Thursday, April 29, 2010

Seth Godin: The difference between managing a project and running a project

Here is a link to a 45 minute-long live recording of a recent master class session by my favorite Change Agent, Seth Godin.

Godin spoke about the topics he covered in his recent book, Linchpin, including making the distinction between a project manager and someone who runs a project. The latter takes responsibility for making things happen. I was inspired to really ask myself - which am I? Just a manager, someone who reports to my bosses, success or failure, or am I somebody who gets things done?

Thank you for your time! If you have any questions about my experience with the eCornell Project Leadership classes, please email me at

Monday, April 26, 2010

Two tips to get the most out of Cornell Project Leadership classes

I am in my second week of my Intro to Project Leadership class at eCornell! In addition to logging on to the eCornell website and reading the lesson material, I have found two other ways to learn more about project management skills.

1. Follow the discussions via email. In the Discussion Forum, I chose 'Watch this Topic via Email.' That way, I receive the posts by the instructor and the other students in my email in box as they are posted, instead of having to log onto the eCornell website multiple times every day to keep track of the discussion.

2. Join the Instructor in the Chat Room during office hours. I 'met' several other students in my class and got a 'sneak peek' at the assignments we would be completing in later courses. The ability to network with other project management professionals and build connections is invaluable, especially in today's economy.

Thank you for your time! If you have any questions, please email me at

Friday, April 23, 2010

How project managers can improve productivity in their team - advice from RoundPegg

From, an informative 10 minute presentation on how to re-engage your team members. Goals, skills and fit are the three factors in the engagement or disengagement of a project team member (the other 7 minutes of the video explain Roundpegg).

I am going to begin to use a version of the question, "How can I support your effectiveness" in my conversations with team members.

Introduction to Project Leadership - thoughts on my first week at eCornell

My first few days of my first class in my eCornell Project Leadership certificate program went really well! The admissions counselor recommended that I take the Introduction to Project Leadership course first, as this class will provide the groundwork academically for all the other classes. I will also take Project Teams: Mining Collective Intelligence, Dealing with Difference, Earned Value Management, Influence Without Authority and Conflict Management, in that order.

The instructor, Robert Emborski, has a Master’s degree in Industrial Management from Clarkson University, and a Master’s degree in Information Management from Syracuse University. Emborski is also certified as a Project Management Professional (PMP) by the Project Management Institute. From his introductory email, he seems intelligent, friendly and approachable.

The first module discusses the organizational design aspect of being a project manager. The lessons are easy to understand, but provoke a lot of thought. Our first assignment was to critique a recent project we have either led or worked on. I am enjoying reading about the experiences of my fellow students. I printed out the article “Matrix Management,” by Larson and Gobeli to read this weekend.

Thank you for your time! If you have any questions, please email me at

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The First Follower : How to Start a Movement

I am inspired by this three minute talk on Leadership by Derek Sivers at a recent TED conference. Sivers, the founder of CD Baby, uses a video of a spontaneous dance party to show how to start a movement. Leadership is important, but Sivers points out that it is the first follower that is crucial to the project's success. The first follower shows others how to participate and validates the project.

How can leaders utilize their management skills to grow support for their project?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Why I Chose to earn my Certificate in Project Leadership from eCornell.

Hello, my name is Kathleen Lisson. I work in Public Relations, and I graduated college in 1999, which means I have not had to "crack a textbook" for class credit in well over a decade.

I enjoy reading books on business and leadership, but I felt that a more concrete indication on my resume of my commitment to life-long learning was needed.

I looked into courses offered at the well-advertised online universities, as well as at SUNY - Albany and Empire State College here in Albany, NY but felt that I wanted a "bigger bang for my buck" if I was going to invest my time and finances into a program of study. I needed a recognized leader in education and a program that would sharpen my skills in leading and managing teams. I love my present career, but I am always looking to improve myself and my skills. I needed a University and a course of study that would put my resume on the top of any company's 'short list' of potential hires.

The Cornell Daily Sun recently reported that, "eCornell, Cornell University’s online learning company, has recently been named a Top 20 Leadership Development Company by Training Industry Inc. and awarded “Best Leadership Development Program” by eLearning! magazine at the 2009 Best of eLearning Readers’ Choice Awards."

I decided on Cornell University, and I am now set to start taking classes to earn my Certificate in Project Leadership. I hope that this blog will help me be a more effective student and help you decide if Cornell is right for you, too.

Thank you for your time! I would love to hear your feedback and questions. Please email me at