I have been watching a friend struggle recently as she tries to manage a team of people who were not engaged.  Read… ‘they really didn’t care’.  The result is demoralizing for everyone: infighting, poor quality work, absenteeism, poor customer service and more.

Admittedly, this is a very large corporation where the bottom line is far removed from this team.  If you asked them what drives them at work, the answer would inevitably be ‘my pay cheque’, and the weekend.

But big corporation or small business, this is not an uncommon hurdle that leaders or managers face today.  We have teams of people who somehow expect their pay cheque to arrive bi-weekly, can’t connect to the end goals and don’t hold any allegiance to the company, nor the cause.   They feel privileged and even entitled. 

And in some cases, can you blame them?  The economy so strong, they could probably get a job elsewhere.  But the truth is that we have done a very poor job at making them feel otherwise.

So, what can we do about this?

I don’t think the answer is to try to provide a happier, healthier work environment, nor is it to pay them more money.  None of these things are driving these people.

They key here is to make a connection – between ‘the plan’ and the work they do. 

The plan.  What is the ultimate goal?  Profit?  Service?  A product launch? Or something less ‘corporate’ like the altruistic part of the company – time and resource donations to local causes or simply the power of employment within the community.

There are many ways to connect people to the cause.  We are recognizing that individuals most often are motivated in different ways and we might need to customize the connection.

So, connect the people, individually or as a group, to the plan or to the cause.

How?  It’s all about education.  Not just once a year, but on a regular basis.  What are we trying to do?  Why are we doing it and most importantly of all, how does it affect each one of us?  Everyone needs to be reminded regularly as to how it affects them – what’s in it for them. 

Again, there may well have to be multiple stories here to satisfy multiple constituents.  The profitability story is good for some as they are incented by the bonus at the end of the year.  The ‘good for mankind’ story will hit a portion of the audience, and we need a game plan to keep that card out in front on a regular basis.  And then there is the good ‘corporate citizen’ card that continually promotes donations, good deeds, employment and more to those that see this as the key to working for your company.

This is not an easy game, but a necessary one. Each of your team members needs to be engaged – connected to something that will give them a reason to get to work everyday with a smile.


As we celebrate PMI's 50th Anniversary around the world, we want to focus special attention on the professionals—PMI members, credential holders, volunteers and all those who consider project, program and portfolio management their profession—for their great accomplishments in not just delivering successful outcomes, but in making a difference.

An opportunity for project professionals around the world to unite
Our 50th Anniversary is a time to reflect on the achievements of project managers and recognize the progress that the profession as a whole has made. We also see it as a time to pull together in service, contribute our collective skills and passion, and make a difference in the world together. To accomplish this, PMI is supporting the United Nations’ mission to align strategies and operations with universal principles on human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption, and take actions that advance societal goals.

Pledging Your Commitment
The UN has identified 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that serve as a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. PMI has committed to contributing 50,000 hours towards attaining these goals by 31 December 2019. We are calling upon PMI staff, members, chapters, credential holders, volunteers and any individuals or organizations who want to get involved to pledge their commitment.

Think about what causes motivate you…where your passion lies…or how your expertise could help most. You can sign up on behalf of yourself, your PMI chapter, your employer or other organization, and spread the word to others who may want to participate. To learn more about the pledging process, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, how to share your story and more, see our Frequently Asked Questions page.

When you are ready to enter your pledge, please visit our Pledge Form here.

Please visit PMI's 50th Anniversary page for more information.

The PMI NEO SLD (Student Leadership Development) is launching a new program to prep students in Project Management Professional (PMP) / Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certification. This 'free' program is open only to students attending universities partnering with PMINEO.

  • The program provides 7 students a free seat in the May and September PMP / CAPM Study Groups 
  • In addition, the students will receive a free membership to the Project Management Institute (PMI), which will provide them access to a vast collection of knowledge and even a potential for career shaping opportunities
  • The students would only have to pay for their exam fees $225 for a PMI member and $300 for non-member 
  • The program is open to all full-time students in an accredited, degree-granting program. The partnering universities include Baldwin Wallace University, Case Western Reserve University, Cuyahoga Community College, Cleveland State University, Kent State University and University of Akron.

How will the program work?

  • We are asking the instructors from the 7 colleges above to identify 1-2 students to participate in this program based on a set of criteria they select. An example could be giving students extra credit to write a paper on why her/him should be selected to participate. The instructor would pick the best paper to select the student(s) who will participate in the “Free PMI Membership and CAPM/PMP Certification” program. Instructors make the final 2 selections and the PMI NEO SLD only receives the names
  • The instructor needs to ensure that the selected student(s) is available and willing to commit to attending ALL CAPM/PMP Study group sessions and have available transportation to the location (Progressive Insurance, 300 North Commons Blvd. Mayfield Village 44142)
  • The instructor should provide all names to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For the May PMP/CAPM Study Group the last date for instructors to submit 2 student names is April 27. For the Fall/Winter Study Group, starting September 11, the last date for submission is August 15
  • Students will pay themselves for the PMI membership ($32), submit an expense and get reimbursement. Instructions will be provided

By joining the PMI and earning the CAMP or PMP certification, students would demonstrate commitment to learning outside the classroom, gain a wealth of knowledge and make connections with potential employees who recognize the value of hiring certified candidates.

Leadership. Growth. Advancement.
Leverage the Opportunities.

In over 80 countries around the world, local PMI chapters are where members truly develop and grow. PMI Northeast Ohio provides access to unique opportunities that cannot be found in the workplace, for example:

  • Network with local experts to expand connections and gain insights into projects and ideas
  • Uncover fulfilling volunteer connections that provide the opportunity to share knowledge and skills
  • Participate in activities and projects to sharpen technical and leadership skills

Join PMI Northeast Ohio with a complimentary membership

The PMI Northeast Ohio Chapter would like to offer you access to these opportunities with a chapter membership—free of charge for the remainder of your PMI membership cycle ($25 value). Leverage all of the resources of the chapter so you can see for yourself the impact a local connection can have on your career.

If you are looking to grow professionally, membership with PMI Northeast Ohio is a great place to start!

Know someone who would like to join us?  Refer a peer and receive a small gift from the chapter!  Ask your peer to mention your name and email address as the referral when they email us.


To join the PMI Northeast Ohio Chapter free for the remainder of your PMI membership cycle ($25 value), please contact membership team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

You will be sent a unique code and instructions for entering the code at checkout on pmi.org.

Any questions, please let us know.  We’re looking forward to seeing you soon at one of our upcoming events!

© 2016 Project Management Institute, Inc.

Kerzner-HowardDr. Harold Kerzner is Senior Executive Director for Project Management for the International Institute for Learning (IIL). He has a MS and Ph.D. in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from the University of Illinois and an MBA from Utah State University. He is a prior Air Force Officer and spent several years at Morton-Thiokol in project management. He taught engineering at the University of Illinois and business administration at Utah State University and for 37 years taught project management at Baldwin-Wallace University. He has published or presented numerous engineering and business papers, and has published more than 50 college textbooks on project management, including later editions. His three latest books are (1) PM 2.0: The Future of Project Management; (2) Project Management Metrics, KPIs and Dashboards, and (3) Project Recovery: Case Studies and Techniques for Overcoming Project Failure.

He travels around the world each year conducting project management lectures in Japan, China, Russia, Brazil, The United Arab Emirates, Singapore, South Africa, Germany, Spain, Belgium, The Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, France, Italy, England and Switzerland.

His recognitions include:

  • The University of Illinois granted Dr. Kerzner a Distinguished Recent Alumni Award for his contributions to the field of project management
  • Utah State University provided Dr. Kerzner with the 1998 Distinguished Service Award for his contributions to the field of project management
  • The Northeast Ohio Chapter of the Project Management Institute gives out the Kerzner Award once a year to one project manager in Northeast Ohio that has demonstrated excellence in project management
  • The Project Management Institute (National Organization) in cooperation with IIL has initiated the Kerzner International Project Manager of the Year Award given to one project manager yearly anywhere in the world
  • The Project Management Institute also gives out four scholarships each year in Dr. Kerzner's name for graduate studies in project management
  • Baldwin-Wallace University has instituted the Kerzner Distinguished Lecturer Series in project management
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