Friday, 29 July 2005

Newsletter Issue 100, July 2005

Sam Young Newsletter

Issue 100, July 2005
Hi guys,
How good are you as a manager? Check out Seven Sins of Management below to find out.
Have You Got The Bot? Keep your system up to date to make sure you haven't!
Don't forget, if you want to be taken off my mailing list, click here to send me a reply e-mail and I will remove your name.

Seven Sins of Management

While reading the articles in the US Management website, I was struck by this following article on the seven sins of management by Lonnie Pacelli. He has kindly allowed me to reproduce his article here, for all of you to enjoy & learn from.
Pride. Envy. Gluttony. Lust. Anger. Greed. Sloth. You will recognise these as either the “seven deadly sins” or themes from prime-time television. Either way, you were probably taught as a child that they were bad and to be avoided at all costs. But chances are, mum didn’t warn you about the evils of committing similar sins in the workplace.
Here are the “Seven Sins of Management” and, more importantly, how to avoid them.
Sin #1 - Arrogance
Have you ever known a manager who consistently claimed to know more than the rest of the team? How about one who was unwilling to listen to opposing views? Isn’t this just a sign of confidence? What’s wrong with that? Confidence is a crucial management skill; people need to know that they can look to them for guidance, particularly when things get tough. But when confidence crosses the line to arrogance, the manager shows disrespect for the team. Subtract respect from the equation and you’re just an arrogant jerk.
Sin #2 – Indecisiveness
At Monday’s meeting management presents a course of action. On Tuesday, the manager decides to take a completely different course. On Thursday the manager decides to return to Monday’s plan. You get the idea. A decisive manager gathers input from those around them, and makes the best decision for a given project, then sticks to it. While team members may not agree with the decision, they should be able to understand the rationale. Decisions without rationale or without listening to others involved will ultimately frustrate the team and impede progress.
Sin #3 – Disorganisation
We’ve all known managers who ask for the same information over and over again, who refuse to write things down or are so frantic that they’re on the verge of spontaneously combusting. Their disorganisation creates unneeded stress and frustration for everyone on the project team. An effective manager provides a clear pathway on which staff members can navigate from start to completion of a project. They must ensure that the ball moves forward every day of the project. Disorganisation leads to frustration, which leads to either empathy or anarchy. 
Sin #4 – Stubbornness
On one of my early project management jobs I was a month behind schedule on a three-month project. I refused to alter the project schedule, insisting that I could “make up the schedule” by cutting corners and eliminating tasks. Despite the entire project team telling me we were in trouble, I stubbornly forged ahead. I never saw the end of the project because my stubbornness caused me to be removed as the project manager. Sometimes it takes a 2x4 across the head for one to see the light. The manager may believe that his or her view of reality is correct, but it’s imperative to balance one’s own perspective with that of the rest of the project team. Decisiveness without listening to the team leads to stubbornness.
Sin #5 – Negativity
One of my former peers, in his zeal to “manage expectations,” would consistently discuss the project in a negative light. The focus was on what work hadn’t been done, the crisis of the week, who wasn’t doing their job. This negative attitude about the work, people and purpose of the project sapped the energy, enthusiasm and passion out of the work. It was a self-fulfilling prophecy; the project failed because the project manager willed it to fail. This one’s simple; a “glass-is-half-empty” manager will sap the energy from a team. This doesn’t mean that you have to be a happy, smiley person all the time. However, to succeed, a manager has to truly believe in what he or she is doing and to positively motivate the team.
Sin #6 – Cowardice
Imagine this: the manager who, when pressed on a budget or schedule over-run, blames team members, stakeholders or anyone else who could possibly have contributed to the problem. It’s so much easier to play the blame game and implicate others than to identify the real source of the problem and find a solution. It’s perfectly OK to be self-critical and aware of your own weaknesses and mistakes. For leaders to truly continue to grow in their leadership capabilities, they need to be the first—not the last—to admit their mistakes and learn from them.
Sin #7 – Distrust
Simply put, managers who don’t display core skills, show wisdom in their decisions or demonstrate integrity won’t win the trust of their people. Team members must believe that their manager has what it takes to manage the project, the wisdom to make sound business decisions and the integrity to put the team’s interests ahead of their own. If even one of these attributes is missing, it’s just a matter of time before the manager gets voted off the island.
About the Author: Lonnie Pacelli has over 20 years of project management experience at both Accenture and Microsoft and is the author of The Project Management Advisor – 18 Major Project Screw-Ups and How to Cut them off at the Pass. Contact him at:

Have You Got The Bot?

In 2004, with the high-profile attacks like MyDoom worm, you were generally quite sure if your system was infected.
However, those blasted virus developers/hackers are now using a more subtle approach. The latest of which is by invisibly seizing control of your machine using tiny programs called 'bots' that await instructions from their creators; turning your machine effectively into a 'zombie'.
These bots allow your machines, once infected, to be used for a variety of illegal purposes, including sending spam, or participating in a denial of service attacks against websites. Quite 'Bride of Frankenstein', isn't it.
Users aren't so aware of this subversive virus spread, but McAfee's researchers have recorded nearly 13,000 cases of attempted bot hijackings, up from about 3,000 during the first quarter of 2005, and that adware and spyware program installs were up 12% when compared to the first quarter of 2005.
And apparently money has increasingly been a motivating factor in attacks, according to McAfee, and organised crime seems to be now getting involved.  Rather than crashing users' systems or sending out huge quantities of email, attackers are using malicious software such as the Mytob worm to install adware on personal computers.
It comes back to basics. Make sure your Antivirus is up to date, install anti-spyware and watch who you open mail from. And don't leave your PC online while you are not there. If you haven't got good spyware installed, check out Newsletter 92 for details.

Keyboard Key Groups

Do you know what the key groups are called on your keyboard? I suddenly realised when I wanted to explain something to someone, that, while I knew most of the groups, there were some I didn't.
So following is the definitive list, with the groups coloured to match the keyboard diagram and text descriptions.

  • Function keys are purple (F1, F2 etc)
  • Typewriter keys are blue (alphanumeric and punctuation keys)
  • Windows keys are pink (Windows Start Menu & Pop-up menu button etc found on Microsoft keyboards)
  • Modification keys are green (Alt, Shift, Ctrl, Num Lock, Scroll Lock & Caps Lock)
  • Special keys are cyan (Escape, Print Screen & Pause)
  • Navigation keys are yellow (these are the cursor control keys; Backspace, Insert, Arrow keys, Home, End, Delete, Page Up & Page Down)
  • Numeric Keypad is red

TLAs for SMEs

Here are this newsletter's TLAs for you;
  • kb, Kilobyte, 1000 bytes (Kb is the binary abbreviation, for 1024 bytes)
  • mb, Megabyte, 1,000,000 bytes
  • gb, Gigabyte, 1,000,000,000 bytes
  • tb, Terabyte, 1,000,000,000,000 bytes

Please feel free to email me with any TLAs that you want to get the bottom (meaning!) of.

Tips, Short+Hot Keys
Continuing our Outlook hot key list, this time we look at all you can do with the navigation and special keys with Alt, Shift, Ctrl;
  • Outlook "Copy" Ctrl & Insert
  • Outlook "Paste" Shift & Insert
  • Outlook "Cut" Shift & Delete
  • Outlook "Display the Close Program dialog box to end the active program, or shut down the system" Ctrl & Alt & Delete
  • Outlook "Copy an image the screen to the Clipboard" Print Screen
  • Outlook "Cancel current operation or cancel the command and close the dialog box or close a drop-down list box (when a drop-down list box is selected) or close the visible menu or help tip; or, with a submenu visible, close the submenu only" Esc
  • Outlook "Display the Windows Start menu" Ctrl & Esc

Hot Linx
Microsoft's new OS, once "Longhorn" has been renamed Microsoft "Vista". Check it out at
Want to know Google's free trend data for the week? What the top searches were? Then go to
And this site is a peculiar one but worth a look at Hold your cursor over the list of random words to the right & see the 'stream of consciousness'...
If you want to know all about Chocolate, go to the How Stuff Works website at

                                Catch you again soon!! E-mail your suggestions to me here