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Chapter 2: The Role of Humor and Fun

Englund, Randall Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

A joke in a project is a very serious thing.

—Alfonso Bucero

A project manager walks into his boss’s office and says, “Here is the bottom-line budget we need for the project to succeed.” The boss asks, “What can you do for half the money?” The project manager says, “Fail.” The boss asks, “When can you get started?” The project manager says, “I think I just did.”

Observe your reaction to the previous paragraph. Did you smile, laugh quietly, snicker, or break out in a hearty laugh? People react differently to jokes, of course, but telling jokes and stories can get people’s attention and set the stage for addressing serious issues, such as success or failure.

In this chapter, we advocate for including humor and fun in the complete project manager’s toolkit. We do so because we believe that injecting humor into project situations is effective, productive, and memorable. We are not offering an exhaustive study and description of humor, nor can we prescribe how to create fun in every situation. What we can do is share our commitment to creating fun working environments, with the hope that others may renew their commitment to the same or else come to a new understanding of the need for lightening up some of the serious work of project management. Humor plays a vital role in getting others to laugh at situations that may seem overwhelming. People cannot truly laugh and still retain anger or hostility.

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Gallagher, BJ Berrett-Koehler Publishers PDF
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Chapter 19: Pulling it all Together

Sugerman, Jeffrey Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Leadership is a uniquely complex undertaking, no matter if the group being led is a nonprofit organization, a Fortune 500 company, or a jazz trio. Some organizations make leadership development a core discipline because it is critical to the well-being of the organization and sometimes even to the safety of its members. Unfortunately, for the vast majority of group endeavors, leadership is expected, but there is no rigorous method and few resources directed toward developing people to function in leadership roles.

Peter Drucker (1996) observed that in many respects, effective leaders behave in much the same way: They begin by asking, “What needs to be done?” and then they ask, “What can and should I do to make a difference?” Our goal for readers of The 8 Dimensions of Leadership is to give you a flexible framework to help you answer these two questions and to begin expanding your capacity to inspire, energize, support, analyze, and direct those who are relying on you to make a difference.

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43 What the Boss Needs to Hear

Arneson, Steve Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Provide Feedback Up the Ladder

LET’S SAY YOU’RE SAILING along in your leadership role. Your team is knocking the ball out of the park, you’re influencing major decisions across the organization, and you’re about to launch a new product that will dramatically increase revenue. In short, things couldn’t be better. Oh, and you’re also happy with your development; you can feel yourself becoming more confident as you add new dimensions to your leadership toolkit. Everything’s good, right? Well, except one little thing: your boss. Somehow your boss, who was an absolute rock of stability, has gone off the rails. Over the last several months, your boss has gone from being a trusted advisor to the CEO to teetering on the brink of irrelevance—which is so not good for you. What happened? And more important, what are you going to do about it?

There is no more important relationship at work than the one you have with your boss. Like two guide wires securing a footbridge, there are two main pillars of strength you need from your direct manager. The first is your boss’s own reputation in the organization. When your boss is seen as ineffective, unreliable, or not living the values, that’s a problem for your boss, of course, but also for you. If you’ve ever worked for a boss who was out of favor, you know exactly what I mean. Unless you’re incredibly talented and insulated somehow (usually because you’ve found other sponsors), you’re going to get a little paint on you from this broad brush. Your entire department starts to lose influence; you begin to get fewer resources; senior leaders start to question everything; and so on. The second guide wire, of course, is your manager’s relationship with you. How well do you work together? Does your manager trust you, giving you the latitude to make a few mistakes? Does your boss back you up with senior management? Does he or she like your ideas, have faith in your judgment, and ask for your opinion before making a decision? To have a great relationship with your boss is ideal, especially as a leader. There’s nothing better than knowing your boss has got your back, freeing you up to make things happen with your team. But now your boss is in trouble. What do you do?

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Chapter 12 - Technical and Cost or Price Evaluations

Compton, Paula B. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

(FAR 1.102-2(c), 3.104-3, 9.505-3, 12.5, 14.201-6, 15.3, and 15.6)

The third phase of the federal acquisition process is known as the evaluation, negotiation, and award phase. In recent years, vendors protested several large acquisitions because evaluations were not performed based on the agency’s evaluation procedures, and the protests were sustained by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). A technical evaluation of a vendor’s proposal must be performed against the evaluation criteria specified in the solicitation and the government’s requirements. When the evaluation is not performed in accordance with the evaluation criteria and the requirements provided in the solicitation, competing vendors will certainly protest it.

An evaluation is done to assess the quality of a proposing vendor’s offer and to determine whether the vendor is capable of performing the work at a reasonable price for the government. The evaluation process begins when proposals are received from proposing vendors, and it continues through the negotiation process and the evaluation of the revised final proposals.

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