Goodbye, mr. President.

dr. Janez Drnovsek
2nd President of the Republic of Slovenia

1950 - 2008

$0.00 Is the Future of Business

Wired strikes again. For all of those in the US, you can get this months edition of Wired for free. For all those not - it's on-line, as usual. However, I'd like to share this gem of a marketing idea with everyone:

"On a busy corner in São Paulo, Brazil, street vendors pitch the latest "tecnobrega" CDs, including one by a hot band called Banda Calypso. Like CDs from most street vendors, these did not come from a record label. But neither are they illicit. They came directly from the band. Calypso distributes masters of its CDs and CD liner art to street vendor networks in towns it plans to tour, with full agreement that the vendors will copy the CDs, sell them, and keep all the money. That's OK, because selling discs isn't Calypso's main source of income. The band is really in the performance business — and business is good. Traveling from town to town this way, preceded by a wave of supercheap CDs, Calypso has filled its shows and paid for a private jet."

Business 2.5. :) There's always a point in "giving" away things - in Projects, sucking up some freebies that you'd normally charge to the customer can - and usually does - result in a very happy customer, one that asks for more changes, and those you can charge at your going rate. It's about building credibility, about creating trust and about "leading the way" (Sorry, that's a rip-off of an Avaya saying ;)) to where you want to go.

Don't be afraid of doing things for free. Just know what you want to get out of them

More at [Wired].

Seven Habits of Highly Effective Spaceship Captains. Err... Project Managers.

You find good hints in the most unlikely of places.

For the record, I'm a bit of a Sci-Fi buff. No, not that kind, the good kind! HONEST! (Actually, it's worse, I like Hard Sci-fi and Military Sci-Fi, with a dash of Space Opera...)

Anyway. Embarrassing confession for the day - done. The folks over at io9 (a Gawker Media Sci-Fi themed blog) came up with a list of "Seven Habits of Highly Effective Spaceship Captains".

Right, so it's a bit tongue-in-cheek to apply this to Project Management, but hey, read them yourself. (I stripped them of the Sci-Fi comparisons, but if you're really interested, click on the link above to read the whole text):

  1. Rules are made to be broken.
  2. Show your crew that you're willing to take a bullet for them, and they'll do the same for you.
  3. A good leader has to get laid once in a while, and she shouldn't be ashamed of it.
  4. True leaders do not ever make decisions alone.
  5. It's not the tools; it's what you do with them.
  6. A little subversion goes a long way.
  7. No matter how in control you are, always be ready for something for which you're completely unprepared.
Now... Don't take them all completely seriously - use your judgment, man! (or woman, we're not sexist here)...

I like 1, 2, 4 and 7. How about you?

[Annalee Newitz at io9]

Eliminate the F–Words

Eliminate the F–Words
By William Arruda

If you want to get ahead in your career, you have to stop using four–letter words that begin with the letter ‘F’.

No, I’m not talking about cleaning your mouth out with soap. Of course, cursing your boss is probably not going to get you very far. But the F–words I share with you here are far more lethal, more destructive and more devastating to your career and professional fulfillment.

The ugliest four–letter words that begin with ‘F’ can hold you back if you don’t keep them in check. The words?

F _ _ R
F A _ _
F _ N _

Have you guessed them?

The key to career success is to get the F–words out of your vocabulary, mindset and actions. Here’s how.


“Look not mournfully into the past. It comes not back again. Wisely improve the present. It is thine. Go forth to meet the shadowy future, without fear.”
–Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Sometimes fear is good. If you are walking alone down a dark alley at night, fear will keep you alert. However, in the workplace, fear is often less productive.

I work with lots of clients, many at the C–level, most of whom can become paralyzed or at least ‘slowed down’ by fear from time to time. And once they are able to look at the situation that prompted the fear from a different lens, they open up to new opportunities.

In your job search, fear can prevent you from making a networking connection or asking a high–profile colleague for help. It can impact an interview with a prospective hiring manager or stop you from applying for a position that you would really like to have. Fear impedes success; and fear breeds more fear. So the more you fear, the worse the fear becomes.

Replace the word ‘fear’ with ‘greet’. Greet challenges rather than being afraid of them. After all, a challenge is really an opportunity to shine and to grow and demonstrate your greatness. If you hope for the best rather than fear the worst as you search for your next job, you’ll be far more successful, and you’ll enjoy the process.


“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.”
–Sir Winston Churchill

If you never fail, you aren’t taking enough risks. And without risk, you don’t grow or stretch yourself. Without growth, you stagnate, while those around you move ahead. Failing, if you look at it from a different perspective, is really a step in succeeding. So replace the word ‘fail’ with ‘grow’.

Often, it is fear of failure that prevents action.

In your job search, failing can be valuable. When you get down to the shortlist of candidates but are not selected, you can learn a lot that will be useful to your next hiring opportunity – perhaps for an even better position. If you chose not to risk failure, you risk growth.

Highlighting your failures during a job interview can be just as powerful. Let a prospective manager know that you are motivated to take calculated risks, and willing to fail if it means learning, growing professionally, and moving forward. Take inventory of events that you classified as failures and look for the growth that came from that. That growth is valuable content for your resume, cover letter, and personal web site.


“Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself, but talent instantly recognizes genius.”
–Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

I think fine is the ugliest of all four–letter words. No one gets excited about things that are fine.

“Hey Chris, how’s the new guy in sales doing?”

“Oh, he’s fine.”

Fine, adequate, average, OK. Do you want your work or candidature to be described with these words?

Yet, you were trained from a young age to become fine. In fact, your full–time job has probably involved resolving weaknesses instead of maximizing strengths. Sure, I think it’s great to improve your weaknesses – but not at the expense of maximizing your strengths, and only if those weaknesses will get in the way of your success. When you apply your strengths to everything you do, you raise yourself far above ‘fine.’ You become great, excellent, exceptional, extraordinary. And that’s how you want to be known. Isn’t it?

When you stop being fine and focus on your greatness, people will use superlatives to describe you. You start to build your personal brand around those things that make you differentiated and interesting.

Replace the word ‘fine’ with ‘great’ and strive for greatness by leveraging strengths rather than improving weaknesses. Never settle for adequate.

If your resume or online identity is fine, work with a career coach to make it great. And if you interviewing skills are ‘fine’ practice interviewing until they are stellar. After all, with so many candidates for each open position, it isn’t likely that the hiring manager will be satisfied with fine.

Eliminate the F–Words

To eliminate these words, practice makes perfect. And the key to eliminating them is to first recognize when they are part of your vocabulary and your actions. So it’s up to you. “Fear, fail, fine” or “greet, grow, great”. Decide which words will be a part of your vocabulary and approach to your job search, and then make decisions accordingly.

Be great!

William Arruda is a career coach and one of the world’s leading personal branding experts. He, along with his partner, Kirsten Dixson, developed the Reach Branding Club, a unique, web–based, multi–media personal branding program for consultants, executives and professionals with members from all over the world.

Copy/pasted from the newsletter on 6th Feb. Appropriated without permission, so let me know if it needs to be removed. All rights belong to, Inc. | 137 Varick St., 8th Floor | New York, NY 10013, and I strongly suggest you register with them - the newsletters alone are worth it, and there's a free membership option!

Please excuse the inappropriate behaviour.

Imagine this.

David blogs about becoming a PMP, and complains about the state of PM-ing-as-a-profession in Slovenia, and the inactivity of the Slovenian PMI chapter.
"... I've never heard a peep out of the Slovenian one. Frankly, I was surprised that Slovenia even had a chapter - last I checked, PMing as a profession wasn't really on the map yet. Not that anyone has a map."

A kind reader points him in another direction - that of the IPMA and its Slovenian Chapter (caution, in Slovenian only). So, I drop them a mail saying "Hey, I'd like to take your certification as well - on a private basis, as I need to do PMP at work anyway." Seeing as I used their official form, that they've got the application on-line, and that the deadline to apply for this years certification is 20th of Feb - you'd think I'd get an answer pretty quickly, right?

No such luck.

Let me guess: they cater mostly to Government institutions and State-owned companies? Do over-analyzing courses in PM theory? Maybe a dash of out-of-office-let's-all-go-to-Bled trainings?

And then they, see, heaven help us, Capitalists! Ones not working in the country? Expats? EVIL! EVIL I TELL YOU! RUN, RUN AWAY!

State of PMing in Slovenia on the 5th of February, 2008: Still dead.


Oh my. Two of the expert articles in the last edition of the magazine:

"Strategic and Project coordination as a condition for successful construction of railway infrastructure on the example of an... entrance"??! (... and question marks/exclamations are mine, maybe "entryway" is meant, as the article discusses international rail corridors), and:

"Post project Projects of recycling plant construction". (what the fuck is an post-project project?)
It deals with the - pardon me - shit that is produced after recycling water in a recycling plant.

Now, as completely valid and inherently useful as these two things are, they do - ever so slightly - reinforce my opinion as to which market segment the organization is playing (and who is doing the paying).

And it ain't mine.

PMI membership renewal time...

Someone, remind me, why do I need to pay 119$ to these folks again? Actually, that's not the issue - I know what I get for the money - a cheaper exam (for, shockingly enough, 119$), the magazine, some e-mail news and a good website as a resource.
But the local chapters (I'm in the Hungarian and the Slovenian ones) confuse me. Really, what's the point? The Hungarian one sends me mails in Hungarian (asking for a mail in English got me a packaged response in Hungarian), and I've never heard a peep out of the Slovenian one. Frankly, I was surprised that Slovenia even had a chapter - last I checked, PMing as a profession wasn't really on the map yet. Not that anyone has a map.

Ah well. Seeing as this year I really will get around to passing the PMP (no, really, it's in my development objectives at work, so I have to pass it if I want my bonus), I'll at least use it. If anyone wants to get in touch with me, I'm 893543. Look for me on the "PMP list" in a couple of months.

(If I'm not in jail, because I shoot someone for the "PMI way of thinking", which is, in my insignificant, humble opinion, in certain cases about as much in touch with reality as the good folks over at [io9].)

[Project Management Institute]