November 18, 1997, Woodbridge, NJ
It's a Jungle Out There
Leading Project Teams in Project Unfriendly Cultures
How to Survive and Thrive
Doug DeCarlo, ICS Group
Project Management Consultant & Coach

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

Updated: 09Jun09