A Clear Vision

When managing a company, it is important that the company is heading in the right direction. One way that this can be accomplished is by having a clear vision of who the company is.

Some questions to ask yourself when writing a company mission statement:

1. Who will the company be in 5 years? 10 years? Where do I want the company to go?

2. Are the customers, employees, and company all winners?

3. Is it simple? Does it apply to every person in the company?

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What are the traits of a good leader?

One important trait is Adaptability. There are going to be problems and unforeseen issues that come up on any project. How quickly you work through them and guide the team to a successful solution will determine how well the project proceeds.

What do you see as the most important trait in a leader?


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Lindsey Stirling

Some awesome violin playing

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Important Tools for Project Management: Effective Communication

Communication is definitely one of the most important skills that you need to develop to be an effective project manager. But, learning to pass information to you team quickly and efficiently is not always easy and there are mistakes that you should work to avoid.

1. Over Communication: This person sends out emails for every single thing he wants to tell you. He has return requests on every email. And he replies to every single email he is copied on if only to let you know that he received your email and is working on it. The problem with this style is that people are getting so many emails, it becomes difficult to filter through to find the important information.

2. Wordy: This person has a similar issue to Over Communication, but he does it in a slightly different way. If you ask for information, you will receive a 200 page document that takes more of your time to find what you need.

3. Forgetful: This person is usually overworked and distracted. He forgets that he hasn’t sent out the meeting announcements or the changes that were requested. Another aspect of this style involves not knowing. When your project is interacting with other people and needs to be coordinated, some people are not aware of how their information needs to be taken into account by other people. It’s important to know who needs to know what and make sure proper data flow is in place.

Remember to work for clear and concise language. This will help your team and make things run smoothly.

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Virtual Teams

Let’s be honest, working with a group of people is challenging.  Working with a group of people living in different time zones, from different cultures, and sometimes different languages can be more than challenging.  It can be downright impossible.  But, with careful planning and management and preparation, these obstacles can be overcome.

1.  Communication:  The biggest problem with virtual teams is making sure that communication stays open and information is being shared among all of the members.  Careful planning on the part of the manager will ensure that people are getting the information they need when they need it.

2.  Relationships:  Another difficulty is making sure the team relationships stay strong.  When dealing with more text communication, it is easier to misinterpret someone or stereotype them.  If you were speaking face to face, you could read their emotions and intentions with visual and auditory cues.  But, when you are relying on text, it is easy for team members to assume many things that may be untrue and cause conflict in the group.

3.  Performance:  The third obstacle in virtual teams is inspiring the team to preform and meet deadlines.  When you are face to face, it is easier to motivate your team and be sure that all of the pieces are coming together at the right times.  When your team is virtual you will have to work hard to maintain the team’s energy and inspire everyone to keep moving toward the goal.

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Let’s Be Productive!


1. Organization – Make a checklist.  Start your day by looking at the list of tasks you need to accomplish.  Unfortunately, we can’t keep everything in our head and getting the list on paper,  or using an online organizer will increase your productivity.
2. Limit distractions – You may need to block facebook and other distracting websites.  Use headphones to tune out nearby conversations.  We actually don’t multitask, our brains switch between tasks frequently.  We are not as productive when we switch tasks, as when we are focused one thing at a time. 
3. Get rid of Easy Tasks – Take some time to get the easy and simple tasks checked off your list.  If it will take less than 5 minutes to complete, just do it right away and get it done.
4. Prioritize – Always know your deadlines and what needs to be done when.  Be mindful of sequencing and how your tasks impact other people.  You may need to accomplish some things earlier because it is needed by another team member.
5. Use In-person conversation when possible – Problems can be solved much faster when you are working together, without a lag created through email.  Additionally, it’s easy to misinterpret things via email, but when talking in person, questions can be asked and answers clarified to be sure everyone is working together.
6. Take breaks – Go to lunch!  When you let your brain relax, you will be more productive when you return to the project.  Stress reduction will give you better insight to the problems and allow you to get more accomplished.
7. Routine – We love patterns, create one that works best for you.  Some people do best when they accomplish their hardest tasks first thing in the morning.  Others will work better if they write emails first.  Find out what is best for you and follow it whenever possible.
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Maintaining Your Relationships

When running a project, relationships determine if you will receive repeat clients, new clients, and how the client feels about the project.  There are several things you can do to improve your relationships.

1. Make your deadlines:  Show them that they can depend on you and trust you to do a good job with their resources.

2.  Keep them in the loop:  Let them know early on that their choices have consequences and what they are so that they can make informed decisions and not be surprised later on. If changing the vinyl to ceramic will increase the cost and require a time extension, let them know during the decision process.

3.  Know your teams strengths: If there is a problem on a job, make sure that the person interacting with the client will be able to stay calm and level headed.

4. Demonstrate that you desire the project to be successful:  Call the client regularly and let them know that you are actively engaged in the process.

5. Have a personal relationship with your client:  Take them to dinner, play golf, make sure you are friends so that when problems occur you are on the same team.  Know who they are and let them know more about you.

6. Listen:  Make sure that you are hearing their concerns and are ready to meet their needs and expectations.

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