Can a World War II Manual Help You Sabotage your Organization’s Productivity More Effectively?

Can a World War II Manual Help You Sabotage your Organization’s Productivity More Effectively?

Good advice can be found in strange places, and perhaps one of the stranger places is a manual produced by the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the precursor of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). It was distributed to individuals in Axis nations in 1944 who might be sympathetic to the Allied war effort. It was […]

Do You Have Grit (the book, that is)?

Do You Have Grit (the book, that is)?

From my perspective, most of the popular books about the business world are not worth reading. Many are vanity books while others should have been short articles. I prefer solid biographies and studies in economics, psychology, and the law along with good reporting on contemporary affairs. In 2016, Angela Duckworth published a book that has […]

Five Quick Ways to become a Happier Proposal Professional

Five Quick Ways to become a Happier Proposal Professional

Happiness may be overrated, but the marketplace is flooded with books, articles, and scholarly studies on how to be happier. We are, after all, a country dedicated to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” It may be particularly challenging for proposal professionals to pursue and achieve happiness, for our jobs are stressful, deadline-driven, sometimes […]

Seven Ways to Ensure that your Summer Vacation is Really Time Off from Proposals

Seven Ways to Ensure that your Summer Vacation is Really Time Off from Proposals

Summertime is vacation time, and it is also the busiest time of the year for many proposal professionals. Squeezing in a vacation during the fourth quarter of the Federal fiscal year can be difficult, but it can and should be done. Below are seven ways to ensure that your well-deserved summer vacation is really time […]

What Habits Can Proposal Professionals Learn from Highly Effective Marathoners?

What Habits Can Proposal Professionals Learn from Highly Effective Marathoners?

I love jogging, or to be more precise, trail jogging. I have been jogging for more than 30 years in the Washington, DC area, and for more than a decade I have limited my jogging to hilly, forested, dirt trails. I enjoy being in the woods with my dog because I love moving and in […]

Write Better Proposals by Studying the Craft

Write Better Proposals by Studying the Craft

Writing good proposals is difficult because writing well is difficult. Unfortunately, too many of us have trouble writing really good proposals because there are many constraints in our jobs and in our lives to writing well. The best way to improve your ability to write good proposals is to write and be thoughtfully critiqued. The […]

How Proposal Professionals Can Improve their Communications Skills

How Proposal Professionals Can Improve their Communications Skills

As I see it, there are two critically important elements in effective proposal development: good processes and good communications skills. It is easier to develop good processes because good communications are a function of our personalities and our social skills as proposal professionals. According to Adam Grant in his bestseller – Give and Take: Why […]

Tis’ the Humorous Season:  My 5 Habits of Highly Unproductive Proposal Professionals

Tis’ the Humorous Season: My 5 Habits of Highly Unproductive Proposal Professionals

French schoolchildren still read the fables of La Fontaine. One of his most famous is the “Ant and the Grasshopper,” which drives home the moral that the ant’s busy industry is rewarded with comfort and a full larder, while the grasshopper, who sits on a blade of grass singing to the sun, cannot provide for […]

Should We Judge Proposals the Same Way as We Judge People?

Should We Judge Proposals the Same Way as We Judge People?

Should we judge proposals the same way we judge people? Perhaps the answer should be “yes.” According to Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist in the Harvard University Business School and the author of Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges (2015), first impressions are very important. People size us up in seconds, but […]

How can Proposal Professionals Learn to Shift their Perspectives?

How can Proposal Professionals Learn to Shift their Perspectives?

Bookstores are full of business advice books about how to become more creative. Although the advice varies, it usually involves learning to shift your perspective so that you see your tasks and challenges in new ways. For proposal professionals, this often involves brainstorming meetings about win themes, proposal strategy, storyboarding, and the like. However, there […]