The Art of Project Management: Expert advice from experienced project managers in Silicon Valley, and around the world

How a diet tip helped me get a work-related request accomplished.

I know this sounds strange, but I used a diet tip that I read from Micheal Thurmond’s “6 Day Body Makeover”  – to accomplish career critical tasks.

The diet tip is about  ‘how you stay on your meal plan when you go out to eat’.  The tip suggest that if you want substitutions (for instance a healthier vegetable as opposed to a high-caloric side dish) – then peruse the menu for vegetables.  If the kitchen is already offering broccoli on a different menu entree, then it is more likely that they will not have a problem substituting broccoli for your side dish.  If you don’t see that vegetable on any of the menu’s entrees, it’s less likely that your request will be granted.

Yes — that’s a great diet tip, but what does that have to do with collaborating with others in the work environment?

Well — take this example:

I am a vendor for an organization.  This organization has not been proactive in promoting our series (of which they get a revenue share).  Since it’s to both of our advantage that this series is successful, I searched for low-hanging fruit items for them to implement to increase our exposure and promotion opportunities.  So — I did the following:

  1. Investigated what they are already doing for other vendors in regards to promotions.
  2. Mocked up similar buttons and video clips for our series.
  3. Proposed integrating these things along with the other things they are already doing.

Since they already had the mechanism in place for the other vendors, they had no problem slipping my things in that same mechanism.

How about this example:

You want to attend an out-of-town conference.  Your company has  a tight budget.  Although they will give you paid-time-off (without the cost of a vacation day), they didn’t initially approve the cost of the conference or travel expenses.  What if you did the following?

  1. Investigated which of your high-profile clients are also attending this conference.
  2. Contacted the sales/marketing person associated with those specific clients to catch up on any current issues and promotion opportunities.  Ask their opinion if their client would be interested in meeting the actual developer of their product (to discuss future and current feature lists)?  [Most clients jump at the chance to talk to a developer]
  3. Propose a technical support/sales event, such that with one trip (to this conference)– you can visit this specific list of high-profile clients.

What if you designed the proposal like that above?  Would you have improved your changes?

What to find out about a handful of professional tools and cheat sheet for your use?  Check out the  10 Tools in 10 Minutes video at:


About the Author

Laura is a Corporate Exit Strategist for the Blooming Entrepreneur. She is a certified business and personal life coach, specializing in time management skills, project management training and work/life balance strategies. She has been in the software and testing industry for over 20 years. She’s worked with such companies as IBM, Ericsson, Staples, Fidelity Investments and Sogeti in various client advocacy and project management roles. The techniques she uses in her business coaching and client advocacy work saved these companies both time and money, which resulted in on-time, quality product delivery with higher client satisfaction. Laura now uses her client focus, project, quality and people management skills in her personal life coaching career. As a personal life coach, she helps people transform their life by integrating their goals and dreams into their everyday lives. Laura uses creative and practical tools to help her clients realize what really matters to them. She helps others to easily transition into their next chapter whether it’s the next ladder of success within their corporate environment or into the entrepreneurial playground. I am not a fan of choosing to act in spite of fear. Rather, together we will collaborate toward a plan of inspired action. We will develop a plan together that you feel confident and excited about. For us, Taking The Leap will be magical, exhilarating and natural. If you are eager to take that next logical step but are unsure what it is signup for the Corporate Exit Strategy Coaching group. We have books, tapes, training materials, twice-monthly group coaching events, 3-day workshops, and individual coaching sessions to help you on your way toward your freedom and prosperity.
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2 Responses to “How a diet tip helped me get a work-related request accomplished.”

  1. Laura…I Love the creative use of things learned from your everyday experiences in unrelated fields to improve your work effectiveness. Excellent.

    One comment on the last example, second half of #2. In my experience, Sales and Marketing folks don’t want development people to meet clients, at least not ‘unsupervised.’

  2. Hey, Loyal! Great catching up with YOU!!!! I agree. I would never contact a client without the Sales and Marketing liaison. You don’t want to do anything behind anyone’s back. The Sales and Marketing folks (in my experience) are happy for you to come along. They value your technical backup as well as wanting you to get “front-line” experience with the client. The more you truly understand how the client will be using your tools and products (versus how your team is designing it) – the higher customer satisfaction the entire team will achieve. Clients also value talking directly to the developers, testers, and behind-the-sceners. But also make sure your Marketing and Sales rep understand what your intentions are. Often time, if you already have a good rapport with the Sales and Client (i.e. you have already visited the client WITH the sales representative several times together) – the sales rep won’t have any trouble with a solo appearance on your part. But always get their OK before encroaching on their territory.
    I totally agree.

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