Robin Hood 2018: Keep Your Certification Up

As a career PM, I have a certification from the Project Management Institute as a "Professional Project Manager" (PMP).

This is a SERIOUS CERTIFICATION. By that I mean:

I had to have new and old bosses sign off on my work experience to applyI needed 40 hours of trainingIt required passing a brutal 250-question exam with an estimated first time failure rate of 40-50%The certification lapses unless you prove that you are keeping up with your career education over time
It was quite a bit of trouble to get, but it's worth it. Why? Because it has value. Having a PMP attached to my name increases my employability, opens new job opportunities, and improves my salary.

Considering the benefit and what I went through to get the darned thing, there is no way I will ever let it lapse. That means attending conferences, logging mentoring and reading hours, signing up for webinars, and so on.

Turns out that this is true of a whole lot of worthwhile things in this world. Are you unoffici…

The Liminal Landscape

Growing up, I lived in the same small town from the age of three to 18. Since leaving I've never lived in any one place for that long. While there were certainly negatives to growing up in such a small town (though our primary youth hobbies of cow tipping and road sign shooting have been replaced with, well, meth I think) there were also benefits.

One of those was the peace and quiet required to see the liminal landscape. In fact, I still dream of the land beneath the land of that place. From the river that doesn't exist, to the cliff dwellings where there is no cliff, to the non-existent pass where the observatory really isn't. The most potent one for me is the boring suburban backyard that contains a doorway to fairy. It's potent because at one point, as an adult, I revisited the old neighborhood and peeked into that yard. Sure enough, there it was, not visible to the naked eye, but not only accessible in dreams.

Unfortunately, my ability to access the liminal landsc…

Every Little Thing She Does is Magic

I hunted down this old post today because it said something I needed to hear. Interesting how we can need reminders of even the things we already believe?

There have been some significant changes in the way magicians view magic in recent decades. Chaos magic in particular has moved away from a spirit-driven model, or a will-driven one, to a probability-driven view of magic. That is, magic's effects are on the probability field around various results. This view accounts for a lot of the actual limitations we see with magic (the core example is why your spell didn't win you the lottery).

The chief complaint about this model seems to be that labeling all magic as 'probability shift' makes the results of magic very small. That is limits magicians to only those changes that already have good odds. If you can't affect major changes, then what's the point?

I think there are two answers to this objection:

First, who gets to say what the odds really are? The lottery, fo…

Robin Hood 2018: There is no ASS in Assessment... Oh Wait

Recently I mentioned that I took the Clifton Strengths Assessment at a PM conference. I really liked the assessment because a) it has a ton of data to back it up b) it's useful for a host of purposes and c) it's relentlessly positive. I used it to look at my future career goals and to overcome challenges in my current position.

Of course, this isn't the first assessment I've ever had as part of my career. I've done the DISC Assessment and the Keirsey Temperament Sorter as well. I've also done ones for more specific purposes (like measuring Intercultural Aptitude). The only one I've never done as part of a career activity is the Meyers-Briggs. This is good news as of all these squishy psychological tests, Meyers-Briggs is the most based in pure, unresearched BS (sorry Facebook!).

Why do I take them? Well, sometimes it's because I'm in a room full of colleagues and HR is there. But mostly it's because I've learned interesting things about, not…

The Agile Magic Manifesto -- A Guide to Agile Magic

Hey all, as part of the work I'm doing on my course, I wrote a 15-page guide to working agile magic based on the Agile Magic Manifesto. It's a quick start to approaching your magic (and your life) from an agile perspective.

In addition, you'll get the CircleThrice newsletter, full of practical advice on PMPM and agile magic.

Subscribe and get your copy of the Agile Magic Manifesto and the CircleThrice Newsletter:

Steal from the Rich -- Robin Hood the Shit Out of 2018

One of the most interesting types of feedback I get on CircleThrice (sometimes directly and sometimes obliquely) is that people don't think my stuff is relevant to them because they aren't "corporate." Now certainly, not everything I write is going to make sense for everyone out there. But I want to be super clear here, if you think that something doesn't benefit or impact you because it comes from some big money-making entity -- you are really, really wrong.

Just because something is "corporate" doesn't mean it's not important for you to know about. In fact, just the opposite.

First, because when you use some technique for process or project or efficiency or management that comes out of corporate-land to re-enchant and empower your own life... well, that's some rebellious, subversive, Robin Hood shit right there.

After all, corporations are some of the biggest, most powerful entities in the world right now. And they are entirely invested in…

New Priorities in the Face of Change

Hey there. So, the past two weeks have been an absolute shitshow in my life. Technical glitches, lots of illness, discovery of antibiotic allergies (the hard way) and so forth and so on. It's been exhausting and we're only just coming out the other side.

As is my habit, when bad stuff happens I like to consider what useful lessons or feedback I can take from it. OK, it's mostly after the dust settles, I admit. During the bad stuff, I'm scrambling and freaking out just like anyone else. Now I'm not in the habit of beating myself up because, hey, shit happens and it's not anyone's fault. But if I can glean some kind of actionable lesson from it, well, that's at least something.

In this case, it seemed like the week contained some interesting takeaways directly related to the big changes in planetary alignment that started on Dec the 19th. Here's my short list of lessons -- items that I'm considering serious advice for the coming year(s):
Follow the…