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 […]

The Five Worst Mistakes You can Make as a Proposal Professional

The Five Worst Mistakes You can Make as a Proposal Professional

As proposal professionals, we worry about typos and grammatical errors in our proposals, compliance, the clarity of our win themes, and the like. However, these challenges pale in importance to the most important one – learning to get along with our colleagues and working productively in the workplace. When employees are polled, the most valuable […]

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 […]

Want to Be a Better Proposal Professional?  Don’t Work in a Open-Office Environment

Want to Be a Better Proposal Professional? Don’t Work in a Open-Office Environment

To a great extent, your workplace environment helps determine you productivity. Hands down, probably the worst environment for a proposal professional – or anybody else – is an open-office environment. According to a recent study from the International Facility Management Association, about 70 percent of U.S. companies have no or low partitions. In other words, […]

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 […]

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 […]