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Author Topic: Succedding in Law School: How PRIORITIES Make Things Happen  (Read 3345 times)

doublevision

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Editor: Project manager and writer Scott Berkun knows how to get things done when you've got a team of people, a to-do list, and a deadline. Today he offers an excerpt from the updated edition of his best-selling book The Art of Project Management (our review), entitled Making Things Happen.

Prioritization is always more emotional than intellectual, despite what people say. Just like dieting to lose weight or budgeting to save money, eliminating things you want, but don't need, requires being disciplined, committed, and focused. Saying "exercise is important" is one thing, but ranking it against other important things is entirely different. Many people chicken out of this process. They hedge, delay and deny the tough choices, and the result is that they set up projects to fail. No tough choices means no progress. In the abstract, the word important means nothing.

The easiest way to make a goal meaningful is to use ordered lists and a high priority one bar. These two simple tools force you to make tough decisions early. An ordered list simply means putting your goals in priority order, most important at the top, least important at the bottom. Divide that list in half: the top are things you must do, or die (Priority 1). The rest are things you hope to do, but can live without (Priority 2). Make your priority 1 list as small as possible: set a high bar. The smaller your list of must do's, the easier they are to achieve. You will face waves of conflicting emotions as you decide what is truly important, but once you settle on priorities the hard decisions will be behind you. Doing the tough decision making early creates clarity, and clarity is the true way to make things happen on projects. No-bull tools like ordered lists reinforce commitments and make them public. Everyone can show up to work with a strong sense of what he is doing, why he's doing it, and how it relates to what others are doing. When the inevitable moments of doubt arise and you or your team question the plans, you want to be ready. If people can easily look back to a simple set of ordered goals, it enables simple, direct and clear questions. Even if there are disagreements, the clarity of the goals makes those debates productive and positive.

Priorities are power

Have you ever been in a tough argument that you thought would never end? Perhaps half your team felt strongly for adding more features, and the other half felt strongly for increasing quality. But then the smart team leader hero dude walks in, asks some questions, divides the discussion in a new way, and quickly gets everyone to agree. It's happened to me many times. When I was younger, I chalked this up to brilliance: somehow the leader was just smarter than the rest of the room. But as I paid more attention I realized it was about having rock solid priorities. They had an ordered list in their heads for what is most important and were able to share it with others when necessary. Good priorities are power. They eliminate secondary distractions from the discussion, making it easier to focus on what matters.

If you have priorities in place you can always ask questions in any discussion that reframe the argument. This can work when working alone or with others. When there is uncertainty or disagreement, reframe the discussion around the priorities using questions like these.

    * What problem are we trying to solve?
    * Does this problem relate to our top goals or is it a distraction?
    * Is this problem important enough to warrant changing our priorities?
    * What is the simplest way to resolve this that will allow us to meet out goals?
    * If we're struggling to meet our goals, which goal can we drop down to Priority 2?

Things happen when you say No

One effect of having priorities is how often you have to say no. It's one of the smallest words in the English language, yet many people have trouble saying it. The problem is that if you can't say no, you can't have priorities. The universe is a large place, but your priority one list should be very small. That small list means there are thousands of good ideas that must be denied to focus your energy on the ones you've chosen to pursue. If you continually say yes to ideas that do not match your priorities, you are saying yes to failure. If you want to change your priorities, that's one thing, but if you are constantly changing them then they were never priorities at all. You did not think deeply enough about them if, emotionally, they are easy to change every few hours. So a fundamental law is this: if you can't say no, if you can't protect your priorities, you can't make things happen.

Grand Hotel

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Re: Succedding in Law School: How PRIORITIES Make Things Happen
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2008, 10:48:31 PM »
The order of priorities is indeed crucial if one is on a course to achieve what has in mind beforehand. Check out media's agenda and priorities when it dramatizated Qantas plane's hole.



Fear of Flying is unusual among serious phobias because hardly any of the people who have it have actually experienced a real traumatic event on a plane. An intense past experience is one of the leading causes of all phobias, but not, it seems, of flying fear. "Over half the people who come to us for help with fear of flying run 'movies' inside their head of really bad stuff happening on a plane" says Seymour Segnit, Founder and President of CTRN: Change That's Right Now. "This is true of all phobias but usually the person has actually been bitten by a dog, or died in front of an audience. We've never had a single case where the client had actually been on a plane that went down."

The team at CTRN believe that many of the aviophobia-inducing movies clients run in the minds are inadvertently 'installed' by the media. Network and cable news, TV dramas and movies often depict planes going down with dramatic visual effects from a passenger's-eye point of view, providing the perfect images for a flying phobia inclined mind. The shaky real-life cell-phone movies from inside Qantas flight QF30 which landed safely this week after developing a hole in the fuselage mid-flight are a perfect example, according to Mr Segnit:

Quote
"To overcome fear of flying, it is critical to understand exactly how you are creating the fear. Vivid disaster movies in which the person imagines themselves right in the middle of an extreme situation are the hallmark of many phobia cases. But the images have to come from somewhere, and as flying is so safe, almost everyone is either making stuff up, or playing over visuals they've seen in the media."

zile

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Re: Succedding in Law School: How PRIORITIES Make Things Happen
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2008, 01:48:15 PM »

The order of priorities is indeed crucial if one is on a course to achieve what has in mind beforehand. Check out media's agenda and priorities when it dramatizated Qantas plane's hole.


Are you suggesting that some kind of manipulation of the way the news is communicated is being employed?
If you write the word "monkey" a million imes, do you start to think you're Shakespeare?

per hair

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Triage - Another Example
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2008, 02:04:05 PM »

A Triage Tag is a quick and easy way to communicate a patient's priority to others
"The visionary lies to himself, the liar only to others."

shall

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Accused JetBlue fighter charged with assault
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2008, 02:04:50 PM »
The order of priorities is indeed crucial if one is on a course to achieve what has in mind beforehand. Check out media's agenda and priorities when it dramatizated Qantas plane's hole.



Fear of Flying is unusual among serious phobias because hardly any of the people who have it have actually experienced a real traumatic event on a plane. An intense past experience is one of the leading causes of all phobias, but not, it seems, of flying fear. "Over half the people who come to us for help with fear of flying run 'movies' inside their head of really bad stuff happening on a plane" says Seymour Segnit, Founder and President of CTRN: Change That's Right Now. "This is true of all phobias but usually the person has actually been bitten by a dog, or died in front of an audience. We've never had a single case where the client had actually been on a plane that went down."

The team at CTRN believe that many of the aviophobia-inducing movies clients run in the minds are inadvertently 'installed' by the media. Network and cable news, TV dramas and movies often depict planes going down with dramatic visual effects from a passenger's-eye point of view, providing the perfect images for a flying phobia inclined mind. The shaky real-life cell-phone movies from inside Qantas flight QF30 which landed safely this week after developing a hole in the fuselage mid-flight are a perfect example, according to Mr Segnit:

Quote
"To overcome fear of flying, it is critical to understand exactly how you are creating the fear. Vivid disaster movies in which the person imagines themselves right in the middle of an extreme situation are the hallmark of many phobia cases. But the images have to come from somewhere, and as flying is so safe, almost everyone is either making stuff up, or playing over visuals they've seen in the media."


Accused JetBlue fighter charged with assault

This was an unfortunate case caused by the "circumstances" - no one can be blamed about it. What it really sucks is when people aboard themselves cause trouble. Like the case was here:

Mon September 8, 2008



(CNN) -- The passenger suspected of starting a bloody fistfight aboard a JetBlue flight over the weekend was charged with assault Monday, according to court documents. Saturday's fisticuffs caused officials to divert the jet headed to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and caused 88 passengers to sit on the plane as federal authorities investigated the incident. The altercation involved two brothers and a cousin who were seated at the back of the plane, and was triggered when one of the three, Andrew Mark Thompson, smoked a cigarette in the bathroom onboard, according to a criminal complaint filed by the FBI. When Thompson exited the bathroom, his brother and cousin chastised him for smoking on the plane and a flight attendant warned him about it, the complaint said. Thompson asked for an alcoholic beverage from flight attendants and was told that he would not get one because he had violated rules by smoking in the bathroom. He began cursing loudly and begging his brother and cousin to buy a drink for him, according to the criminal complaint. Then "Thompson got out of his seat, came across the aisle and struck his brother in the left eye, causing an open wound. The wound left a trail of blood down the aisle of the plane," the complaint said. A scuffle continued for 20 minutes as the plane remained in flight. Thompson was charged with assault and intimidating a flight crew. Thompson, his brother and cousin told authorities that they had consumed alcohol before the flight. The flight was diverted to a North Carolina airport for about two hours while FBI investigators interviewed passengers aboard the flight.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/TRAVEL/09/08/flight.diverted/

n o r m an

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Re: Succedding in Law School: How PRIORITIES Make Things Happen
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2008, 03:13:00 PM »
Thanks for the info, shall, but totally unrelated!

stayover

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Re:
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2012, 02:36:28 PM »

mamyblue, did you "nick" yourself after the Demis Roussos's Mamy Blue?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ufdsRaso-s&feature=related

I absolutely love that song!


shall, is Jessica Alba the woman of your avatar?! I absolutely love her!

sollicitus

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Re:
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2012, 03:04:56 PM »

mamyblue, did you "nick" yourself after the Demis Roussos's Mamy Blue?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ufdsRaso-s&feature=related

I absolutely love that song!


shall, is Jessica Alba the woman of your avatar?! I absolutely love her!

And I love how people post replies to people who havn't posted since the previous decade.

b e k a

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Re:
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2012, 05:04:18 PM »
Quote
Quote





They also hinted broadly that daughter Chelsea Clinton would be speaking Tuesday evening.


I never get the point of politicians' children addressing crowds such as DNC's - I guess they do it to introduce their children to politics early on!


A curious fact about Chelsea during the White House years of Bill Clinton was that the matter of Chelsea's privacy was debated in the press, and most media outlets concluded that she should be off-limits due to her age. But when Clinton was 13 her appearance became a matter of ridicule for some satirists and commentators, including comments by Rush Limbaugh and the comedy writers of Saturday Night Live.

In 1995, freelance writer Tom Gogola released a tape of songs purportedly recorded by Clinton which commented upon notable people and included lyrics like "let's inhale"; the tape proved to be a hoax. Gogola defended the tape, saying "None of it had to do with being mean to Chelsea. Satire is satire."


No doubt about it, penda, in the States there is a very strong culture of free debate supported and protected by the First Amendment rights.


Are you being sarcastic, stayover - maybe I'm being naive, but I really can't tell!

Frank s

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Re: Money/Power
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2012, 04:05:40 PM »

http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/index.php?topic=3005465.msg5399719#msg5399719

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Well, it's on the people's (individuals') best interest to watch for the amount of consent it's giving its government, and especially that the latter is not abusing that power.

Curtailing their citizens' rights, for instance, overtly or covertly, by resorting to illegal tactics/strategies can result in "unintended and additional" consent being given, with the end result being over-accumulation of power.

To top it all off, the history has shown that people are kind of confused as to how they are to organize themselves, with the State having become the norm by now as the adequate form of modern social organization. So, in all likelihood, people are prone to giving that "consent" to be ruled to just everybody out there who happens to have the courage/attitude to go ahead and rule others the way they will - with all this meaning that, once in power, these guys won't care too much as to how their actions will be judged, feeling all-too-justified in what they do!


Here it is an interesting post on the other thread, bolo!

Quote

Quote

Well, applewasp, what I have heard is this:

"Money is like a big giant d i c k. The fact that they'll give you some is only going to make you have more and more of it inside you."


For the sake of truth, there's more to the story, appropriate! When anality becomes a perversion in an individual it can result in a danger to that individual, and as a cultural phenomenon, to humanity. There is a clearly defined link between the anal-sadistic phase of sexuality and cruelty. An "instinct of cruelty" appears in Freud's "Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality," stating that there is an intimate connection between cruelty and the sexual instinct; whether active or passive, it also stems from the drive for mastery. Like mastery, cruelty involves the use of the object simply as a means of satisfaction. Sadism involves a pleasure derived from the object's suffering. The deriving of sexual gratification from inflicting pain or emotional abuse on others.

After the introduction of the death drive in 1920, the drive for cruelty gave way to the "destructive drive," understood as an external deflection of the death drive and described as aggressive when directed at objects. If it is taken up by the ego, the ego itself becomes cruel or sadistic. The ego then risks not only losing the object's love but also being subjected to the reprimands of the Superego. This agency, which equates with moral conscience, can demonstrate an extreme cruelty, according to the need for aggression aroused by present/past frustrations. Rebellious by nature towards what is nevertheless the necessary process of civilization, the human being is always able to display a "cruel aggressiveness" if circumstances allow it.

Contempt, indifference towards the object, cruelty, as well as false emblems of masculinity, faceless bureaucracy, violence, torture, the jackboot and the whip. Freud described the psychosexual development of the child, how he progresses from the anal-sadistic phase to the phallic (genital) one, at the end of which the Oedipus complex finds resolution. It is the smashing/destruction, a developmental arrest at the anal-sadistic phase, as opposed to resolution of the Oedipus complex, that characterizes Western culture.



becka, I can't believe how beautifully you've described the whole thing - graphically and simply enough!