Quote Archive

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Oh the Places You’ll Go!

My nephew just graduated from college. As I enjoyed a bottle of “Graduation Ale” home brew, at his graduation party, I noticed a quote from Dr. Seuss printed on the label.  This quote is applicable to so many of us.  Are you a new graduate or a long-standing member of an empowered team? Give it a read.

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…

Image Source: Pictofigo

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Walt Disney Quote

As my family and I were walking through Disney World last week, we noticed a lot of construction going on.  Come to find out, Fantasyland is getting a big face-lift.  We could see what appeared to be another castle being built and some mammoth big top tents.  We were told that it will be completed in 2012.

But this post is not about Disney World construction, it’s about giving credit where credit is due.  As we were racing to get from one side of the Magic Kingdom to the other, my wife said she saw the perfect sign for me.  I’m sure I shot her some kind of momentary puzzled look without slowing my pace.  I was focused on getting from point A (Frontierland) to point B (Tomorrowland) in the shortest time possible.  It’s tragic that I was at the wonderful world of Disney’s Magic Kingdom and I couldn’t stop and soak in my surroundings.  Don’t worry, I got better as the day went on.  But let’s get back to this sign that my wife spotted.

Clearly my wife knew this sign was more important than getting to Tomorrowland in record time.  She was able to get me to look her right in the eye and this time she said “Honey, it talked about a project.”  I paused, processed the new information, did an about-face, and made a B-line for the sign.  Yep, she was absolutely right.  The sign was awesome.  Too many times I get my blog post ideas from my wife and I never give her credit for them.  The sign said

“When we go into that new
project, we believe in it all the
way.  We have confidence in our
ability to do it right.”

– Walt Disney

So, let it be known, my wife gets full credit for spotting the sign and inspiring this post. Without her, it wouldn’t have been.  If you’re leading a team or just a member of a team, don’t forget to listen to others.  You have to accept that some of the best ideas are going to come from them.  When those awesome ideas come your way, don’t forget to give them credit.

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The Stormy Present

The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise — with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.

That passage was read by Abraham Lincoln in 1862.  As I read it today, I couldn’t help but think of a parallel.  I hear of projects struggling and hear people complain that this is just how we’ve always done it…and that this is good enough.  Why don’t you stop and ask yourself why?  At a time when the country and the world struggle financially, shouldn’t you consider just for a moment, that the ways we used to do things may no longer be good enough?  I think if you let go of the past and keep an open mind, there is time to save your project.

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A Quote That Spoke To Me

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice.

And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

– Steve Jobs

Image from Treehugger.com

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Week of the Elephant

I’m not sure of the origin, but as I was watching an adventure race years ago, I heard an awesome quote.  One of the contestants was asked how he was able to trek a 300 mile course, navigating so many obstacles through so much adversity.  His reply was “even an elephant can be eaten, if you do it a bite at a time“.   Though I try not to whip that quote out every time one of my colleagues appears stuck on a project, I do like to bring it out for special occasions.  I think this may be one of them.

3 things happened this week, that rate the reference:  Work during the day, school, and work during the night.

By day, I’m an adviser to a Federal Project Management Office.  I’m not in a position to tell government employees what they should or should not do.  It’s my job to advise and support them in any way I can.  This week, they asked me to attend an invoice meeting.  This wasn’t a surprise.  Upon reviewing the vendor’s invoice from last month, I wasn’t satisfied the Billing of Materials (BOM).  There was a lot of stuff ordered and I am very particular about asset management.  I recommended a 7 figure short pay.  I don’t think it’s important to be specific about the amount.  My client decided to do a 6 figure short pay.  At the 2 hour meeting, we went line by line and the vendor offered corrective actions for items I recommended not be paid.  I accepted some of their proposed corrective actions but they still need to deliver on some promised if they want all of the invoice paid.  One month down, another to go.

Our son started Kindergarten this week. We weren’t sure how he was going to take to it.  Until Monday of this week, we were convinced he was going to be crying at the bus stop, wanting to say home with Mommy.  We figured he’d come around in time.  Monday arrive and so did the bus.  He ran aboard almost before we could give a hug and a kiss goodbye.  He returned some 8 hours later and ran off the bus with a big smile on his face.  The adventures that boy had!  Here it is Friday night and he’s fast asleep.  One week down, 16 years to go.

At night, I find myself reading the PMBOK® or project management blogs and writing PHP, CSS, and JavaScript. Back in March of 2009, I realized I wanted to create something to help project managers on a grand scale.  That’s when I started doing mockups and wireframes for what was to become the HueCubed engine and PMPrep Flashcards.  One year later we launched version 1.0.  This week I worked on 2 new jQuery elements and tonight deployed v1.2.12.  The web application has been progressing nicely and both customers and affiliates are signing up.  Though I never thought we’d get to v1.0, I now do an iterative build and deployment at least once a week.

For those interested, I still have plans for a PMPrep Exam Simulator web app and Prince2 Flashcard web app.  And yes, we’re going to be doing an iPhone application.

Graphic: South African Tours and Travel