand before being understood (walk a mile ...)
    • Team meeting norms
    • Operating norms
  • Seventh Law - Empower Yourself
    • How can this help achieve your goals
  • Eighth Law - Reflect
    • Thoughts are the same for everyone:
      • Food
      • Sex
      • Work
    • Stop thoughts for awhile
    • Become the sky, not the clouds
    • Use your no-brain
    • Post mortem
  • Ninth Law - Act
    • The menu is not the restaurant
    • Do it scared
    • The Gantt chart is not the project
    • Can't just plan
  • Tenth Law - Accept Yourself Even If ...
    • Never enter adversarial relationships with yourself
    • Accept failure
    • Nothing succeeds like failure and nothing fails like success
    • Boil a frog by starting at 70 degrees and increase the temperature 1 degree a day.  The frog will enjoy the warmth of the water until he realizes that he is doomed, but will not have the strength to save himself.
    • If it ain't broke - break it.
Second Secret - The Outside = The Inside
  •  We say things that we are
Third Secret - You Don't Need Permission
  • Empower yourself
It's not the Jungle we conquer, It's ourselves

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