Presidents’ Day


by Jim Johnson      

On this day we celebrate our presidents. Today, you should ask yourself “Would you make a good president? As a project or product manager what skills would bring to oval office that would be helpful? Would Scrum Master skills be helpdul. If you are a project sponsor would your skills be helpful?  These are the questions and answers I set out to find when researching my book, The Dead Presidents' Guide to Project Management.  More importantly what are the lessons that these 40 men can give us to be better project managers and sponsors.  In looking at the lives of these men we can find solutions to our own situations and issues. 

The President of the United States is a good project manager.  Like a project manager, the president must use his or her domain knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to manage and create activities in order to meet or exceed the citizens of the United States’ expectations. The president of United States is servant-leader. Servant leadership is defined as the skill to influence people to work enthusiastically toward goals identified as being for the common good.  The president of United States must have good connections to be an effective leader.  The president of United States must be a good negotiator. The president of the United States must be able to deliver bad news early and bravely with solutions. 

The President of the United States is also a good executive sponsor.  Like a good executive sponsor, the President of the United States must inspire people.The president’s inspiration is infectious, and showing enthusiasm has inspired the country to do great things. The President of the United States must have a succinct vision with clarity of purpose. A succinct vision is concise and to the point. Clarity of purpose begins with a common understanding of the action needed to accomplish the vision. The President of the United States must be able to effectively distribute decision power. The President of the United States must understand the process of government to get anything done.

The Dead Presidents’ Guide to Project Management considers lessons learned that these great men have bestowed upon us. The job of president of the United States requires many of the same leadership skills, knowledge, and characteristics you need to be a good executive sponsor, project manager, teammate, collaborator, and person. This guide provides you with a deeper understanding on how these leaders used many of these skills to improve the United States of America. This deeper understanding will allow you to relate adroitly and effectively to your own situation and environment. This guide will also help you to become a more interesting person.

Get your own by going to LuLu.



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Subject Matter

General Interest

About the Author:


Jim Johnson

Jim Johnson is chairman of The Standish Group. He has been professionally involved in the computer industry for over 40 years and has a long list of published books, papers, articles and speeches. He has a combination of technical, marketing, and research achievements focused on mission-critical applications and technology. He is best known for his research on project performance and early recognizing technology trends. Jim is a pioneer of modern research techniques and continues to advance in the research industry through case-based analytical technology.

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