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What a shame - what these congressmen do is pure porn just like this one:


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.

Current Law Students / Re: The Da Vinci crock
« on: July 26, 2008, 06:12:12 PM »
Great avatar, n. and I love the awesome hit of your signature as well!

Current Law Students / Re: "This is not about money"
« on: July 26, 2008, 06:04:57 PM »

There is much anecdotal basis for concern about the collective distress and unhappiness of law students and lawyers.


3) The American dream: The belief that financial affluence, influence, recognition and other external symbols of achievement are what is good in life, and that academic success in law school will lead to these things.


This is actually the most important reason. Those who say lawyering and the stress it creates does not stem from money are acting in the same manner this woman did:

You mean this woman:

Audra Soulias appears at a press conference Thursday in a Chicago law office.

Audra Soulias, 28, filed a civil lawsuit against Smith, 43, claiming he bought her drinks while she was celebrating her birthday in January 1999 and later took her to his house, dragged her upstairs and assaulted her.

"This is not about money. I do not wish to see one more woman victimized by this individual," Soulias said at a news conference Thursday. "Enough is enough."

Smith, who was cleared of rape charges in Florida in 1991, said Soulias demanded a $3 million payoff in exchange for not going to court. He said in a statement after the lawsuit was filed Wednesday that "family and personal history have made me unusually vulnerable to these kinds of charges." In a statement following his accuser's new conference, Smith accused Soulias' lawyer of presenting "baseless claims in the most sensationalistic manner. While I did date Ms. Soulias for several months in 1999, the accusations being made are absolutely false and misleading." Soulias attorney Kevin O'Reilly acknowledged that Soulias had continued to work for Smith until June 1999 and during that time had consensual sex with him on a number of occasions. He declined to comment on whether he had asked Smith for $3 million before filing the lawsuit, saying he had given his word not to discuss any talks between the two sides. O'Reilly said Soulias, who once worked for Smith as a personal assistant, never went to the police about the alleged incident. Private investigator Paul Ciolino, who is working for Soulias, said that she told friends and others her story, but they warned her not to file a lawsuit. "I've repeatedly been warned by everyone I've sought guidance from not to do this," Soulias said. "I've been warned that I, my family and anyone affiliated with this case will be harassed, ruined and destroyed for bringing these allegations to light." She said she would not have filed the suit had Smith not telephoned her in January and left voicemails, which she believed were intimidating. She said the messages came after she told her story to an investigator who had been retained by the board of Smith's Center for International Rehabilitation, which helps victims of land mines. "On Jan. 16, 1999, my innocence was involuntarily taken from me by someone I trusted and respected," Soulias said. "It was taken from me in a manner that will haunt me to the day I die." O'Reilly described the January 1999 incident as an assault that stopped short of sexual intercourse. He said that until then Soulias had lived with her family and had never had a boyfriend or any sexual experience. In 1991, a jury in West Palm Beach, Fla., acquitted Smith of sexual assault and battery on a 30-year-old woman he met in a nightclub. He said his sexual relations with the woman, Patricia Bowman, had been consensual. According to the lawsuit filed Wednesday, Soulias said Smith called her the morning after the incident and left apologetic voicemails. Soulias was accompanied at Thursday's news conference by her younger sister, Melissa, who said that she had heard the voicemails. O'Reilly said the voicemails had not been preserved. The lawsuit asks for at least $50,000 in damages, the minimum that such a court action must demand under Illinois law. Smith's mother is former Ambassador to Ireland Jean Kennedy Smith. He is the nephew of Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and the late President Kennedy.

Just one space.

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