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He is widely regarded as one of the great strategists of the latter half of the 17th century, and was the creator of an innovative method of directing armies in the field. Moltke had a particular approach to categorising his officer corps, something which lives on to this day within many armed forces, and which can be applied to all forms of leadership. General von Moltke divided his officer corps into these four distinct types, depending on their mental and physical characteristics.

If you left them alone, they might come up with a good idea one day. If they remained this way, promotion was possible over a period of time but not to the status of commanding officer of the German General Staff. These officers were best at making sure that orders were carried out and thoughtfully addressing all of the details.

To von Moltke, they were officers who would require constant supervision, which was an unacceptable overhead and a distraction. Because they could potentially create problems faster than could be managed, these officers were considered to be too much trouble and were dismissed. No career for them! This type of officer was smart enough to see what needed to be done but was motivated by inherent laziness to find the easiest, simplest way to achieve what was required.

Put in a more positive way, they would know how to be successful through the most efficient deployment of effort. So, if we extend this theory, the hypothesis is that smart, lazy people have an edge over others and are most suited to leadership roles. It is assumed that you are not stupid so you are already on the right hand side of the diagram: what you now need to do is hone your lazy skills in order to rise to the top right hand side of the diagram.

Do this and not only will your projects be more successful, you will also be seen as successful and an appropriate choice for future leadership roles. So, how to apply the theory to become really lazy and really productive? Working by the productive lazy rule, a smart project manager should apply time and effort at the critical stages of a project, that is at the start and the finish, and less time in the less critical, intermediate stage. At this stage,there are other team members who should be doing most of the hard work and you probably deserve a bit of a rest anyway.

In Praise Of Lazy Managers

And the point this time is that as a smart project manager,you should be directing the project and not trying to carry that heavy load on your back all the way to the delivery gate. By front end, we are referring to the initiation of the project. Well, the back end of initiation anyway. There is a project, you are the project manager, and the project is kicking off. They fail at the beginning.

He is widely regarded as one of the great strategists of the latter half of the 17 th century, and was the creator of an innovative method of directing armies in the field. Moltke had a particular approach to categorising his officer corps, something which lives on to this day within many armed forces, and which can be applied to all forms of leadership.

General von Moltke divided his officer corps into these four distinct types, depending on their mental and physical characteristics.

Interview with Lazy Project Manager

If you left them alone, they might come up with a good idea one day. If they remained this way, promotion was possible over a period of time but not to the status of commanding officer of the German General Staff. These officers were best at making sure that orders were carried out and thoughtfully addressing all of the details. To Moltke, they were officers who would require constant supervision, which was an unacceptable overhead and a distraction.

Science behind the laziness – being focused

Because they could potentially create problems faster than could be managed, these officers were considered to be too much trouble and were dismissed. No career for them! This type of officer was smart enough to see what needed to be done but was motivated by inherent laziness to find the easiest, simplest way to achieve what was required. Put in a more positive way, they would know how to be successful through the most efficient deployment of effort. So, if we extend this theory, the hypothesis is that smart, lazy people have an edge over others and are most suited to leadership roles.

The Lazy Project Manager is all about applying these principles to the delivery and management of projects.

Get the Best PM Tools for Your Team

It is assumed that you are not stupid so you are already on the right hand side of the diagram; what you now need to do is hone your lazy skills in order to rise to the top right hand side of the diagram. Do this and not only will your projects be more successful, you will also be seen as successful and an appropriate choice for future leadership roles. Working by the productive lazy rule, a smart project manager should apply time and effort at the critical stages of a project, i.

At this stage, there are other team members who should be doing most of the hard work and you probably deserve a bit of a rest anyway.

Employee Success is the Manager's Responsibility

And the point this time is that as a smart project manager, you should be directing the project and not trying to carry that heavy load on your back all the way to the delivery gate. By front end, we are referring to the initiation of the project. Well, the back end of initiation anyway. There is a project, you are the project manager, and the project is kicking off.

And finally, the project manager should devise a consistently excellent communications strategy, a significant activity since general guidance suggests that some percent of your time as a project manager should be spent in some form of communication or other.

They fail at the beginning. A number of aspects work well in the world of productive laziness — firstly, ensuring that the project is conducted in a fun and enjoyable manner, and secondly, being prepared to get involved in a controlled and productive manner when problems occur. Now is not the time to declare the project a success and rush off for a stiff drink at the bar, welcome though that may be. No, now is the time that you can apply a small and final amount of effort but gain enormous amounts of knowledge so that future projects are likely to be even more successful, potentially with even less effort.

It is important for you to stay ahead of the game, start confidently, dress appropriately, get the upper hand and anticipate — keep your eye on the end game. Avoid a communication breakdown through an open, honest and effective communication process that suits each individual.

In Praise Of Lazy Managers

Breathe normally and stay calm, plan for project challenges and, when they do happen, be sure that you filter problems, delegate what you can and prioritise what is left in order to keep the project on track. Avoid swamping yourself with communication and demands on your time.

By all means, have an open door, but be a good manager and close it some of the time for the greater good of the project. Always be prepared to learn more from the project knowledge and history; talk openly with project team members so that you can learn the lessons that are there to be learned and share everything by telling others what you now know.

Because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new. Because of his contributions to helping people achieve their goals, he is the third 3rd most recommended person on LinkedIn, and is in the Top 81st most networked.