In an era where content is king, publishing a book or ebook is a powerful way to not only distinguish yourself as a professional in your field, but to attract many more customers and clients to your business.
Want to learn how?
Then you won't want to miss award-winning author Dalya Massachi as she presents, "Publishing Your eBook for Greater Business Impact," at our complimentary Lunch & Learn Webinar on 12/5/13 at noon PT.
Click now to register for the free webinar!
We just love this shareable, printable, and refreshingly sensible "Social Media Checklist for Business" infographic from The Whole Brain Group.
Managing social media for your business, brand, or organization can seem like an overwhelming task, but it doesn't have to be.
You can make even more sense of social media at our brand new Social Media Academy, featuring 14 different online social media classes! Our hour-long webinars will teach you everything you need to know about Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, Social Media Marketing, Personal Branding, Social Media Tools, and more.
Click now to view our schedule and class descriptions.
Have you heard of Agile? Agile is a popular software development production method, but is also used in a variety of other fields in the areas of project management, innovation development, and more. Project managers, business owners, executives, leaders, and change managers would well benefit from learning about this powerful development methodology that works in an ongoing, iterative approach, and always with the end customer or user in mind.
Watch the video below to hear a great explanation of Agile (in under 5 minutes!).
And please join us for our FREE Lunch & Learn Webinar on Nov. 7, 2013 to learn even more about how Agile can power productivity and innovation at your business or organization: An 'Agile' State of Mind: How Agile software development & values power productivity (in business and beyond).
Click to register now for the free webinar.
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Software Advice recently published their research on four successful personalities in the workplace, “Psychological Profiles of the Dream Team.”
The profile of The Champ (and the Chip) provides an analysis of a Champ’s characteristics, motivations, strengths, and challenges.
The Champ is the ideal, high-performing salesperson. Champs are full of energy, positivity, and confidence. These attributes, along with a gift for conversation and a healthy ego, help make them good at what they do. Their confidence makes them good salespeople and, sometimes, good leaders.
What some refer to as a “chip on the shoulder” is a defining characteristic of the Champ. Whether the Chip comes from a lack of education, scarce economic resources or the Champ’s physical appearance, it often serves as a motivating factor, driving them towards success.
Strengths of the Champ
Some of the distinguishing traits that make Champs great include:
Optimism. Champs have an innate belief that they will succeed. This helps them push on positively with their sales calls, even in the face of rejection.
People skills. Champs have a natural ability to read people. They are great conversationalists and love human interaction.
Confidence. Champs are confident (but not cocky). They believe in themselves and their team.
Some of the unique challenges for Champs include:
Arrogance. That confidence that serves the Champ so well in sales and leadership can manifest as arrogance in an immature Champ who has let his ego grow unchecked.
Conflict. If that little Chip on the Champ’s shoulder becomes really big, it can turn to cockiness, resulting in conflicts with authority and management.
Turnover. Champs have a higher turnover rate than some other personality types, because they absolutely must be on a winning team. They will look elsewhere if their current team isn’t successful enough.
The Champ is a valuable team member who makes an excellent candidate for a career in sales, c-level executive roles or politics.
To learn about famous Champs and how to identify, hire and manage a Champ, read the in-depth profile on The New Talent Times.
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by Jennifer Weland, Owner of Evolve Fitness & Coaching, and People-OnTheGo Faculty Member
A day full of meetings and demands from boss and coworkers. The 7 p.m. dinner reservation. Picking the kids up from soccer practice at 5. Shopping for groceries. Keeping the house habitable. And everything else on the never-ending “to do” list. Trying to keep up with all of life’s demands can take a toll on your energy—physically and mentally.
Four simple practices—what I call the L.E.S.S. is more approach—can help you recharge and give your mind and body what it needs. So you’ll be able to accomplish more with energy to spare.
Technology is great for keeping us connected and managing our to-do lists. But the problem with always being connected is that you’re always connected. Which means that it’s much harder for you to separate your week from your weekend, or your workday from your evening. We need down time. When you don’t get enough, it can completely drain your energy, unravel your relationships, stymie your stress recovery and ultimately ruin your productivity, research suggests.
Not only can your devices drain your energy, they can also drain away time you could be spending doing other awesome stuff (like sleeping in, connecting with friends, or spending time with family). Can you go a day without getting on the computer, without picking up the iPad, and without constantly checking your phone? And did you ever notice how we’re sort of like Pavlov’s dog when we hear the ping of our device? We HAVE to check–we can’t help it! If you can’t leave your phone at home or in the car, one of my favorite tricks is to put it on silent so I’m not tempted to check it every time I hear the ping. Here’s a great article on why unplugging is good for our mental health.
I recommend turning off the TV, too. Television itself can be tiring, and the older you get, the fewer and fewer stress-reducing benefits you get from a session with the boob tube, a University of California, San Diego study says. Instead of numbing your mind as a way to rejuvenate, stimulate it.
Try taking a walk along a scenic trail. Spending time in nature can help restore your energy and focus.
Put on some music. Research shows it can reduce anxiety, lower blood pressure, and decrease stress hormones, and that it may increase feel-good hormones like exercise does. Music + exercise? Even better!
Or, just curl up with a good book.
The food on your plate can be the deciding factor between a sluggish and a supercharged day. A few small adjustments can go a long way toward optimizing your energy intake, such as:
not waiting too long between meals (ideally, you would not wait longer than four hours between meals)
swapping simple carbs like those primarily made of white flour and sugar, for complex carbs like sweet potatoes, oats and whole grain bread.
adding in “super foods” including salmon, blueberries and almonds since they can actually help you stress less.
Your goal is to keep your blood glucose levels steady throughout the day. You don’t want to be on the glucose roller coaster. Once you spike it, you go through the inevitable crash and the cycle starts all over again.
And if coffee is your energy pick-me-up of choice, you may want to rethink how much caffeine you’re getting. Being over-caffeinated raises cortisol levels, makes you jittery and anxious and dehydrates you. Limit yourself to two cups a day, and for every cup of coffee you have, drink a glass of water.
Stand Up and Move More
Getting up and moving more throughout the day can benefit you many ways. From increasing blood flow to muscles, boosting productivity and creative thinking, to improving your posture. And it will help you beat back the effects of sitting disease, which zaps your energy and puts you at risk for a whole host of health problems.
Expending energy on exercise actually creates MORE for you to use, because it releases a flood of chemicals in your brain, like dopamine, that create feelings of greater energy. Maximize that feel-good response by getting at least 30 minutes of cardio four or five times a week and at least two, 30-45 minute muscle-strengthening sessions each week. Yoga can also be restorative because of the type of deep breathing that’s incorporated into it. Download cardio and strength workouts to try from my blog.
It’s ironic that one of the biggest energy consumers of our day has nothing to do with packed schedules or sweaty workouts. If you don't learn to manage your stress, little everyday stressors, like sitting in traffic, can cause a total energy meltdown. Not at first, because your initial reaction to stress is that your body starts pumping the hormone cortisol into your bloodstream, giving you an adrenaline rush. Your heart rate rises, your muscles tense, and your mind goes on high alert. But the rush is unsustainable, and before long your energy starts to crash, leaving you feeling foggy and unfocused.
Plus, when stress is always present, your body can’t get rid of the excess cortisol that builds up in your blood. It hangs around-sort of like the houseguest that won’t leave-turning your young fat cells into mature fat cells that stay with you forever. That excess cortisol can also increase your cravings for high-fat, high-carb foods because they cause chemical releases in the brain that make you feel good and counteract the stress side effects. Check out these tips to stress less.
Which tips sound like something you will try? What are your tips for recharging and reducing stress at work and at home? I’d love to hear what you tried and how it worked for you, or please leave your comment below.
Additional Resources & Webinars
We recently hosted the Director of IT Quality at UCSF Medical Center, Pierre Brickey, at our complimentary, Lunch & Learn Webinar, "Lean in Action: Streamline your process and achieve results!" In his presentation, Pierre shared about the remarkable improvements the IT Department has been making at the San Francisco hospital. You're invited to watch the recording of the 40-minute session in our Accomplishing More With Less groups on Facebook and LinkedIn.
Our next free webinar on Thursday, November 7 also deals with productivity and process improvement: "An 'Agile' State of Mind: How Agile software development & values power productivity (in business and beyond)." You can click here to register for the webinar now.
By request from participants, Pierre Brickey has kindly shared his recommended reading on Lean process improvement. Here are his selections:
1. Lean Thinking: Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation by James P. Womack and Daniel T. Jones
2. Learning to See: Value Stream Mapping to Add Value and Eliminate MUDA by Mike Rother and and John Shook
3. The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles from the World's Greatest Manufacturer by Jeffrey Liker
Are you using currently employing Lean in your business or organization? What books or methodologies do you recommend on process improvement? Please leave your comment below.
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Have you heard about Lean? Derived mainly from Toyota's Production System, Lean is a customer-focused production process and organizational philosophy that centers on the idea of "preserving value with less work." Eventhough Lean originated in the manufacturing industry, it has been applied to a multitude of industries as a powerful, process-improvement model.
To learn much more about how lean can improve your business, sign up for our free webinar on Thursday, October 3, Lean in Action: Streamline your processes and achieve results!. This complimentary session is presented by Pierre Brickey, Director of IT Quality at UCSF Medical Center, who has over twenty years of experience in the technology industry spanning the defense, telecom, and healthcare sectors.
Register now for the FREE Lean webinar!
And don't forget to check out these three, awesome infographics, below, that will get you started on understanding what Lean is all about.
Click each image below to expand.
By Melissa Sweat, Online Community Manager
"When you manage a project for efficiency, accuracy, and speed, it’s not just about managing the details and flow of the project, it’s about managing the details of the details."
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By Lynda McDaniel, Your Write with Confidence Coach
Lynda will be teaching a two-part webinar on Sept. 10 & 17, How to write attention-grabbing, brand-building blogs, articles, and social media. Click here to register for the sessions.
She'll also be presenting at our FREE Lunch & Learn Webinar on Sept. 12 at noon PT: Unleash Your Inner Storyteller for Business Writing. Register now for the complimentary session!
“Take breaks” ranks high on my list of favorite writing tips. It’s an excellent example of “accomplishing more with less” and can boost the results you get from your writing.
Sound too good to be true? Let me share a real-life example.
I was writing an article about Jeffery Robinson, a lawyer whose career was shaped by the Civil Rights Movement. He is kind, courteous, and caring, and I wanted to do him justice. That said, I also was eager to cross this assignment off my to-do list. I put the final touches on the article and asked a colleague to review it. She came back with the dreaded words, “You’re not done.”
She was right. I found several areas that needed to be stronger, including this prosaic phrase: “Robinson has amassed an impressive list of awards.” (No wonder she said I wasn’t done!) I tried many approaches, but I was still stumped. I gave up and took a nap. When I awoke 15 minutes later, this phrase popped into my head: “If awards were legal tender, Robinson could forget about billable hours.”
Where did that come from? According to William Zinsser, author of, On Writing Well, my brain had been working on this problem while I napped. He writes: “Your subconscious mind does more writing than you think... While you slept, your writer’s mind didn’t. To some extent, a writer is always working.”
That’s just how our brain is wired, and we need to give it time to work for us. Maybe you go to lunch or work on a different project, or, if you’re lucky, take a nap. Everyone complains about not having enough time to write well, but how are we spending the time we do have? Breaks are as vital to your writing as your choice of words and punctuation.
Most of us never learned the writing process and how it works. Like my scratch-it-off-the-list mentality, we just want to get our writing done as fast as possible. But attention-getting writing doesn’t happen that way. Sure, get your first draft done fast, but then spend time editing, taking breaks, and editing again. Who knows what will pop out of that marvelous brain of yours?
Join Lynda at her next webinar on Sept. 10 & 17, How to write attention-grabbing, brand-building blogs, articles, and social media. And don't forget to register for the free webinar on 9/12: Unleash Your Inner Storyteller for Business Writing. You can also watch her interview on WriterSpeak, below, for additional writing inspiration, tips, and more.
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In addition to the project management tools that we teach at People-OnTheGo, such as Microsoft Project, Microsoft SharePoint, Google Sites, Asana, and project wikis, our guest blogger will shed some light on additional PM tools for various project sizes.
Guest blog post by Jose Maria Delos Santos
Initiating a project needs adequate preparation. A significant percentage of projects have failed because of the lack of it. Aside from the necessary project management skills and processes, people also need to use the correct tool for the job. As projects come in different sizes, it is also important to use the right-sized PM tool for the project.
The defining line whether a project is small or medium-size can be difficult but is generally relative to the sponsoring organization. As such, PM tools for small and medium-size projects sometimes fall into one group. However, a PM tool having more core PM functionality, such as project tracking, task dependencies, time and expense tracking and resource management, is better suited for medium-size projects. Large projects have a bigger impact in terms of duration, resources, cost, risk and deliverables, and therefore need a PM tool that has a comprehensive set of integrated and sometimes customizable features.
PM Tools for Small Projects
Producteev is a web-based social task management platform that is well suited for small projects. The first interface is called the Workspace, and from this page, the user can create and complete tasks as well as invite people for collaboration on the task. It is available on many platforms such as a PC, Mac, mobile devices, and even just with an email.
Teambox is a project management and collaboration platform that is relatively easy to use. All communications of the team can be organized by projects for easy reference. The discussion may be converted easily into tasks and tracked for progress through a workload view, calendar, or Gantt chart.
ProofHub is an online PM tool that offers cloud-based storage, flexible pricing, and unique inbuilt chat and proofing tool that improves work efficiency greatly. For example, team members and clients alike can use the online collaboration tool that is faster and more powerful than email. All chat history is then stored for easy reference and update.
PM Tools for Medium-size Projects
AceProject is an online application that has strong project management features including Gantt charts, project tracking, time and expense tracking, document management, reporting, and mobility. It also has important human resource management features critical for medium-size projects involving a greater number of people. It can include external collaborators to the project while maintaining security and integrity with access rights. Since projects always involve resources, their availability and their assignment, AceProject’s time tracking, expense tracking and reporting features become indispensable.
LiquidPlanner is an online PM and analytic tool that has more than just a built-in project collaboration feature. It also has the important scheduling and organizational features that can be set by priority. It also has time tracking and approval features that make it easy for team members to fill up their timesheets and for project managers to approve them.
Intervals is an online software that helps users take control of their time, tasks, and projects. Many businesses in over 100 countries are using it, which resulted in successful projects and expansion of their business. It has powerful reporting features that allow the project manager to see how the projects are advancing, what the workload is on a team member, and how well within budget is the project costing.
PM Tools for Large Projects
EPM Live is a work management platform for managing projects. Aside from project management tools such as scheduling, collaboration, timesheets, and reporting, it also has portfolio management, cost management and work management features. It has powerful workflow automation features that can be implemented across the organization for the total picture of project performance. It may be deployed online through the Internet or on-premise within the company.
Project Insight is a customizable online PM software that boasts of a long list of features but still retains ease of use. It is flexible as well to be deployed online or on-premise. It has the needed features to support project scheduling and resource allocation. It also has issue tracking, MS Outlook and Office integration, and portfolio management features.
Genius Project is an enterprise project management system that has all the needed PM features and more. It has project portfolio management, invoicing, demand management, risk and change management, and Agile SCRUM support. It can be deployed as software-as-a-service or hosted on-premise. It also has integration with IBM’s Lotus Notes and Domino.
Web-based PM tools are being adopted more by SMBs because of low initial costs, scalability, and rapid deployment that have increased their ability to compete with larger competitors. Security issues that have made bigger enterprises hesitant to adopt cloud services are now being addressed by on-premise deployments of these same PM tools. Clearly, whatever the size of the project or organization, a PM tool now exists with a right fit.
About Jose Maria Delos Santos: Jose is a freelance article writer for Project-Management.com, a website dedicated to provide PM articles, detailed project management software reviews, and the latest news for the most popular web-based collaboration tools.
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