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October 29, 2015 In this edition:
I am currently in the midst of multiple massive initiatives that each involve demanding stakeholders/clients/bosses and firehose-levels of information inundation. I confess to experiencing, at least once, a sudden desire to crawl under a blanket until the latest firestorm is over! But that led to thinking about not just how to survive the demands, but how to thrive in the midst of all the challenges – how to ultimately be successful as well as enjoy the ride.

Which brings me to the subject of "personal effectiveness". Unfortunately, lots is out of our control at work. But we have control over how we work. My individual effectiveness – in how I manage my time, handle requests of me and my teams, interact with colleagues and superiors, and handle stress and challenges – will have much to do with whether I ultimately fail, or merely survive, or actually thrive. I believe this is true for all of us.

This is good news! It's worth our consideration. Better days, better results, more fun along the way – it all starts with us. I therefore decided to dedicate this week's newsletter to multiple facets of the very worthy goal of stupendous personal effectiveness.

» Featured Article
» Spotlight
» Where's ProjectConnections?
» Corporate Subscriptions

Featured Article
Just say "No" – your responsibility to exposing reality and negotiating
by Alan Koch

Alan Koch "This is what we need. You can use these resources. And you must deliver it by that date." Does this sound familiar? If so, you are not alone. Many project managers find themselves in just such a situation. There are lots of dictates, no flexibility, and more often than not little realism in the demands.

What value is there in estimation when your sponsor seems to have no interest in finding out what it will really take to do the project? The constraints have been chiseled in stone and we can't change them. End of story. Our job boils down to trying to keep the project from being too much of a disaster.

Although it may not seem to be true, we can negotiate unrealistic project expectations. Read the rest »

Spotlight – Other Project Templates, Tools, and Techniques
From the blogs — 7 Things a Project Manager Should NOT Be Doing
by Brian Irwin

There is no shortage of information on the activity, processes, and tasks that project managers should be performing. It is more difficult to find information on those activities project managers should not be doing. Whether I am teaching, mentoring, or just speaking to a group of project managers about how to manage a project or what they should be doing on a daily and/or weekly basis, the most over-used excuse that I hear is, "But I/we don't have time to do these things." If a project manager has little or no time to do the things required in the managing of a project, on what is time being spent? Perhaps the time is being spent on things that a project manager should not be doing.

From the blogs — "Stop the Madness #1" - Adeptly avoid spontaneous hallway project starts
by Ed Reynolds

"We really should do something about that…" There's plenty of work to do out there without making stuff up out of thin conversation. Ed Reynolds discusses the importance of Managing Up and seeking clarity, even when it's uncomfortable.

Meeting Ground Rules Template — "Stop the Madness #2" – Conquer time- and soul-sucking meeting issues
This Premium resource is free to registered Members until November 12, 2015
Yes, it's possible (to stop meeting madness). And it's actually amazing what a few ground rules will do for everyone's behavior, sanity, and productivity. This template outlines the various areas that meeting ground rules should cover, examples from different situations, and how to set ground rules with your team.

Burning Question & Template — You have more time than you think – but only if you know where it's going! Find out where your days are leaking away in dribbles of or whooshing away in floods of urgent but not really important activities. This burning question outlines steps for getting insight into your time; this Time Management Assessment Log gives you a tool for doing so.

From the blogs — From personal uncertainty to broad-based confidence and effectiveness — Ann Drinkwater on ways we can and should take the initiative to continually develop ourselves -- to be able to strongly and productively handle whatever comes our way.

Off-site article — When the going gets tough, the [mentally] tough are ready! We all reach critical points in our lives where our mental toughness is tested. It might be because of a toxic friend or colleague, a dead-end job, or a struggling relationship. [my insert – "or crazy projects!]… Whatever the challenge, you have to be strong, see things through a new lens, and take decisive action if you want to move through it successfully. This article lays out 15 important qualities for developing mental toughness.

Where's ProjectConnections?
To help participants develop purpose, vision, negotiating, influence, and sales skills, Alfonso Bucero and Randy Englund present "Integrating People, Organizational, and Technical Skills: The Complete Project Manager," December 7-10 in San Diego, California for PMI SeminarsWorld.

Where's ProjectConnections?
To help participants develop purpose, vision, negotiating, influence, and sales skills, Alfonso Bucero and Randy Englund present "Integrating People, Organizational, and Technical Skills: The Complete Project Manager," October 7-10, 2015, in Orlando, Florida, prior to the PMI Global Congress. They also conduct this session December 7-10 in San Diego, California for PMI SeminarsWorld.

Corporate Subscriptions and Licensing
Want your team members to have their own access to templates and how-to resources for their project work? Need to share documents and deliverables beyond your project team? We make it easier with affordable corporate subscriptions and licensing. Detailed information regarding corporate options is available online. Give your whole team, or even the entire organization, cost-effective access to our comprehensive online library of resources. You already know how helpful it's been for you. Now it's time to share with everyone else. Find out more »

Not sure if corporate terms apply to you? Check out our licensing terms at the top of our Terms of Service page, in refreshingly ordinary, everyday English.

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