Notre Dame football coach George O’Leary resigned five days after being hired, admitting he lied about his academic and athletic background. O'Leary claimed to have a master's degree in education and to have played college football for three years, but checks into his background showed it wasn't true.
Veritas CFO Kenneth Lonchar was fired because he claimed he had a Masters of Business Administration from Stanford University. Further research showed that he did not hold an MBA from any school. Ironically, Veritas in Latin means “truth”.
Joseph Ellis, a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, was suspended for a year from Mount Holyoke College for lying about serving in the Vietnam War.
I decided to let him keep going just to see where he would go. He finally stopped talking 30 minutes after I asked him my original question. My next question to him was “Do you realize you talked non-stop for 30 minutes?” Before he could launch into another wandering discourse, I thanked him for stopping by and told him that I didn’t think he was right for the job. He very well might have had the technical and business skills needed to do the job, but because he babbled on and on without clarity of thought he was declined.
In 1923 Sigmund Freud authored a paper called The Ego and the Id, which is an analytical study of the human psyche. Called the Structural Theory, this theory categorizes psychological conditions into three divisions: the Id, the Super-Ego, and the Ego. The Id is best thought of as a newborn child driven by instinctive drives and impulses and seeks instant gratification. The Super-Ego is the multiplicative inverse of the Id, representing a “father figure” and a moral compass. The Ego serves as the mediator between the Id and the Super-Ego and takes into account external factors to derive a clear view of reality. The theory has spurred much discussion in the scientific community, but the concept is firmly seated in college psychology classes as a higher-education staple.
One of my column readers recently sent in this question: One of our senior project managers left abruptly in the middle of a 3 year million $ contract. What experience and education would you consider in promoting a replacement?
Ooh, good meaty problem. Not so simple a solution.
"This project is too risky!"
"We've got big issues on this project!"
"We'll never finish this on time if these issues don't get resolved!"
Statements like these are commonly heard from many project managers. Sure, risks and issues are a mainstay of projects. I would love to buy the PM dinner who has run a project to successful completion and never had one risk to manage or one issue to resolve.
Several years back I gave a presentation on effective management of project risks and issues. Now I have written a book that addresses this problem in depth. Buy it now!
Me needing to meet with other managers or my staff. Vendors wanting to meet with me. Meeting with customers. Meeting with other organizations. Meetings to decide what meetings to have or not have. It was meeting after meeting after meeting. I had to actively control my calendar to say no to meetings that didn’t make sense, push back on meetings where I didn’t need to be there or where we could get work done through other means.
This part three of a three-part series on Mastering Credibility. Part one is It's What You Know and part two is It's The Relationships You Build.
Bert was an associate at a premier management consulting firm.
Over the years he specialized in providing advice to senior management in information technology organizations. Generally he had some pretty insightful ideas that many of the rank and file in the client organization viewed as a bit theoretical. His advice was typically accompanied by general implementation timelines which client organizations rarely took verbatim. Bert's advice usually culminated in some type of a Powerpoint presentation to the senior client management; then it was off to the next assignment.
For years Bert had been trying to get a foot into the door of Laner Robotics.
It’s Monday morning and Joe gets up at 6:00. He showers, eats breakfast and
makes his way to the train station to catch the 7:20 into Chicago. During the 40-minute train ride, Joe takes out his planner and lists out all of the things that he wants to get done for the week. He writes down all of the people that he needs to call, meetings that he needs to schedule, and reports that he needs to write. By the time the train pulls into Union Station, he has his entire week planned out and is feeling very good about his plan. His 20-minute walk from the train station to his office is pleasant and energizing, and Joe arrives at his office ready to get going on his plan.
Ten minutes after sitting at his desk, he gets an email from a local electronics store with the “must-have” specials of the week. Joe can’t resist and goes to the website and spends 30 minutes drooling over the latest electronic gadgetry. Throughout the week, Joe has numerous events which take his attention off his work; checking sports scores, looking at stock prices, impromptu drop-ins from co-workers. Joe leaves work each night tired from the day’s busy and hectic activities.
I opened the interview with a simple greeting, offered Pug something to drink, and let him know what was going to happen in the interview. Before I could get my first question out, Pug informed me of his salary expectations and told me that there were other companies willing to meet his expectations. I can tell you his expectations were about two times what we typically paid newly degreed candidates and I knew we would never be able to pay Pug what he was looking for. I decided to acknowledge that Pug had a salary expectation and quite frankly went through the motions on the rest of the interview. I had already made my “decline” decision within the first few minutes of the interview.
This part two of a three-part series on Mastering Credibility. Part one is It's What You Know and part three is It's How You Deliver Results.
Ever since childhood, Mark had been known as an in-your-face competitor...
Whether it be in sports, in the classroom, or in relationships, he wasn't happy unless he beat someone else at whatever he was doing. Being in competition to Mark meant that he was going to do whatever he could to ensure he won and that his competitor lost. Those on his team loved his competitive spirit and encouraged it; those not on his team feared him. His behavior was validated through the number of trophies and medals he received while growing up.
As an adult his competitive spirit didn't wane. He became a feared negotiator in his company's purchasing organization and became known as a pompous ass who would stop at nothing to ensure that his suppliers were giving up as much as possible so his company could get a better deal. Suppliers hated to deal with him, but his company was too big to ignore so they put up with him.
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