Dave Litten HOME

  • September 29, 2012
  • / By Dave

Dave Litten…

…Welcome To The Home Of My Project Management Primers – Training That Sticks!

Dave Litten Primers

Psssst … Dave ‘007’ Litten here – Greetings from a (not so) secret location in the sun!

After years of working undercover as an IT boffin and project manager in England … for the Americans … I dropped my guard one day and was captured!

Despite it being highly classified information – somehow the mastermind of a huge training company had discovered I was one of a very select underground group who actually had PRINCE2 lecture credentials – so I was bundled into the back of a truck and made an offer I couldn’t refuse.

And that’s how, in 1995, I mysteriously disappeared one day only to re emerge, re invented with a new identity, appearing in public … boldly teaching Project Management … LIVE!

However … unknown to my new masters … I was also working on a secret side-project of my own. I had a VISION – a much better system of Project Management training delivery than they had ever imagined. But this time, no one was going to steal my genius ideas!

Frustrated with the quality of the materials I had to present with every day, I just knew I could create a far easier and more structured learning environment for my more renegade and adventurous students.

Thanks to constant vigilance, the end of the nineties saw me secretly publish my first online book for those wishing to master the Project Management methodology … using The Litten Method™

My new method made use of the way we all naturally learn. I had always known that we humans think in pictures, so without permission, I went ahead and harnessed that power by making the learning fun and easy … now using PowerPoint slides full of colourful graphics and videos!

The Litten Method™ was an instant hit!

By ‘painting’ the key points into my students brains using simple structured colour graphics sequences, something almost magical happened – I doubled and even tripled my students ability to learn and remember – and they were passing their exams – hundreds of them!

It WORKED. I decided there and then I HAD to break out and go it alone

It was now or never.  After months of careful planning, one day I slipped past the HR department, through the main gate, and made my bid for freedom … and never looked back.

I was FREE to create an elegant yet simple series of online project management related VIDEO ‘Primers’ which have since been constantly tweaked and honed to perfection – and this, my ‘magnificent obsession’ has given me a great lifestyle, doing what I love, living large on the Costa Blanca coastline in Spain while helping HUNDREDS of previously overwhelmed PRINCE2 and project management students pass their exams with ease

Fast forward to the present

Today, on this website, I am proud to have over 1200 potential student visits every day, where my Project Management Primer range is sold in nearly 163 countries and regions across the world.

Back when I was a gun for hire it would cost you £650 a day to have me teach Project Management live, and that was 15 years ago – so even those large and expensive classroom training organisations that you can find in major cities couldn’t afford me to teach a room now.

Good news – you CAN hire me as your virtual mentor, to coach you through Project Management using The Litten Method™.

I’m excited to show you a much more practical, step-by-step and cost-effective approach to become accredited in the exciting aspects of project management, so you can grow your career opportunities, promotion and salary increases.

Better yet, I found out how to use my project management skills to give me a financially independent lifestyle and do what I always wanted – to run my own show and never work for a boss again…

Any questions? – Email me at:  dave(at)davelitten(dot)com

Project Management Training

You know that investing in growing your knowledge, skills and experience is the single best personal objective to have, but much like me, it is sometimes difficult in our busy professional and personal lives to find the time (and money) to invest in ourselves.

Classroom training takes you away from your work and family, while books are harder to read and absorb, let alone have opportunities to apply the ideas within them.

Classroom training is always intensive and with a high learning curve – not to mention stressful as you try and cram in as much information as possible while competing for the tutors attention and time. Hungry and exhausted, you trudge back to your hotel for…homework assignments and more studying – OUCH!

project management trainingIf you are like me, it varies when you are in the ‘best’ frame of mind to absorb new information, annoyingly, these times seem to occur at inconvenient points in your regular work week. If you do take time off to attend classroom training there will inevitably be interruptions let alone calls and emails from questions and crisis back in the office! So you are distracted, with only half your mind and energy applied to the learning.

But what if you could have (on any of your devices – mobile, iPad or notebook for example), a set of structured easy to listen and absorb ‘how-to’ project management videos?

The Project Management Training Solution.

I have developed a wide range of project-related downloadable video training products under the PRIMER brand name. In addition, I also run project management training seminars across the world, and I am a prolific writer on the many topics of project management.

Dave Litten Primers

The PRIMER Range

dave litten primers

I founded the PRINCE2 Primer product way back in 1999 to promote and provide a step-by-step downloadable high quality video approach to provide PRINCE2 Practitioner candidates with a self-study preparation for the PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner exams. The PRINCE2 Primer has since been granted a License by the APM Group as the official approach to prepare for their exams.

PRINCE2 primer project management

Since that time I have created many more Primers – all specialising in downloadable, easy, step-by-step project management online training video courses.

I spent 25 years as a senior project manager for USA multinationals, and have deep experience in project management

I believe in challenging the current way that project management training is delivered. My video training Primers are beautifully designed, simple to absorb in easy steps, and are downloaded direct to your computer.

Project Management is a life-skill.

No matter what industry you work in, no matter what position you hold. No matter what specialist skills you have acquired. Project Management knowledge, skills and experience will help you become better at your life’s chosen profession.

Most traditional ‘0ff-the-job’ project management training courses have been done in the classroom. Books may be used to supplement this, but it has been proven that face-to-face multimedia training works best in terms of the delegate absorption and their ability to apply it after the course.

The trouble is, that classroom training is expensive and intensive. It also has a very high learning curve. Add to this the fact that the individual delegate has to compete for tutor attention, and you can see how traditional classroom training has not always been effective.

This is where online training scores hands-down.

Creating high quality, high-definition, downloadable videos with clear and structured supporting documentation has been my objective since the year 1999. I call these Primers – want To Own One?

My list of available Primers covering many disciplines within project management leading to certification, grows every few months, and as I write, I am currently creating a new Agile Project Management Primer.

You can see a clickable link for each of them to the right and below.

Take Action Now – Click on a link to find out full details of each Primer.

I wish you Good Luck on advancing your project management career and salary!

dave litten

 

 

 

Want To Own One of my PRIMERS? >

CLICK ON A LINK ON THE RIGHT HAND SIDE: >>>

https://www.projex.com 
(Prepare for your AgilePM Foundation and Practitioner exams)

https://www.prince2primer.com
(Pass your PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner exams!)

https://www.pm-primer.com
(Pass Your PMP Exam First Time!)

https://www.directingaproject.com
(Learn the art of Advanced PRINCE2 Governance)

https://www.project-management-primer.com
(Introduction to Project Management)

https://www.apmic-primer.com
(Introductory Certificate exam for the Association Of Project Management)

https://www.msproject2010primer.com
(Master MS Project 2010 – comes with PRINCE2 Project Templates!)

https://www.taskpack.com
(Hone your personal assignment skills)

 

 

The World is Still A Big Old Melting Pot….

The Worlds melting potBlue Mink’s biggest hit stated the same as the subject line above – not much has changed since the seventies though….

Politics is big in the news at the minute, eh?

Trump, Sanders, Camermoron, Corbyn, Europe, immigration, terrorism, global warming…

… dear me, but the world’s a mess, isn’t it?

Thing is… what do you do?

Easy: look after yourself and your loved ones, treat people decently, and don’t be a mean.

Think globally; act locally.

That’s about all you can do, because if you think voting for one party or the other is going to make a blind bit of difference then you’re an idiot.

As Charles Bukowski put it:

“The difference between a democracy and a dictatorship is that in a democracy you vote first and take orders later; in a dictatorship you don’t have to waste your time voting”

Quite.

Politicians: same crap, just different bum-holes!

Every.

Darn.

Time.

People look at me a bit funny when I tell them I don’t vote, or even agree with democracy as a form of government.

You know why that is?

It’s because many people are stupid and think democracy is something more than mob rule legitimized by the mob itself.

See, democracy means if 100 people go out for dinner and 51 of them vote ice cream for dessert, then everyone has to eat ice cream, even if the other 49 want sticky toffee pudding.

That’s democracy.

Only real democracy is worse, because if you insist on having sticky toffee pudding, then the 51 ice-cream eaters will get men with guns to force you to eat ice cream or be shot (because, ultimately, if you resist, then that’s what happens to you).

Here’s something for you to ponder: democracy always degenerates into dictatorship. If you think about how democracies work and how there is always a move towards ever greater powers of compulsion and control, then it’s easy to see why this is.

And it ain’t gonna change any time soon.

But it’s not all doom and gloom.

None of us know how we’ve got on this earth (with rare exception), and we can’t change the world.

You don’t have much say in how long you’re here, but you have almost complete control of what you do in the time you’re walking above ground.

Dunno about you, but I want to make the most of the party while I’m still here (I guarantee I ain’t gonna lie on my deathbed and say I wish I’d had less sex, less fun, and less laughter, and spent more time being a miserable old git).

You?

I can’t say. That’s your choice.

What I can say is this… if you’re a project manager wanting to get ahead of the pack, or better yet – work for yourself, then my ever-increasing range of video based management training is gonna get you there quicker…and give you financial dependence – don´t rely on governments or banks looking after your future….

Even funnier than people who think democracy is a good idea are those idiots who think when civilization as we know it falls, a new and more compassionate world will emerge phoenix-like from the ashes.

It won’t.

The idea that the human psyche is “evolving” in some way is nonsense. Under the veneer of civilization we’re just as vicious and barbaric as we ever were.

Look anywhere in the world where law and order breaks down and see what happens.

And we’ll build the world over again much the same way we built it this time. The so-called “noble savage” is not noble, but he’s definitely savage.

Still, that’ll probably all happen long after you and I are dead.

Maybe.

So, while you’re still here to enjoy it… make hay while the sun shines while continuing to “do unto others as you would wish to be done by”

Schrödinger’s Immigrant

If you reside in Europe right now, I’m sure you’re aware that Immigrants have been popping up in the news lately.

Apparently, they’re all that’s wrong in the world and if only we could stop them from coming over here, everything would be all right.

Of course, this is all complete nonsense.

Apart from anything else, the whole idea of someone being an immigrant is just bizarre. Ultimately we are all immigrants from Africa, if you go back far enough.

But even without going to those ridiculous extremes it’s obvious to see we all come from somewhere other than where we are now, and often not even that long ago.

Whatever. This is all irrelevant.

Why?

Because the last time I checked, the only borders and divisions on planet Earth are man-made.

It isn’t that many centuries ago that the largest unit of human habitation was a town or a large city; fast forward a few centuries and you’re probably looking at city states, like Athens and ancient Sparta.

The idea of countries, and the necessity of passports and other paperwork is relatively new.

More to the point I think it’s something of an abomination.

I see no reason for human beings not be allowed free passage and to work, and settle anywhere they please so long as they are supporting themselves and their families, and any others who depend upon them.

See, the real problem is not immigrants.

The real problem is freeloaders. And I will be the first person to say no one should get a free meal ticket to go and live anywhere at others’ expense. Anyone who can work but chooses not to, can starve for all I care.

But even this does not plumb the depths of rank bigotry and stupidity.

Because there is such a thing as Schrödinger’s Immigrant.

Schrödinger’s Immigrant is a strange creature who can…

… live in a country and sponge off the state…

… and at the same time steal jobs from the indigenous population.

Good Grief, but that’s clever.

And maybe I’m seeing this wrong, but it seems to me IF you are so ineffective, unskilled, and unemployable your job can be snatched away by someone who has no friends, no contacts, no money, no history, and quite likely a poor command of the native language…

… then you are pretty useless and you probably don’t deserve a job in the first place.

Here’s my take: I agree no one should get handouts and special treatment… but other than that, anyone should be allowed to live anywhere so long as they’re paying their own way.

In other words, I’m cool with as many immigrants of whatever race, colour, or religion who want to come and live alongside me, so long as I’m not expected to kow-tow to their religion and social mores, or pay for their upkeep (or anyone else’s, for that matter, whether they’re an immigrant or a native.

I’m not above giving people a hand up, but I’m rabidly opposed to handouts to anyone).

How difficult is that?

Some people get offended by my straight talking nature. And that’s fine. Just remember when you tell me you’re offended, what you’re saying, in effect, is, “I have had an emotional reaction to something you have said, and I want you to deal with it for me”.

Sorry, but it’s not that kind of party.

I really do live my life treating others as I would wish to be treated, I give generously to charities, particularly those for sick folks and distressed animals.

We should all help others when for no fault of their own, need a hand-up in life.

Wherever my gene-pool originated from, I have a natural bent to teach my brothers and sisters across the world with my project management training products (I sell to 120 different countries or regions).

As I type, I am reminded that of course, I am an immigrant myself. It’s true. I am a Brit living here in wonderful Spain. And my wife Jude is from the Philippines.

But I am sure dear reader, that you are an individual who is a net producer in both your business and personal life. So if you’re thinking about investing in my APMP Mastery Series yourself, you’d best be quick and grab your copy NOW!

https://www.apmpmastery.com for those who want the full syllabus

or

https://www.apmpforprince2practitioners.com if you are ALREADY a PRINCE2 Practitioner (and get a far simpler and cut down version of the syllabus and a shorter easier exam too!)

 

P.S. 

This is one qualification you really need in order to stay ahead of the pack – so don’t put it off any longer!

*****************************************************
I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma
– Eartha Kitt
*****************************************************

Cruising Your Life River Without Goals

river personMy River Mind-set

As far back as I can remember, I never really felt that I fitted in with my peers, but being a fairly sociable guy I had always mixed well with others.  Up to the age of 12 I was very much a follower, fairly shy, and quite happy to spend my spare time with my hobbies.

Making aeroplane RC models, river fishing, collecting and documenting wild flowers, the night sky, and fiddling with anything electronic – these were my early passions.

I left school at 16 years old with very little in terms of qualifications.  In fact I disliked school and most of the people in it apart from one or two close friends.  But during those last two developing years I noticed a change in myself.  I certainly liked drawing attention to myself, stopping just short of showing off!

I started work as an electronic apprentice in a government research and development establishment, but got side-tracked by girls and guitars – by now I had thrown myself into becoming good at playing guitar and it pretty much dominated my life at that time.

I just avoided being thrown out of my apprenticeship due to my total disinterest in work and learning, and my passion for playing music up and down the south of England until the wee hours of the morning!

My next passion had to do with girls – in fact I got married at the tender age of 22 and I must have been the most immature husband any girl would never wish for…

I still immersed myself in my passion for playing guitar and played as a semi-professional in numerous bands and groups up until the age of 45.

By now I wanted to grow my career and immersed myself in mastering electronic engineering resulting in being awarded an honours degree at the age of 32 and being promoted three times in that period.  The government even awarded me a worldwide patent for development work I had volunteered for during my lunch times.

I could go on, but I’ll save those stories for another time.

Can you see a pattern emerging here?

I never set personal or professional goals – I just immersed myself in my passions.

I Was A River Person.

I guess I’ve got Earl Nightingale to thank for making the way I was living and managing my life make some form of sense to me.  It was he who coined the term ‘river people’ as a type of individual who is not in the least ‘goal oriented’.

Earl describes it as those who wish to be a success as a human being, find, often early in life, a rich river of interest into which they throw themselves with exuberance and abandon.  Spending their lives working and playing in that river gives them immense satisfaction.

River people are explorers, continually seeking out learning opportunities and new experiences.

For river people, joy comes from the journey, not from reaching the destination — exactly the opposite of goal people.

From the standpoint of creativity, river people are more likely to benefit from serendipity, because they tend to be more open to new ideas, points of view and insights than single-minded, focused goal people.

River people do not need to set goals as success is almost inevitable due to their passions.

Work is a magnet for river people and they really can’t imagine doing anything else.  Doing what they do is their pleasure and is more important to them than the worldly trappings of success which will ultimately come to them.

These are folks who have found, often early in their life, a great river of interest into which they throw themselves with energy and passion. They will happily play in that river for the rest of their lives.

The river may be a branch of science or the arts. Even after a 16 hour day, they can’t wait to get back to it.

These people are happiest and most alive when they’re in their river in whatever business or career or profession it happens to be.

Success in their river is inevitable, and it was a sure outcome from the first moment they determined thei

And success comes to such people as inevitable as a sunrise. In fact, they are successes the moment they find their great field of interest; the worldly trappings of success will always come in time. Such people don’t have to ask, “What will I do with my life?” Their work is a magnet for them, and they can’t imagine doing anything else.

Goals – Not Needed On Voyage…

A goal person is one who writes down their objectives and develops a schedule for achieving them, and then focus on attaining them, one by one.

In this way, goal people give their creative minds a clear set of stimuli to work on. Their subconscious minds can then get to work incubating ideas and insights that will help them to reach their goals.

Whereas…

River people hardly ever had a detailed plan along with measurable goals, but because they are so passionate about their interest, they are able to recognize and grasp the tipping points of breakthrough opportunities.

Much like a river, river people are at their most fulfilled during the journey and not from reaching the destination.  This is in stark contrast and also counter-intuitive to those who set goals with the climax not being reached until the goal has been achieved.

While I understand the benefit of setting goals, I have never achieved anything in life due to goal setting when used in isolation.

River people also recognize goals but see these as islands of opportunity on their life’s journey down their chosen river.

If the last few paragraphs have resonated with you, then it may be that you too are River Person, and is so you may have the key to moving forward and achieving great success, while more importantly enjoying your life’s journey with greater pleasure and fulfillment accompanied by far less stress.

The 80/20 Process Magic

The 80/20 ProcessThe 80/20 Process Skew of The Universe

When I was a kid, I was fascinated by the stars, and would use my cheap telescope to try to see if they were planets or stars, why did they twinkle, why did they shine, and how come they only come out at night….

Fast forward to 2015, and the world knows far more than I could ever have imagined about the night sky and our place in the universe.

The truth turned out to be even stranger than fiction.

Now I’m a ‘river person’, and my life has indeed been a journey down my river of passions, and I find out new discoveries every day.

I’m not lazy, have a natural inquisitiveness about the world around me, and have worked hard in my life’s endeavors to either a greater or lesser amount of success. See…

…I’m always looking for a better way to get things done.

The truth turned out to be even stranger than fiction.

Hiding In Plain Sight

Yeah, that’s the phase I’m looking for.

Bet you heard of many of these too:

“Hard work never killed anybody”

“I’m a multi-tasker”

“Garbage in equals garbage out”

“You’re only as good as your data”

“Nail down what the customer wants – then deliver it”

“You reap what you sow”

“Don’t take chances – manage risks instead”

“Work hard – Play hard”

These are all phrases that get bandied about and all have the ring of truth about them, but hiding beneath them is the 80/20 Rule discovered by an Italian guy back in the 18th century – his name was Pareto.

But I have called it a Process not a Rule, and I have good reason to do so….

See, it turns out that Pareto had discovered that 80% of the wealth in Italy at the time was owned by just 20% of the population…

As more and more folks looked into it, the 80/20 rule seemed to be bloody everywhere!

Did you know that:

  • 20% of your carpet gets 80% of the wear
  • You wear the same 20% of your entire wardrobe … 80% of the time

Even the universe is Skewed by it. 80/20 almost seems to be a natural law of nature.

But here is where it got interesting for me – and that was to happen much later in my life.

Back in the day, the 80/20 rule was taught as an almost academic topic – good for classrooms, great to quote, but heck, I gotta get on with my life – so back to work…

I can recommend the book by Greg Koch if you wanna dig further, but for now, check out my diagram:

 

80/20 Process

I’ll bet that turned your head didn’t it?!

Check out the first example above, just 20% of the inputs provides 80% of the outputs. What if I called that:

20% of the Actions you take or information you act on provides 80% of the Outcomes instead – and how might that fit into your personal and business life?

That’s a biggie right there isn’t it?

So instead of thinking you just got lucky, what if you ‘Success Engineered’ your attention towards those 20% of data and steered that towards whatever outcome you were wanting to achieve?

How about the middle one? 20% of the causes brings you 80% of the consequences. What if I called that:

20% of the situations deliver 80% of the Outcomes instead – how might you ‘engineer’ yourself into those situations to get what you really want out of life.

And the last one.

20% of the effort brings 80% of the results. That’s it right there.

Sometimes we spend far too much time and effort spinning our wheels yet seem to get a small proportion of what we want out of it. What if I called it:

Focus and work on that 20% to deliver a massive 80% of the type of results that really matter to you.

Yeah, I like that.

Can you see why I call it a Process?

Yeah, that’s right,

‘cuz You’ve Gotta Apply It

Simples.

The truth turned out to be even stranger than fiction.

dsMy good friend Dave Shillito says “Many people live lives of quiet desperation and are too busy making a living to earn good money”

That goes double for our personal lives too… Dave was the gold mine provider for me to find my 20% – he has a free email training series that helped me grow my business brain – so sign up here, you won’t be disappointed….and there’s nothing to buy….

80% Of You Won’t Click – because it’s not for everybody

There’s that darned rule working On Your Life Right Now, because,80/20 Rule - The Truth

…only 20% of you will click that link – why? because….20% of the causes brings you 80% of your life’s outcomes,

and to quote Tom…”you can’t handle the truth”

20% of the Actions you take or information you act on provides 80% of the Outcomes

It took me many years on my ‘river life’ to hone down what that 20% meant to me, and in a positive way, it allowed me to look back at what I could and should have fixed such as

  • Lifestyle
  • Life work balance
  • Wage Slave and Stress
  • Bad bosses
  • Poor career advice
  • Dead end jobs
  • Putting my family first
  • Dilbert Cube Entrapment
  • Perceptions not reality
  • Low self esteem
  • Pay rises that inflation swallows up
  • Bad choice of partners
  • Errors of judgement

the list goes on….

It turned out that having a job (Just Over Broke) was the lead weight on my life.

I knew my bosses wanted me to work as hard as possible, as long as possible, and pay me the least they could get away with.

They were using the 80/20 Process against me!

But I fixed it, and now use the 80/20 Process to engineer my lifestyle.

Here’s what I did – simple stuff really, I just needed to take stock of what I was good at and what I disliked….including some uncomfortable stuff….

  • I love my wife and life partner Judejude
  • I have a low threshold for stress, but a high threshold for risk taking
  • I have degree-level math skills, but dislike number crunching
  • I have a dislike of those with authority and power
  • I suffer from lower back pain and swollen feet, so sometimes I can be an old grouch
  • I am disinterested in governments, politics, religions, sport, TV, or any form of ‘news’
  • I am a social person but love being alone
  • Am I a millionaire? Well, lets just say ‘I know where the money is’ and I certainly live the lifestyle of a millionaire
  • I never do housekeeping, shopping, ironing and washing
  • I have a natural and easy sense of humour but dislike jokes
  • My dog Rango sleeps on my bed each night and I walk him at 2 am around my gardenrango
  • I tend to put off starting less pleasant tasks and my nit-picking habits can slow progress
  • I’m dyslexic yet love reading
  • I dislike gambling – I’m a bad loser, but I love taking risks
  • I have an almond and olive orchard at the bottom of my garden for quiet moments
  • I am a natural creator of products can work 10 hours a day for several months when needed
  • I take my wife to church each Sunday, while I ‘wait’ in the bar across the street
  • I am a natural teacher and love infecting others with valuable information
  • I can take complex subjects and ideas and break them down into easy steps
  • I get my best business ideas when slurping vino in shady street bars
  • I have a morbid fear of heights, yet have flown all over the world
  • My daughter Carina had epilepsy from an infant fever fit but is nearly cured, she now works as a PA to five directors at Deutsche Bank in Londoncarina
  • I love having an audience and have no fear of formal presentations
  • I’ve blown out most of my high frequency hearing due to playing in rock bands
  • I have a seven year-old grand daughter who I have only met once
  • I love structure in what I do but like a disordered casual life
  • My ego thrives on being noticed and valued
  • I hate conventional life and having norms thrust upon me
  • I get great satisfaction being surrounded by nature – I hate cities and crowds
  • I love pulling information together and making it into a cohesive whole
  • I’ve been married three times
  • I won’t own a mobile phone, I threw mine away 6 years ago
  • I’m a front-end ideas guyRob
  • My Son Rob is a talented drummer who also makes his living online
  • I start work at 5 am each morning and stop by breakfast or earlier
  • I’m generous to a fault
  • I hate admin, shopping, tidying up and I’m useless at money management
  • I’m a lover not a fighter
  • I can be stubborn and self-opinionated
  • I love giving far more than taking
  • I used my Project Management skills to start a new business that makes more than I need and get autopilot money delivered in my inbox
  • I’m a Bohemian Libertarian, but other than that, a Nice Guy
  • I have my own views about creation and it has nothing to do with religion
  • I love working on my own and dislike joint ventures, partnerships and collaborations

Okay, Okay, that’s enough from me….

I sucked out the 20% that mattered and forged a path to my 80% dreams.

It worked – took me two years though….

I Got My 80 Percent

I have true financial independence thanks to using the same Project Management skills that I teach YOU, I have more regular income than I need and several healthy bank accounts.financial freedom

I live in a warm sunny climate, and only work a handful of hours a week except when I’m developing new products to sell.

I wake up each day and decide what I want to do…mostly relaxing in my pool, playing with my dog and on my collection of guitars, best of all, taking Jude for a quiet meal in Denia or on the beach.

I live in woodland on an old 1930 farmhouse just 700 yards from the beach and I own a bungalow in Laguna, Philippines.

I say this, not to brag, but to illustrate how the 80/20 PROCESS has worked for me.

The truth could turn out to be even stranger than fiction for YOU too.

But seriously though, could it work for you?

Only 20% of those who read this will go on to take action.

Sad But True.

Anyway, I gotta stroll down to my fave beach bar and get lunch – tasty tapas and a large glass of smooth Vino Tinto…sheesh, the temperature is in the high thirties, better make it a slow stroll in the shade….

Knowledge Plus Application Equals Power.

Where Are The ‘bleeding edge’ Thinkers?

I’m just chewing here. I’m in the mood for a rant, and it’s a balmy 25 degrees-plus on my patio in Spain, so I have returned to the cool of my office PC…

By a sheer accident I was a teenager in Aldershot (UK) in 1958. This just so happened to coincide with the explosion of rock and roll that became the beat/pop boom of the early sixties…I was a young spotty nerd that fell in love with the guitar.

 Felix MendelssohnMy dad had an excellent collection of 78 rpm records, mostly piano and band music, but several records by  Felix Mendelssohn and his Hawaiian Serenaders. He also had the Theme From The Third Man  by Anton Karas on a guitar-sounding zither. At the tender age of ten, these were the first tunes I had ever heard where the GUITAR was the main instrument.

I was In Love.

62 stratocaster

I got my first guitar at 15 years old and practiced ’till my fingers bled…Nothing special so far.

Within 3 years of playing, I had my dream guitar, and it has never been bettered – A USA designed and built Fender Stratocaster – launched around the mid 1950’s…Leo Fender was an inventor and creator from Santa Ana California, no one in the rest of the world could come close to designing and building such an innovative product (2014 update….still can’t!)

You can see me at 18 years old playing my 1963 salmon pink Stratocaster in the picture opposite – made just 7 years after Leo first started production. Although only costing me £60 UKP (a fortune to me back then), it would probably fetch around £5000 today…Ah! nostalgia ain’t what it used to be….

Also back then, the USA had ALL the creative talent and a thriving music industry, while us post-war Brits could do nothing more than copy their creative originality…

“Before Elvis, there was nothing.” – John Lennon

I was not only a participant (which put me in the rare 1 percent), but an observer of this post-war evolution. Here’s my point.

joe walsh

Those individuals that become icons and millionaires were those that contributed to the CREATION of either tunes, beats, or styles/methods.

It is no accident that folks like John Lennon etc, wrote tunes and lyrics on the back of table napkins…their brains were wired that way. The list goes on, Knopfler, Dylan, etc. Seems to me, that there are practitioners of music (me), and then there is the upper echelon – the creators of music.

Such creators couldn’t help themselves, they were compelled to create…

Sometimes the creators don’t do the best version, yet others refine it, sometimes the reverse.

This seems to be true for any industry or profession, including my own, electronic engineering.

Many times average guys and gals reflect back on what ‘could have been’, but most times it is because they were not compelled to write stuff on a napkin, work through the night, or do 50 takes of a song until they heard the sound in their heads.

Translate that point also to any industry or profession.

David OgilvyI’m currently reading David Ogilvy, one of the finest copywriters and marketers that you will never have heard of. The words, visions and application of his craft explode with passion from within his book.

He was an American Citizen and by his name was probably either born in Scotland or had Scottish ancestry. Like many other entrepreneurs, he, along with Claude Hopkins virtually invented direct marketing.

Here was a great creator…

There are many chefs but only one Keith Floyd.

Keith Floyd

You can watch Keith’s old TV programs and imagine that you could note the ingredients and the instructions…and maybe even cook a passing resemblance to his dish.

But you could never find the energy and passion that took him to create and produce such dishes and programs that were shown and loved world-wide. He was a driven man.

Therein lies the difference. And taking a positive note, this is the extra mile that true entrepreneurs naturally energize themselves to do….

On this laid back Saturday afternoon, I understand perfectly why I was not a rich and successful ‘rock star’ but instead just have a fabulous set of my local musician and friends reminisces of great times…(I didn’t look that sexy either!)

Thank Goodness for the difference that ‘great’ has forged, verses the more commonly found ‘good’.

Eric Clapton, Joe Walsh, and Hank Marvin, just to mention three, have enriched my life in ways that traditional musical education and experience could never do…Anyone, just like me could play their tunes, but we mortals could have never had the talent and vision to create them in the first place.

In my twilight years, I relish replacing time restrictions with my life passions, and return to what I am naturally good at, even if it flies in the face of what traditional ‘granddads’ should be doing…

About one year ago, I had several ideas for a revolutionary music synthesizer. I had all the schematics down apart from a small but key piece of discrete component logic circuitry. Long story cut short, I put that part up on eLance as a project since it had been some 40 years since I last designed digital logic circuits.

The responses I got spoke volumes about how modern engineers are educated these days. Almost without exception the design approaches utilized a standard microprocessor chip programmed with machine code.

Total overkill.

This, despite the fact that I emphasized that the design should use simple cheap, discrete logic components.

Oh, yes, and most projects (obviously from USA citizens),  wanted around $600 plus 30 days or more to come up with the design.

So one Saturday morning, I bit the bullet and dug out my old logic text-books, did a bit of searching on Google, and within three hours had the design down cold. I estimate it used about $20 of components, some analog, some digital.

Albert EinsteinIt was telling that the most creative project solutions for my request came from countries such as China and India.

Back in the day, it was said that ‘a degree qualification teaches you HOW to think’.

Hmm, it seems that my project request highlights the way electronic engineering is taught these days – particularly in the USA. It’s all about stuffing knowledge and passing exams. And the UK does that too….

So where were the budding John Lennon’s of electronic engineering when I needed them? Where were the sparks of original thinking and application. As rare as hen’s teeth.

Here’s my final thought.

Knowledge does NOT equal Power.

…however,

Knowledge Plus Application Equals Power.

It’s no accident that you can’t patent an idea – only the application of that idea…

If the USA (in particular) wants to regain the excellence high ground, it needs all training and educational services to include how to apply that knowledge – whatever industry such artisans ultimately choose.

push against the bleeding edgeStudents must learn how to innovate, sometimes fail a little, take risks, but whatever they do, push against the bleeding edge of our knowledge.

Oh yeah, and keep religious creationists out of science. Such buffoons bamboozle their brains with unproven circular thinking. Innovators need application – not faith.

I look at some of the magnificent exceptions to my observations, such as the NASA space program, Bill Gates, the late Steve Jobs, and what the USA has brought to The Free World.

If the USA education system doesn’t stop learning by rote, then my favorite country bar none, will not generate sufficient wealth to fund it’s imagination and future growth, and will ultimately whither into just a backwater set of States.

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Agile Project Management Primer

Agile Project ManagementYes Folks, the launch date of my Agile Project Management Primer is still to come, and right now I estimate around June 2013.

You can however, download my free Agile Project Management Overview eBook HERE! but as yet, I’m still up to my ears in recording multiple video modules for my Primer…

Now you might be asking “If you’re such a great project manager, how come the launch date is slipping?”

Fair question.

The answer is ‘priorities’

See, I’m currently in the Philippines and due to return in 4 weeks and find a new home in Spain, as you may imagine, there’s lots of priorities being snatched from my time and energy, let alone the transition into a new timezone.

Add to that, there was a new PMBOK  launched in January of this year, and the new exams come into effect on 31 July – OUCH!

My PMP Primer is also being totally re-recorded in HD to ensure you pass the new PMI syllabus

So although I’m poised to start video recording on my Agile Project Management Primer, I’m quite rightly, getting bucket-loads of emails asking when I am going to update my PMP Primer…

You may know that the Agile Methodology takes the project requirements and prioritises them using the MoSCoW technique, but unfortunately, both are ‘Must Haves’. So I’m balancing my time between doing both at once, and as the 31 July comes closer, the PMP Primer update becomes ever more vital.

The one thing you can be sure of, is that my time and energy are working flat out on both of them…I’ll keep you all posted.

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