Merry Christmas – 2019

I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas from my family and me. Below is this year’s Annual Sisco Christmas Letter, , , it is the 27th year we have done this.Click Here to view a larger PDF FILE.

MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR
from THE SISCO’S

Learn how to manage projects successfully in 1 hour

Start managing projects successfully in just 1 hour.

GUARANTEED

IT organizations have poor track records in managing projects successfully, and this UNDERMINES IT CREDIBILITY. To be successful, you have to be credible and the path to IT credibility is delivering projects successfully.

You don’t need a robust methodology, project management certification, or fancy tools to manage projects successfully. What you do need is a practical process, a little knowledge, and a few tools THAT WORK!

This is exactly what I’ll give you in a 1-hour training video.

Use my proven project management process and fundamentals and you will deliver your next project successfully — GUARANTEED!

That’s right, I’m so confident I can teach you how to manage a project successfully in just 1 hour that I’ll return your money if you aren’t 100% satisfied. No theory, , , just simple and straightforward steps that anyone can use to achieve project success.

3-part program designed to teach you quickly including step by step instruction on how to do everything required to manage a project successfully:

  • Quantifying project objectives and deliverables
  • Defining resource requirements
  • Developing a project budget
  • Calculating Return On Investment (ROI)
  • Creating and managing a project schedule
  • Organizing a Project Kickoff Meeting
  • Holding effective Project Status Meetings

All of this is much simpler than you might think. Once you know what to do and how to do it plus have tools that work, you will be able to succeed.

And when you start delivering projects successfully, it will separate you from others and BOOST YOUR CAREER just like it has done for me.

PLUS A BONUS – my book, IT Project Management: a practical approach and project management schedule templates you can use immediately.

TAKE ACTION NOW

CLICK the PURCHASE BUTTON below
and start managing your projects successfully!

You will receive the following:

A)  1-hour “How To” video on managing projects successfully
B)  E-Book – IT Project Management: a practical approach
C)  Project scheduling template that I use all the time
D)  Sample system conversion project schedule

Weekly Special #3 from the IT Manager Institute

ACE Your Next Performance Review

 

 

 

 

 

This week’s SPECIAL OFFER is ACE Your Next Performance Review. Includes a 1-hour video plus BONUS Executive Report that will give you a simple step by step process and tools to help you boost your performance and get great Performance Reviews.

Getting better Performance Reviews leads to more money, promotions and self confidence – ALL GOOD THINGS. Make it happen with insight and resources provided in this package by investing $15.00 in your career today.

$99.00 value for only $15.00

Getting better performance reviews happens when you perform better, but there is much more to it than that. For one thing, your manager has to know you are performing better and unfortunately this doesn’t always happen.

You need to TAKE CONTROL of the situation if you truly want a better Performance Review. The training video includes a 3-part program that will give you exactly what you need to take control and get better Performance Reviews.

The Guide to Better Reviews section gives you a simple step by step process anyone can use to achieve better reviews. These steps helped me go from getting an average review to consistently achieving outstanding reviews. It made a positive difference in my career.

The 20 Tips to Influence Your Review part will also help reinforce the things you can do to improve your Performance Reviews.

Finally, the Task Management & Workflow System provides Performance Planning and Review insight from a senior management perspective of more than 30 years that can make a huge difference in how you go about your work. This section can literally make a huge impact on your career.

This package includes a BONUS Report that will reinforce everything that’s in the 1-hour video plus it gives you a special offer to one of the best organization and workflow systems for IT managers that I’ve seen.

Weekly Special #2 from the IT Manager Institute

15 Key Tools Every IT Manager Needs

Tools and templates can make your work EASIER, help you be more PRODUCTIVE, and reduce STRESS. This week’s SPECIAL OFFER gives you access to what I consider are my TOP 15 IT Manager Tools & Templates at an incredible price.

Included is a 1-hour video that discusses each tool in detail and shows you how to use them plus a download link giving you access to the 15 tools so you can use them immediately “as is” or customize as you like.

 

Order now below or CLICK HERE to Learn More. Please note, , , the offer on this linked page changes frequently.

Are you using ALEXA at work?

Thought this might be a good poll – “Are you using Amazon ECHO (Alexa) or a similar technology at work?” My doctor has an ECHO DOT in each of his waiting rooms and I can tell you firsthand that it makes it quite convenient to pass the time waiting for his visit. In my case I play Simon & Garfunkle or Beach Boys music.

 

Using Alexa can go much deeper than simply listening to music. If I were at a corporate office, I would think about putting DOT’s in strategic areas for my employees to access. How many times a day do you think they GOOGLE a question they have or look up a reference to a topic they are working on?

QUITE OFTEN, don’t you think?

 

Weekly Special #1 from the IT Manager Institute

Interviewing For a CIO Position

This week’s SPECIAL OFFER will prepare you for a CIO interview or other IT level interviews. Plus it includes a FREE DOWNLOAD of my book, What To Look For In a CIO.

Order now below or CLICK HERE to Learn More. Please note, , , the offer shown on this linked page changes frequently.

Manager Takeaways From Tiger Woods’ 5th Masters Win

Tiger Woods may have just completed the greatest comeback in the history of sports. His 5th Green Jacket win at the 83rd Masters has some great management principles worth noting.

Observing things and learning how they can apply to success and management is something I’ve been doing my entire career. This year’s Masters Tournament has some valuable lessons.

Background
Just a year ago at this time the sports analysts were saying, “Tiger may not win again, and he probably will not win another major championship.” My, how much things can change in a year.

Tiger had not won a Masters since 2005 and his last Major win was the U.S. Open in 2008. Health issues leading to four back  surgeries literally crippled the greatest golfer of our time. Eleven years of mediocre play, recovery after recovery, and challenges we probably don’t even know about would be real reasons for most to question any possibility for major success in Tiger’s future.

It was almost prophetic for Tiger to be awarded the Ben Hogan Award for the “best comeback on the PGA Tour” on the evening before the first day of play in this year’s Masters. It was a sign of things to come, I think.

His win at this year’s Masters was somewhat predictable if you look at the trend of his play in the recent tournaments that are  most important on the PGA Tour:
–  2018 Masters*                   T32
–  2018 U.S. Open*             Missed Cut
–  2018 British Open*             T6
–  2018 PGA Championship*          2
–  2018 PGA Tour Championship     Won

* (Major Championships)

Tiger was in contention the back nine of the last round in each of the last two majors plus he won the Tour Championship at the end of the year. His progression was like an army on a force march to the next battle. Even so, the pundits were still questioning his ability to win another major before the start of this year’s Masters.

David Duval, a golf analyst on the Golf Channel and former #1 player in the world, got it right. He picked Tiger to win this year’s Masters Tournament based upon Tiger’s demeanor and how he was going about things. It was not completely about how well he was playing although that was certainly part of it. David’s explanation was that Tiger had the look again and seemed calm, diligent, and with purpose in what he was doing. If you watched the tournament, you could definitely see it.

A key point with this is that your IT Organization’s success is dependent upon how you and your team go about your business as much as what you do. It’s not all about doing things technically correct. Soft skills and communicating effectively make huge differences with your IT support clients.

6 Takeaways from Tiger’s Masters win
There are 6 things I got out of Tiger’s miraculous win that I think are worth noting because they can be beneficial for IT managers to be aware of and appreciate.

1.  Plan – Tiger had a plan. Well, “That sounds obvious!”, you might say. Most players have a game plan going into a tournament. Tiger’s plan was pretty simple and ultimately comes down to this:

  1. Keep the ball below the hole. (Augusta National greens are notoriously fast and putting from below the hole lets you be more aggressive.)
  2. Put the ball in the right spots on drives, iron shots, even on long putts. If you miss, miss it in areas that give you better odds of recovery.

Takeaway:  For IT managers to succeed, you have to have a plan. Those who plan achieve more success.

2.  Preparation – Tiger prepared even when you might not have realized it. In the few tournaments he played leading up to the Masters, he worked on specific shots that he knew would be important at Augusta National. Things like drawing and fading a driver off the tee and moving the ball left or right and high or low as required with his irons. . . in tournament pressure situations . He has been preparing for this tournament since winning the Tour Championship last September.

Takeaway:  Preparation is key to success. Teaching your employees how to prepare and what to prepare for will help your IT organization achieve more success. When they succeed, you can succeed.

3.  Experience – Tiger had to regain the experience of winning. He had to relearn how it feels to be in contention on the final afternoon of a major. He did that with the British Open and PGA Championship last year, then winning the Tour Championship boosted his confidence to a point that he knew he could win major championships again.

Takeaway:  Experience is critical for success and confidence comes with small wins that lead to bigger wins. It’s all about the process of doing the right things that lead to success.

4.  Knowledge – Knowledge and experience played a huge part in Tiger’s win. His knowledge of his game and how he was playing plus considerable knowledge of Augusta National’s course and the greens were big advantages for Tiger in my opinion. He also reinforced within himself to remain patient throughout the tournament, something that’s hard for most of us to do. Even when things were not going as well as planned, Tiger remained patient and stayed confident about the good things that were to come if he kept doing the “right things”.

Takeaway:  In IT, we must gain the knowledge of what is required to support the business so we are in sync with what the business needs and positioned to deliver business value for our clients. It’s not all about technology. Our IT success is dependent upon understanding the business.

5.  Focus – If you watched the tournament, you saw Tiger focused like a laser. One of the scenes I loved was when Tiger and Rory McIlroy were practicing in a bunker side by side on the 2nd day. Rory kept glancing over at Tiger, but Tiger never once looked away from what he was focusing on. He was like that on the course as well, truly focused on what he and he alone was doing.

Takeaway:  IT employees can’t focus if their manager doesn’t provide the focus. Let me rephrase this a bit. Employees will focus on what they think is important; it’s up to IT managers to help insure their focus is targeted appropriately.

6.  Positive thinking – Tiger Woods has a huge capacity for thinking positively. Just listen to his press interviews and you pick it up immediately. I think this has a lot to do with how his Mom and Dad raised him; it’s part of who he is. In one interview after a round where he missed several short putts, he was asked about his putting. His response was,  “My lines are good and as long as I’m leaving myself below the hole like I have been, I’ll be ok.”. . . meaning, he was hitting the putts on his intended line but they just weren’t going in due to speed or a misread. Because he was putting uphill, he didn’t 3-putt much.

Takeaway:  This is key! As long as you are doing the right things and making your best efforts, ultimately you will be successful. It may take a while and you may fail several times before you reach that success, but if you are patient and persevere in continuing to do the right things success will find you.

I can hardly wait to see how golf’s next major championship unfolds and learn from it.

New IT Manager Training Planned for 2019

My main focus for IT Manager training in 2019 will be developing new Practical IT Manager Training Series classes. Plus, I’ll delver 2 or 3 online IT Manager Institute & ITBMC Certification classes this year.

Take a look at the planned classes for the months ahead:

Appreciate the good things

Life goes in cycles. So does work and your career. There are good times and there are, , , well, let’s just say “challenging” times. We all experience it, and it occurs both professionally and personally.

My thoughts about all of this are that, “If things are good, enjoy and appreciate the good times because sooner or later something is going to disrupt it.”

Likewise, if things are going badly for you, hang in there because eventually your situation is going to improve.

How you look at a situation can make a big difference.

I could give you many examples of this, but I’ll share a current situation.

My family was recently in the hospital and a skilled nursing/rehab facility for just over 2 months (from February 10th thru April 12th).

Our son, Eddie, had a fall and broke his left elbow badly. The surgery to insert a plate and screws went very well, but he had major complications with a drug reaction to the antibiotics.

He got a severe case of what is called Stevens-Johnson Syndrome. It’s really bad and can even be life threatening. Eddie had a very bad case of it. Look it up and you’ll see just how dangerous this situation is.

Should have been a 2 or 3-day stay after his surgery that turned into a 2-month ordeal. The worst part was that Eddie was in excruciating pain due to the rash and blisters that covered him from head to toe, , , it was like serious burns both inside and outside his body.

All of this is complicated by the fact that Eddie suffered a massive brain injury in 1993 from a car accident. His short term memory is very bad so when he has an issue, Dorine or I are always with him. Some might call this being “over protective”, but our reasoning is to insure those who are caring for Eddie always have accurate information, something he is not always able to give them.

We were finally able to return home just over a week ago and Eddie is improving daily so the most difficult times are behind us. Home Care nursing and physical therapy have begun to help him along. Eddie still has challenges but good times are ahead of us.

The reason I share this story is to emphasize the need to always look at your situation as a “glass that is half full”, , , not “half empty”.

This is hard to do. It doesn’t matter if it’s a personal challenge or maybe a professional challenge you’re facing.

Staying positive is hard at times, but it’s important for you and those around you for you to be as positive as you can.

One of the things Dorine and I believe very strongly is that Eddie’s recovery from the auto accident 26 years ago was helped because we kept looking at “what can be” versus giving up when the doctors and nurses kept telling us he will never be able to do anything based upon the severity of his head injury. You only need to meet Eddie once to see he has far surpassed all of the expert’s forecasts.

My point – positive reinforcement does make a difference.

You also don’t have to look far to see a situation that is far worse than your set of circumstances. Believe me, our family knows this well.

So here is the thing that I try to reinforce with myself often and want to emphasize with you.

Learn to appreciate the good things! 

If things are going well in your life and professionally, , , appreciate the fact that they are. Setbacks hit us all at one time or another so enjoy your successes and happiness that you are experiencing right now.

If you happen to be in the midst of a setback, , , try to stay positive. It will eventually turn around and get better. Plus, who knows, , , the positive energy you create might just help turn your misfortune around.

I believe challenges and setbacks build character. You can’t truly enjoy and appreciate the good times if you haven’t experienced a few bad times.

We don’t have “highs” without having some “lows”. The setbacks you encounter may actually change your life for the better. I have seen this with my own career (a story for another time) and with others.

So, keep your head up, think positively, and do good things that make a positive difference in other people’s lives. I think you will find that it repays you many times over.

Watch my videos from the IT Leader GROWTH SUMMIT

Recently, I participated in the IT Leader GROWTH SUMMIT 2018, an all online event targeted to helping IT managers improve their success. The reason I participated was because it reinforces my company mission: “helping IT managers of the world achieve more success”.

There were over 50 speakers from many parts of the world during the 1-week agenda so it was truly an international event. Lots of fun plus I learned some things.

My participation was twofold.

First was an interview we recorded on the topic, “Attack the Triple Threat to IT Success to Achieve More”. It includes a short training segment followed by a candid interview with me about aspects of the Triple Threat that exists in companies around the world.

The second part was to lead a group discussion on the topic, “Let’s Chat About the Modern IT Organization”.

Discussions in this session include:
– What do you focus on initially in a new CIO role?
– How do you position IT more strategically?
– How can IT break out of the purely technical narrative?
– What is the role of the IT Leader in strategic business discussions?
– Who are the people in the C-Suite that the IT Leader should partner with?
– Is communication that important? And if yes, what type of communication?