Publications

Learn powerful techniques for successfully managing modern projects, programs, and portfolios in any environment, no matter how complex. Mastering Project, Program, and Portfolio Management addresses several make-or-break issues associated with successful project management: organizational structure, linkages between project management and operations, and definitions and interrelationships among projects, programs and portfolios. Unlike other books, which address these issues only in passing, this book drills down to offer practical, real-world concepts, in-the-trenches insights, and proven applications.

This book is part of a new series of six cutting-edge project management guides for both working practitioners and students. Like all books in this series, it offers deep practical insight into the successful design, management, and control of complex modern projects. Using real case studies and proven applications, expert authors show how multiple functions and disciplines can and must be integrated to achieve a successful outcome. Individually, these books focus on realistic, actionable solutions, not theory. Together, they provide comprehensive guidance for working project managers at all levels, as well as indispensable knowledge for anyone pursuing PMI/PMBOK certification or other accreditation in the field. Find it on Amazon.

 

 

 

 

From Sally Banks Zakariya, Former Editor-in-Chief American School Board Journal:

“Two-plus decades with American School Board Journal have taught me two things: (1) School board members are an impressive but unsung bunch of public servants who make a vital contribution to public education; and (2) few of them are very good at writing about what they do. Gary Lister exemplifies the first point and is a striking exception to the second. Gary, who is chairman of the Bleckley County School Board in Cochran, Georgia., and a change manager for the U.S. Air Force, first came to our attention when he posted a query on the ‘School Board of Tomorrow’ e-mail list, an online communications network hosted by the National School Boards Association. Gary was compiling a list of ’99 reasons to never, ever again run for school board,’ and he wanted suggestions. The ideas came rolling in, resulting in a book by the same name published in 2005. What caught our eye here at ASBJ was the sense that each of those 99 reasons represented hard-won real-life experience, couched in a wry humor that marked Gary as an accomplished writer with a readily identifiable ‘voice.’ Such people are rare, so we snapped Gary up and installed him as a contributing editor. His monthly ‘Life on a School Board’ columns continue to enliven the pages of ASBJ … and, we hope, continue to offer an amusing but sincere measure of appreciation and support for those who labor in the often thankless field of public school governance. One of the purest expressions of democracy today comes not from strident talk-show hosts or political protests and demonstrations or even Iraqi elections. It comes from publicly elected officials diligently working to govern America’s public schools. These well-intentioned amateurs shoulder Herculean tasks as their civic duty. They serve on behalf of their respective communities, most for little or no pay. Offer a word of gratitude next time you encounter one of these pseudo-politicians. Yours may be the only kind word he or she has heard that day. With roots in colonial town hall meetings, where citizens gathered to discuss and decide issues, school boards were created from school committees when school governance and oversight became to large and complex to accomplish effectively in general meetings. Members of schools boards are accountable to the public for providing their community’s children with a quality education and for being good stewards of tax dollars. Board members encounter their stakeholders everyday – in banks and supermarkets and post offices and gas stations and churches. They spend their lives among the very grassroots that elected them in the first place. They are incredibly close to the electorate. And they have a supremely important job. There will be those who will dispute me – perhaps even harshly and vehemently so – but nothing matters more than educating our youngest citizens. Not national security. Not balancing the budget. Not Social Security or Medicare reform. Education alone occupies the top spot, and we’ve shortchanged it for far too long. An educated populace will elect capable representatives and provide them with the guidance necessary to help them achieve other important national goals such as security, prosperity, and peaceful coexistence with neighboring countries. Education is the foundation upon which all other democratic ideals and aspirations rest. We simply must do a better job of education. It’s more urgent than freeing the Iraqi people. It’s more urgent than sealing our borders with Mexico. It’s more urgent that preventing terrorists from bombing our citizens and our national icons. It’s more urgent than developing a cure for cancer or a vaccine for the avian flu virus. The long-term survival of all the things we hold most dear is imperiled by our pitiable performance of preparing future leaders to fill their challenging roles. But you can make a difference.” Find it on Amazon.

 

School board members from all over the country contributed to this book. I hoped to take a light and fun look at a very serious subject and remind myself (and others) why we serve by taking a look at all the reasons not to serve. I think I’ve accomplished my goal. A dedicated public servant somewhere in the United States or Canada has lived through every one of these situations. They’ll entertain you and educate you. Find it on Amazon.

 

 

 

 

 

After the war, the Reconstruction was hard on everyone in the South. The entire region was isolated, impoverished, and devastated. Three-fourths of the wealth in Georgia had disappeared. Slaves worth $272,000,000 were set free. Money, bonds, and stocks were worthless. Forty thousand citizens were dead or gone, and cities and countryside lay in waste. The defeat of the South in the Civil War and the economic deprivations and hardships of the Reconstruction produced an astounding number of children without caregivers capable of providing for their most basic needs. In the vernacular of the day, they were orphans, half-orphans, foundlings, homeless, neglected, or indigent. Their numbers were unprecedented. The United States had a total of 170 orphanages before the Civil War and more than 600 by 1890. The time was hard on nearly everyone, but particularly hard on those disadvantaged in any way. With little federal, state, or local provisions, orphans went largely without care. Even able-bodied adults were forced to struggle for sustenance. In Columbia, South Carolina, hundreds of people scraped by for months after the war by picking up loose grain from where the occupying forces’ horses were fed. General Ulysses S. Grant wrote home to his wife, “The suffering that must exist in the South the next year will be beyond conception.” In the midst of these terrible circumstances was born the Methodist Home for Children and Youth. Find it on Amazon.