Better RFP Responses & Management
Your Inner Juggler

Your Inner Juggler

Seth is learning to juggle better.

The secret, as I wrote about in The Practice is the throwing, not the catching. If you get the throws right, the catches are easy.

The way to focus on the throws is simple but culturally difficult: Errant throws don’t earn a lunge.

Let them drop.

Simply stand there and watch them drop.

Realize that the problem isn’t that you didn’t lunge. The problem was that your throws were off.

And at work? Ah, that’s a little harder.

There are lots of rewards for heroic saves at work. But heroic saves undermine the desire to build better systems.

I’ve done lots of lunging in my time in Proposal Land. Working crazy hours. Rewriting crappy inputs. Digging out inconsistencies driven by a lack of planning. I’m far from the only one.

Should I have just stood there and let a “badly thrown” proposal hit the floor? Not likely.

Should you? Not likely.

But you can make sure you and everyone else understands what just happened, and you can commit to doing the work to preventing it from happening again. That’s why I wrote The Book: to document what I’d learned about how to throw better. To help others learn how to stop having to lunge to save a proposal.

If you get the throws right, the catches are easy.

The corollary? If the catches *aren’t* easy, you know you’re not throwing right.

Check out these posts also:

This is Your Chance

The Work

Managing the Project Management Triangle

A New Year’s Habit



  1. Jim Taylor

    Yeah, I’ve done those all-nighter lunges too. And Seth is right — they’re evidence of “throws” that weren’t done right in the first place. I also have to admit that sometimes, maybe even often, I was the bottleneck that led to a “lunge”.

    But I also remember a forestry company that I worked for, a couple of summers. They actually built the last minute “lunge” — an all-staff all-night process of colouring maps of different forest covers — into their schedule.

    Jim T

    1. Isabel Gibson

      Jim – Scheduling an all-nighter? Well, I guess that’s better than springing it on people at the last minute when you realize you’re not going to meet the deadline. I still hold to the belief that last-minute heroics are not necessary. In the work I know, they represent a failure to manage time and priorities.

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