Welcome to the Land of Canaan For Project Managers

Welcome to the Land of Canaan, the Promised Land, the Land of Milk and Honey*, for highly intelligent, very creative, totally imaginative, always sincere, and, on occasion we hope for you, individually divine project mangers.  Thanks be to the God of your beliefs for your safe deliverance and arrival here.  As you known, or as you might imagine, both milk and honey are project management projects for dairy ranchers ( moo cow! ) and apiarists ( buzzzzzz! ).  Yes, you might say that we have traveled together this past week with the greatest idol-breaker in history, Abraham of Ur of Chaldea, and let us not forget his lovely wife Sarah: the only lady in the history of all mankind to pull off the greatest project management project of all time: having a baby at 90 years old.  Yes, those three angels, disguised as wandering shepherds that stopped by their tent, must have had something special in that water they brought!  And for those of you who thought that it was the J Man that pulled off the greatest project management project of all time, the one that continues to get perpetuated by the guy in the white robe and tall hat in the Vatican in Rome, will, just don’t lose the lesson when you lose. And no whining either!  Remember, former US Senator Phil Gramm, now dearly departed of the John and Sindy ( no, they are not real: she had them done: now, was that before or after her drug thefts and abuse? Hmm ) McCain campaign for the White House as McBush, called us “: a nation of whiners: “.  Well, he’s right, and now, he’s toast, because it was not nice of him to share with the American public their own ugly truth and reality. If you want to see and enjoy life to its fullest every day of the year, go to Europe: they have great food, great music, high-speed rail, fast autobahns and a world-wide global perspective that makes them appreciate the simple things in life such as family, friends, food, fun, finances and faith.  In PisanoLand, populated by Pisanos and Pisanas, supper starts at 4:00 PM and finishes at 10:00 PM. Then the music starts.  Sadly, no more snacking on the steps of Rome’s greatest historical places, but hey, for a place started by two kids raised on the milk of their wolf mother, you can forgo the snacks on the steps. You know, it keeps the litter down. 
Let us then, from a project management project standpoint, visit with today’s modern Abraham of Ur of Chaldea, the grand old man in the white tent, still tending his flocks at age 97, in the “village within a city“, that being UCLA just up the block from Westwood, John Wooden, the greatest basketball coach that ever lived and the architect ( for which he takes no credit, you must know ) of the UCLA Basketball Dynasty from 1965 to 1974, when they won 10 National Championships in 12 years and countless Final Fours and March Madness tournaments.  John and Nell Wooden were married for 53 years: she was his high school sweetheart and the only women he ever loved at that level within his soul. Sadly, she is gone now.  Recently, he slipped and fell at his home and world held its collective breath as he was admitted into the UCLA Medical Center ( one block from campus ) to recover.  When the nursing staff found out he was on his way, they rolled out the same red carpet that used for former President Ronald Reagan.  When he arrived, he asked for some chalk and a board and began telling the nurses what to do.  His care was delayed because so many of the workers were too busy getting their picture taken with him.  When he asked about his sore shoulder, the nurses told him, “Coach Wooden, just one more picture for my child and then we will bandage you up.  Smile!” 
And so, what is it that this joyous and righteous and moral and ethical “Old Man of BruinLand” could possibly have to offer us as project managers in today’s totally stressed-out, heart-attack-in-the-making, blood-pressure-bursting, stroke-inducing modern day economy?  That was the Q.  Here is the A.  The answer is, quite simply, everything.  So, once again, for the final time in this most amazing five session training series for which I was engaged to you and with you, keep your head down, take excellent notes, and never, ever look up until you are told to do so. Here we go: 
1)  Happiness begins where selfishness ends ;  2)  Discipline yourself and others won’t need to

3)  If you are through learning, you are through;  4)  Tell the truth.  Don’t lie. That way, you won’t have to remember a story;  5)  Don’t let making a living prevent you from making a life;  6)  The best thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother;  7)  Do not permit what you cannot do interfere with what you can do;  8.)  Be slow to criticize and quick to commend;  9)  The time to make friends is before you need them;  10) Treat all people with dignity and respect;  11) Acquire peace of mind by making the effort to become the best of which you are capable;  12) Make each day your masterpiece;  13) Yes, luck is opportunity meeting preparedness, but it is the “residue” of design, and if you have excellent design and preparation and practice, you wont’ need luck: you can take luck out of the equation; 14) There is no competition: the only thing you have to do is to do your very best and if wanted competition, don’t look for it on the court, but look for it only in your heart and soul as you do your very best. 
Let us then finish our journey from idol-ridden Ur to Canaan to UCLA with a stop over in the Far East: home to the concept of Karma, and what is Karma?  I shall not be so arrogant as to say that the “universe  keeps score”, but I will tell you a secret: “the universe keeps score”, so don’t be a loser on the losing team: .again. 
1)  Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk;  2) When you lose, don’t lose the lesson; 3)  Follow the three R’s: Respect for self; Respect for others; and Responsibility for all of your actions;  4)  Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck; 5)  Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly;  6)  Don’t let a little dispute injure a great relationship;  7)  When you realize that you have made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it

8)  Spend some time alone every day;  9)  Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values

10) Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer;  11)  Live a good and honorable life. Then, when you get older and think back upon it, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time; 12) A loving atmosphere in your home is a foundation for your life;  13)  In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation — don’t bring up the past;  14)  Share your knowledge — it is the only way to achieve immortality;  15) Be gentle with the Earth;  16)  Once a year, go someplace you have never been before;  17) Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other; 18)  Judge your success by what you have had to give up in order to get it;  19) Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon. 
Project Management has the abbreviation PM: so don’t let your “PM” activities be the “sunset” of your career.  Ideally, you now have enough wisdom to turn this “PM” stuff into the “AM” ( or morning but certainly not mourning ) of your career. If you are burned out, then you are not of any good to anyone. If you are “fired up” and inspired, then you are of high value to others.   
Much like I remind our family’s Young Einsteins in many of their newsletters:  Get connected. Stay connected; Connect others.  Get invited; Stay invited; Invite others.  Get inspired; Stay inspired; Inspire others.  Share your knowledge: it is the only way to achieve immortality. 
See you next year when we become “The PM Raiders of this Lost Art“: Harrison Ford, honorary chairperson: and if I have offended you, then you probably deserve it. Love, Dave  J.

David M. Katz
National Sales and Business Development Director
Young Einsteins Enterprises!
Sole maker and distributor of the Perfect Number Line and Graph Maker plastic piece tool.
davemathtutor@yahoo.com

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1 thought on “Welcome to the Land of Canaan For Project Managers”

  1. I agree with most of the lists, so of course I must comment about the one point with which I disagree.. 🙂

    18) Judge your success by what you have had to give up in order to get it;

    Although sacrifice is usually an ingredient, there are many stronger correlates to success than the sacrifice that went into it. The value delivered, the satisfaction derived, and the level of improvement are better measures of success.

    There are several successes I can measure using the above criteria that I do not feel I had to “give up” anything for. On the flip side, there are many (too many) examples of unsuccessful efforts where much was sacrified. I agree that the lessons learned are extremely valuable and can lead to future success, but learning a lesson without putting it into practice is not a successful excercise.

    My $.02

    Josh Nankivel
    pmStudent.com

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