PM Quote of the Day — Henry Ford

Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you’re right.

I’m not exactly the biggest fan of Henry Ford — he had some unsavory sides and associations (here and here) — but this quote is spot on.  I remembered it as I was writing my comments on yesterday’s  quote from Colette (here).

When I am obsessed with control, I often consciously or unconsciously sabotage myself and others. This happens when my desire to ensure the dominance of my role becomes more important than my desire to ensure the quality of the results.

If I’m not getting my way, I must carefully check my motives when challenging decisions or directions.  To do so, I ask myself these simple, but not easy, questions:

  • Am I acting in such a way that will benefit my project or team, or am I simply trying to assert control?
  • Am I sabotaging work by being more concerned about confiming my belief that “we cannot do a thing”?

Non-Financial Ways to Engage and Motivate

I hadn’t seen this blog before (here), but I liked this post that compiled tips focusing on non-financial incentives and practices (here).  The suggestion to “establish an appraisal system where clearly defined objectives are mutually agreed” seemed benign enough, but adding the phrase “appraisals should be continuous, not just once a year” put some punch in it.

I’ll need to remember this advice when planning my next round of bi-weekly standing meetings  with my team.

Cheering up a gloomy project or initiative

Mike Yanagita

I’m curious whether folks have any good stories about humor…I’ve found that a little bit of insanity always helps keep a project or an initiative fun (or at least bearable).  Also, showing that I can laugh at myself is a great way to loosen up the team.

I was on a busy team supporting the wave of SAP R/3 4.6C upgrades back in 2000-2001.  One of our main sources of amusement was reciting dialogue from Fargo, especially from the character Mike Yanagita.  If you’ve been a road warrior you’ll relate to many of his lines:

  • I shouldn’t have done this.  I shouldn’t have done this.  I shouldn’t…
  • I’ve been so lonely.
  • You know, it’s a Radisson, so it’s pretty good. Yah.

"King" Gator

I was reminded of the importance of humor as I amused my son with my rendition of Ken Page’s showstopper “Let’s Make Music Together” from All Dogs Go to Heaven.   Singing King Gator’s part sends him into stitches, given my secret talent for mimicing camp characters and singing Ethel Merman’s signature tunes.  And the difference is.. ?

You’ll know it’s a tough project if I convene a karaoke party and belt out “There’s No Business Like Show Business!

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