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 […]

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 […]

What is the Most Important Four-Letter Word in Good Proposal Development?

What is the Most Important Four-Letter Word in Good Proposal Development?

All proposal professionals are heavily dependent on good processes and step-by-step action plans to develop good proposals. Without them, our work would be very chaotic and unproductive. However, amidst these processes and plans, there is one four-letter word that stands out: done. According to a number of neuro-psychologists, when working, our brains electrical activity is […]

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 […]

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 […]

Good Strategies for Winning Proposals in 2016

Good Strategies for Winning Proposals in 2016

We are all prognosticators, and advice has always been easy and cheap, indicating that often it of little value. Nonetheless, there are trends in Federal contracting that do point to several clear-cut winning proposal strategies in 2016. My advice, inexpensive as it is, comes from the January 2016 “Practitioner Perspectives” of Wolf Den Associates in […]

Tis’ the Humorous Season:  My Ten Ironclad Rules for Writing a Truly Bad Proposal

Tis’ the Humorous Season: My Ten Ironclad Rules for Writing a Truly Bad Proposal

Because this is a relentlessly upbeat time of the year, I would like to pour a bucket of cold water onto anyone who thinks they have mastered the art and science of writing a good proposal. Bah, humbug, as Scrooge might have groused. And in the spirit of Scrooge, I have decided to provide ten […]