How to Explain Project Management to Grade 1

Project management is like creating a plan to build a lego set in stages with different teams building the separate parts.

Today I am going to try to explain project management to my kid’s class of Grade 1 students. This is part of their social studies class and I am sure you could only imagine a few fields more boring that project management (at least for kids, I love my job). I have been preparing for three weeks and I feel stressed out, because these brilliant young kids ask tough questions. Like, for example, why did I pick this job, what I like the most and so on.

I remember when I started preparing the presentation, I had the idea to actually publish the outcome as a post. I am not expecting that any of you is actually a six-year-old, but I hope that you will enjoy the story that I have prepared for them.

By the end of the article, I hope that you will have a framework for simplifying future similar conversations. Ana go-to resource for sharing more information about projects, milestones, reports, and testing with your children.

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People Management 101

Getting into people management as a first-time manager is all about planning, learning, preparation, execution and reflection.

Getting into people management is probably one of the most coveted steps in anyone’s career. It is also the step met with the most anxiety and maybe sometimes fear. Many people usually describe it as hitting a wall. If you get into people management you need to change your whole paradigm. Most of the qualities and skills that made you successful as an individual contributor (IC) will not be entirely applicable in your new situation.

The goal of this article is to give you a framework for the first few weeks after becoming a people manager. It is about what you need to drop and what you need to develop when getting into people management.

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How to Gracefully Move to a New Team

Moving to a new team can be a win-win situation. Your old team gets to grow a new person in your footsteps and you get to grow in a new role.

Sooner or later in your career you will need to move to a new team for a variety of reasons. Additional responsibilities, new challenges, internal reorganizations. Most probably, you will need to do this multiple times in your career. The more gracefully you handle this, the better the overall results will be. And by gracefully I mean that you need to leave your old team in order, close down the professional relationships that you build in way that shows mutual respect.

In this article you will learn a few of the things that I do when I am joining a new team. I have also tried the burn the bridges technique and I must admit it has its applications, but I prefer the graceful way.

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The Habit of Embracing Change

Change is everywhere and it is here to stay. You can either suffer constantly when the next change hits you, or you can adopt a habit of embracing it.

Change is a constant factor in our everyday lives. Now, when the whole world is practicing social distance and/or quarantine, in a situation that only a few anticipated, change is even more relevant. But we, humans, are not built flexible. Most of our brains’ efforts are spent to find a safe behavior and make us stick to it. This is a challenge because nothing is safe in times of uncertainty and change.

In this article I will show you how to adopt a habit of embracing change. There are many things that can help you be successful in your personal and professional life, but this skill is going to make you successful at almost anything. As we get further into the twenty-first century, I believe that there will be two skills which will be more and more valuable. Learning how to learn fast and learning how to embrace change.

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Do What You Love or Love What You Do

Doing what you love is bad advice. Working hard, improving the skills that stand out, taking small steps forward, is what gets you to love what you do.

Should you try to do what you love (a.k.a. your passion) for a living? You get bombarded with this question over and over again in your everyday life. It is on the social media (e.g. people posting about doing what they love and getting paid for it). It is also on the TV (e.g. famous celebrities evangelizing their lifestyles and how they satisfy even their weirdest pleasures). And of course, it is also in the movies and songs (e.g. those influencers that changed the world by pursuing their dreams). In short, doing what you love is about following your passion.

In this article, I will argue against following your passion. And I will argue for another approach – adopting a different mindset, deliberately working on your habits, defining the areas where you are great, and, ultimately, learning to love what you do. In short, defining the passion as the product of your work, rather than defining work as the product of your passion.

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