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Lessons for the project manager

Some guidelines from Thomas Cromwell, as literatured by Hilary Mantel:

On the collection and use of sensitive information (think: dealing with hidden agendas): “He knows how to watch. He knows how to listen. He knows how to send a message encrypted, or a message so secret that no message appears to be there; a piece of information so solid that its meaning seems to be stamped out in the earth, yet its form so fragile that it seems to be conveyed by angels.”

On the importance of keeping to elementary rules and arrangements for conduct between people (think: conflict situations): “When protocol fails, it is war to the knife.”

On the importance of formulation when sending messages to stakeholders (think: personal messages, email): “He writes a good letter, to the point, neither abrupt nor circumlocutory, nor larded with flattery, nor cursory in expressions of regard.”

On how to know if you’ve really mastered something (think: decision making in urgent situations): “I can’t slow down, if I stopped to think how I was doing it I couldn’t do it at all.”

Quotes are from “Bring up the bodies”, pp. 177, 174, 209 and 241.
But don’t look up just the quotes, read the whole book.