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 […]

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 […]

Want to be a Better Proposal Professional?  Take (More) Naps!

Want to be a Better Proposal Professional? Take (More) Naps!

We proposal professionals take great pride in the number of consecutive hours we can work on a proposal. Sit down with proposal managers, and inevitably we start telling stories about our incredible physical feats of wakefulness. “I worked 24 straight hours on a proposal with only breaks for meals,” one person will say. Another will […]

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 […]

Want to be a Better Proposal Professional?  Learn to be a Great Listener

Want to be a Better Proposal Professional? Learn to be a Great Listener

I meet few people who claim to be below-average listeners, but in our most candid moments we probably all admit to ourselves that listening is a great skill that we probably could do better. Why? The answer is easy – listening has a great effect on our job performance. If you cannot listen, you cannot […]

Want to be a Happier Proposal Professional?  Be More Generous!

Want to be a Happier Proposal Professional? Be More Generous!

As businesspeople and proposal professionals, we are deluged with advice about how to be more efficient, more productive, more creative, and more successful at work. Much of this advice is useful, but when people are asked what they really want from their work, besides making a decent living, the #2 response is a simple one […]

Can a New York Times Bestseller Help You Become a Better Proposal Professional?

Can a New York Times Bestseller Help You Become a Better Proposal Professional?

Can a New York Times bestseller help you become a better proposal professional? I am not talking about the latest novel from James Patterson or Stephen King but Atul Gawande’s The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right (2010). Over the holidays, I read this book and found many ideas in it that we proposal […]

Tis’ the Season:  Ten Ways to Appear Alert and Smart at Proposal Meetings

Tis’ the Season: Ten Ways to Appear Alert and Smart at Proposal Meetings

Most of us would like to believe that the meetings we lead as Proposal Managers are lively, engaging, brief, and inspiring. However, I seriously doubt if attendees hold the same high opinion of our meeting skills as we do. So, inspired by an article in the Huffington Post by Sarah Cooper on “10 Tricks to […]

Want to Improve Your Proposals?  Go Take a Walk!

Want to Improve Your Proposals? Go Take a Walk!

In the proposal field, we like to boast about how we pulled an all-nighter to finish a $100 million bid or the time we worked for 36 hours on a proposal minus a four-hour nap under our desks. We expect to spend long hours on proposals and are proud of our fortitude and ability to […]