The past shows us the future

TSR No. 14; The "toxic and psychological timeline" issue.

Welcome to Issue Number Fourteen of TSR. A lot is going on behind the curtain, so I couldn’t get a good Tuesday article written this week… I did get a crappy one hacked out, however 🙄. All the same, I’m not sure about next week either; I’m trying to finish my after-work studying for my PMI-ACP exam along with a few other life items. This doesn’t leave me with a lot of extra time. I’ll get back to a routine soon… maybe.

Also, a special thank you to Randi for being the first person to buy me a coffee, this issue is dedicated to you. 🙏

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Toxicity will kill the project, creativity, and relationships

If your highest performing team member is toxic to your business or organization, fire them immediately.

I honestly think I could leave that statement by itself without any reference, and the message I’m trying to convey would be understood: toxicity isn’t worth the loss or gains. Once it’s tolerated, implicitly or explicitly, your team, project, and perhaps business is doomed.

Sean Lowe discusses the quick version of what a toxic person brings to the team. [Spoiler Alert: not a damn thing].

Psychological Safety, a necessity of a great business

We would all like to work for companies where leadership teams truly embrace people-centric values and principles but that is rarely the case, especially in organizations which have been in existence for decades.

I’m leaving two quotes from this article here today (above and below), both encapsulate the issues of how change does or does not happen and the need for a good manager, coach, or buffer. Call them what you will, but teams need someone actually to care for their interests (did someone say Agile?).

If you’ve been in the project world long enough, you’ll probably know safety as an item on the “things I need” checklist. This pertains to protecting one’s members from both outside influences and the fear of doing wrong (also known as experimentation) within. That stated, the above quote is a reminder that this may be hard to change if you’re in a geriatric organization.

Even with commitment 👇 from your management team, you may have a lot of work ahead of you to get everyone into their warm-n-fuzzy stage.

While organization cultural transformation cannot occur without the sponsorship and commitment of the management team, waiting for them to evolve is a cop out when it comes to creating safety within your team.

The Timeline of Project Management

2570 BCGreat pyramid of Giza completed. Some records remain of how the work was managed: e.g. there were managers of each of the four faces of the pyramid, responsible for their completion.

My original drive for this particular section was to hunt down a historical article on the subject of PM; I found a few good ones I’ll share soon). However, in doing so, I stumbled upon a Wikipedia page, Timeline of project management. I recall seeing a page that illustrated much of this into an actual timeline, but I couldn’t find it again. All the same, the linked page is a standard wiki-page, so it’s easy to read (and short). Happy learning!

Do these five things… (<— clickbait title!)

While I usually avoid any article with a clickbait title, I felt that this one, Five Essential Skills All Project Managers Must Have, wasn’t that bad. And no doubt, when it comes to “must-haves” and skills, on the top of my list, you’ll find the proper application of soft-skills.

Soft skills are vital because you’ll rely on them when things become unpredictable or when it’s time to give harsh feedback to a staff member.

That noted, here’s what the article cites (in their order),

  1. Communication And Collaboration

  2. Problem Solving Abilities

  3. Negotiation Skills

  4. Strong Leadership Skills

  5. Time Management

Are these all that’s needed? Of course not, but they’re a start. The article also dives into a few statistics on the subjects, which might be worth reading through.

The Parting Shot

If you’re feeling spunky today, and wish to support…