Thursday, September 27, 2007

My favorite from Lao Tzu

Men are born soft and supple; dead, they are stiff and hard. Plants are born tender and pliant; dead, they are brittle and dry. Thus whoever is stiff and inflexible is a disciple of death. Whoever is soft and yielding is a disciple of life. The hard and stiff will be broken. The soft and supple will prevail.

This is one of my favorite thoughts from Lao Tzu. There have been times on projects when I was firm in my position and wasn't willing to compromise when in hindsight that is what I should have done. Are you flexible when you need to be?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Lost Sutras of Jesus

I have a book I really enjoy, The Lost Sutras of Jesus. The story goes that a around 600 C.E. a group of monks went to China to teach Christianity. Their teaching got blended with Eastern philosophy, producing a set of teachings that reflected both cultures. A few hundred years later the teachings were hidden as the political environment changed and they weren't discovered again until the 20th century.

One particular quote I like is "There is no single name for the Way. Sages do not come in a single form. These teachings embrace everyone and can be adopted in any land."

From the project management perspective, I see this as saying there is no one way to run a project. Just because we are using a PMBOK approach (for example), doesn't mean we have to criticize Prince2 or Agile or any other approach. We can learn from all of them. We should always be open to other people's ideas.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Morning Coach

I've been listening to a podcast for a while now that fits into my philosophy. It's call Morning Coach and is hosted by JB Glossinger. He talks about practical ways to improve your life from a metaphysical standpoint. It's only 15 minutes long, so it's easy to fit into my day. There's actually a live call, but I subscribe to the podcast in iTunes. There's also a website being put together here. Check it out.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Seeking Approval

Are you working for other's approval? Lao Tzu once said "If you look to others for fulfillment, you will never truly be fulfilled." The idea here is that we can work hard and not make other people happy because we can't control how other people will react.

So when you're working on a task, give it your best effort. Take time to understand what others are looking for and deliver the best you can. At the end of the day though, your happiness can only come from within.

Sunday, September 02, 2007


I finished my project in India. It was a great opportunity to see what was going on in the world of global outsourcing. For those of you that might think India is a place to turn to as a cost savings, I think you're missing the boat. I was impressed with the capabilities of the people I worked with. Their approach to project management was very mature, this is a place to turn to for high quality project execution.

I'm off tomorrow to Montreal to start working on some portfolio management stuff. It will be some interesting work, plus it's a lot cooler there then here in Kansas.