Tweets of Wisdom

June 21, 2011

Backyard Plant

Here are some of the tweets from the people I follow on Twitter.  These tweets are incredible pearls of wisdom that we can use to direct our thoughts, actions and reflections.

1.  Mediocrity asks “Is it profitable?“. First, try asking: “Is it worthwhile? Will it matter? Is it meaningfully better?@umairh

Profound questions one can ask! Questions we ask ourself are the key to our success. If we change the questions we ask, we can change our life.  Recently watched HBR video called Wise Leadership [video] on similar topic. This interview asks – Is profitablity the  result or ulimate goal of our business?  Check out keyword Phronesis.

2.  Nurture your mind with great thoughts, for you will never go any higher than you think. @Billy_Cox

Our actions are guided by our thoughts (as well as profound questions) and eventually we become what our mind dwells upon most of the time. Isn’t it questions posed by @umairh in (1) a perfect fit to initiate great thoughts?

3.  All the wisdom in the world isn’t worth a dime if it doesn’t produce results. @BrianTracy

My favorite Brian Tracy has influenced millions & millions with his wisdom. As managers, we enjoy some nice talking  to us but all talking won’t do it. We got to get results.  Wisdom does mean action or inspiring others to take action and manifest quality products that add value.

4.  A person’s character is best judged when he is in power & how he uses this power in the daily walk of #life @rlalita

This is very timely thought, we all are given authority/power in our life and work. See this quote with the perspective of 1, 2 & 3

5. Try & try again is a great philosophy so long as you use a different plan for every try. @LeadToday

This quote tells about perseverence and keeping mind open to new ways of doing things to get to the desired results.  It might be pushing the particular item to back for some time. You know some times we got to inentionaly delay the things because environment is not ready to thrive.  Remember planning also includes if things do not work out the way we expect what are our options and how would we pursue them.

6. Enlightenment is not an escape from pain but an understanding of pain & in spite of it -living with a never-ending feeling of love for life. @tonyrobbins

Its all how we define pain (or problem). Its our paradigm. Not there yet, but whatever I have grasped from reading – at a certain juncture in life, a time comes in life when one realizes that pain is medicine while comfort leads to suffering. And again, its all how one defines pain and comfort and what are thresholds per our paradigms.

7. You weren’t put here to polish up PowerPoint decks, sell disposable junk, or glad-hand. You were put here to matter, serve, and love. Start. @umairh

Finding purpose or discovering our ‘Ture North’ is what we need. We are put here to matter (do significant things that make world a better place – even for one individual), serve (without any strings attached or expectations – otherwise its business not serving) and love (without ego and selfishness). Last word is even more powerful that is  START!

If you like these tweets, please follow them on Twitter.  If you are new to Twitter, then start here http://twitter.com/ and watch this video for more info http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0xbjIE8cPM

My twitter handle is @KulveerVirk

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How to Publish Project Manager’s Daily Newspaper?

December 13, 2010

Have you dreamed about publishing your own newspaper? Here is quick way to publish one.

Some days ago I got a link on twitter to an online newspaper about social media content.  I was impressed and thought its lot of work put in by the author to compile so many sources and presenting in an attractive layout.

Last week I tried it and published my own daily e-paper for project managers.  Click here to see what I came up with http://paper.li/kulveervirk/projectgurus 

Isn’t it impressive?  This is quite easy to produce and took less than 2 minutes, thanks to www.paper.li for this services.

Most of us use either Twitter or Facebook (or both in many cases). This tool organizes links shared on Twitter into an easy to read newspaper-style format. Newspapers can be created for any Twitter user, list or #tag  to read and share. It assumes that you have account setup on either of the service.

This service can be used with Twitter or Facebook, since I use Twitter, I utilized my Twitter lists. All I did was setup an account, entered values to read stream of my Twitter account’s list that has many project management resources subscribed.

Step by Step:

  1. Go to www.paper.li and sign in using your Twitter account.
  2. Click on ‘create a newspaper’ link
  3. Click on ‘create a custom newspaper’ button
  4. Enter Title for your newspaper
  5. Select the people on Twitter that can contribute to the paper, I used Twitter List @projectgurus that I have created. I also use #PMOT (hash-tag).
  6. Click on ‘Publish Paper’ to complete and that’s it.
  7. You can automate it to be sent each day on a set time.

How does it make your life easier as a project manager? 
This tool scan the Twitter list/hash-tag or user list each day based on your preferences and gives you a readable format newspaper – most relevant. 
Does it replace the following of your twitter feeds?
No, it provides selected content and mainly where links are embedded in tweets to the other websites.

If you need to find out more about it – here is link to FAQs (http://paper.li/faq.html)


How to spot opportunities or future trends

October 24, 2010

An idea or application of it to improve any process or thing is innovation. To innovate is through trial and error way. As a leader and manager, you have to innovate or else wilt.

I watched on YouTube Jeremy Gutsche, an excellent speaker on innovation and future trends. “Failure is experimentation.”, says Jermy Gutsche. A decent proportion of your creativity must fail; because id you don’t fail you become the best. He gives example of Smith Corona, a typewriter company that failed to innovate with the trend and is now obsolete after staying on the top for many years.

He further clarifies that successful organizations innovate to ‘optimize’ position on their hill of opportunity, but to later discover bigger hills of opportunities that it failed to envision. According to him the real problem being good keeps you on your hill of opportunity and stops you from seeing new ones. In order to see future big hills of opportunities, one must not fear of experimentation or failure in this process.

He also talks about how to package the message or product.  Example he uses is of Josh Bell who plays $3.5 million Stradivarius violin earning $1,000 per minute during concerts, and when performing at a railway station earns $35 only.  Jermy suggests to find out what specifically are we trying to do and describe in 7 words or less.  And  these should be simple, direct and supercharged.  You will certainly enjoy the talk and will learn from it.

How to spot opportunities or future trends?  I must say through innovation.  And innovation will happen through lots os  experimentation to improve processes, efficiency, productivity, quality, market share and human thinking.

For more info on Jermy and his work, please visit http://www.jeremygutsche.com  or http://www.trendhunter.com/


Building Brand Through Follow-up Actions

June 10, 2010

Everyday we make so many commitments talking near water cooler, during networking event, in a meetings or over the phone.  Some of our commitments are urgent and important and we follow-up properly.  There are other few commitments that we know are not so important for us or our job since we made those casually by saying that, ” I will get back to you on this” ….. and then we drop the ball. 

While searching my twitter handle using online tool called topsy.com, I found out that Tim Sanders had selected my retweet and asked to have him contacted (How a retweet can enrich your library) to give out a book.  This was a contest he ran during September 2009, and I found out about results in May 2010.  I follow Tim on Twitter and had retweeted him.

Anyhow, I sent him a note in May 2010 referencing the contest and asking if I can still get the book although I was very late to contact?  Guess what, I got an email from Tim enquiring about my mailing address so that he can ship me the book.  I provided it and almost forgot about it.

Few days ago, I got another email from Tim checking if I have received the book or not?  I actually have not.  But the point is taking the time to follow-up.  This follow-up raised Tim’s stock in my mind even higher.

Going the extra mile (by a person who might be super busy and owes nothing in return) reflects that person practices what he preaches. He is true to his brand.

Here are 4 points to remind us on closing the loop on our commitments we make casually – 

  1. Always make a note of your commitments: I keep a small notebook handy and make a note against a hand drawn box that can be checked (kind of to-do list).
  2. Prioritize and record follow-up action: I evaluate what can wait and what should be attended right away based on my schedule.
  3. Take the action or delegate it: Do it and check the box on notebook by recording observations.
  4. Check that commitment is fulfilled: This is what I will be implementing.  I will follow-up after I fulfill the commitment. If you delegated the task, verify that person delivered the results.

If you have made a commitment and its low in priority or you have found out that you can no longer fulfill it, just inform the person expecting from you and close the loop.  Remember to follow-up and close the loop.  Do not leave anything with loose ends. I guess this is one of the key ingredient to build brands.


Twitter for Managers and Leaders

November 1, 2009

Early this month, I spoke about PMI-GLC’s Social Media Initiatives at PMI Leadership Institute Meeting @ Region 4 (at Orlando, Florida).  I found out that majority of project managers and leaders are aware of the social media in some way but not utilizing that much. LinkedIn for networking and Facebook were two tools that most of the PMs knew and had profiles active. I am using Twitter for some time now and finding it very useful and informative.  Here is my Twitter page or follow me @kulveervirk.

In this post I would like to give my readers quick info on Twitter and how it can be used by project/program managers and leaders effectively to advance the profession, help the stakeholders and grow their personal network while learning new stuff.  Next you develop strategy to use Twitter effectively.

Some Basics:
It is evident that more and more professionals are interacting through social media tools and technologies to share the ideas and spread the word.  Social media includes blogs, LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace, Orkut, Twitter, and many more. There are millions of people using Twitter all across the globe.

Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can’t, and the other half who have nothing to say but keep on saying it.  – Robert Frost

Twitter is very innovative way of communicating with people you choose to communicate with.  It is inexpensive and effective way to distribute information on the Internet. Twitter allows you to communicate in 140 characters.  These 140 character messages you send or choose to read are called tweets.  In this message (aka tweet) you can include a link to any article, post, or blog.  Once you are on Twitter you will choose to follow some of the folks tweeting and you will also have some followers who are interested to read your tweets.  You can choose whom to follow or if you want to block someone from following you.  You can create lists (similar to groups).

First step after setting up your account  for a professional is to search for fellow professionals in similar profession and start following them.  There is minimal lingo involved that you can find it here to get started. Once you start following people and communicating, you are already on your way create, share and discover ideas on project management and leadership.

For Managers and Leaders:
 Twitter is excellent tool to connect to your stakeholders (provided your stakeholders are on Twitter and following you).  You can provide quick info or update about your project, product, service or initiative to your stakeholders.

For example, you have a product that tracks helpdesk tickets and you have new exciting feature that you have incorporated into the beta release, you can keep updating your followers about the progress and also provide the link to your blog when you provide some update.

If you have a flagship software or hardware product and you may have loyal following (as in case of Apple and Microsoft), you can provide info and also read what others are talking about your product and support/service.

One practical use of Twitter is by Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to spread the word on health and safety; now a days on H1N1

Other best use is when you are following other professionals in your field, you can find out industry trends, what are they working on, what new things have they discovered.  If can respond to the questions that are being asked or you may have some ask for advice.

You will find and follow many industry leaders and experts are constantly tweeting and you can learn a lot from them.  For example, I follow @kenblanchard, @jack_welch, @tom_peters, @tom_peters, @Padmasree and many more whom I admire.  You may find that your boss or your CEO/CIO is also tweeting, follow him and find out what he says and asks.  Twitter also gives you opportunity to ask direct questions or share ideas.

You can use Twitter to promote your brand.  People from different walk of life might be interested in what you are sharing via tweets and learn from your experience; its nice way to give back to community as well.

There are some drawbacks as well that come with any tool or technologies.  You must be very clear about your objective while tweeting.  Always stay professional and tweet only when you have something useful to share or ask.  A nice motivational or inspiring quote is always better than saying “I am baselining my project plan 7th time in a month.”

Whatever you say (or tweet), represents you and builds your image.  You are building your network and you will get some loyal followers on the way. If you are tweeting about your organization or corporate product, make sure you are authorized to say something. 

You can receive and communicate on Twitter using your smartphone.  If you have Twitter account, you can follow me using @kulveervirk and find out whom am I following.

Thank you for reading and hope that this info will help you in some way.  Let me know what other creative ways you are using Twitter as a professional or project manager.

Useful links:
Why Project Managers Should Twitter
Twitter 101 for Business
Shorten and track your URLs


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