What is in a Name

What is in a Name

Hello my name is Derek HuetherThis weekend, I took the first step of rebranding myself. Some know me as Derek Huether the “PMP”; some as Derek Huether the “CSM”; some even refer to me as The Critical Path blogger or Zombie PM.

With the real risk of the Federal Government shutting down this next week, I’d be an idiot if I didn’t eat my own dogfood and have some kind of Risk Management strategy.  Though I may have to “accept” the risk, I will do what I can to mitigate it.

Because I am NOT a government employee, if there is a shutdown, I will NOT get paid.  When I heard about a possible shutdown, I remembered the similarities between grief and risk.  So, what needs to get done?  I need to get my resume and social links updated.  Wherever my name is, I need to make sure the message I’m sending reflects my current frame of mind.

When I look at LinkedIn profiles, it appears some people really love adding initials after their names.  I saw one fellow had no less than 6 acronyms after his name.  Though people in the industry may understand this alphabet soup, I think many are just annoyed by it.  I did a search on him and he really had nothing to say (publicly).  So, who is this guy?  What I see happening is he’ll be loaded into a database with everyone else and he’ll become nothing more than a keyword search.

Though I admit, that could happen to me as well.  I’ll do what I can not to pander to it.  I think people should be hired because of their personalities or because they are good culture fits.  I wouldn’t want to be hired because a hiring manager needed a body with a PMP or CSM.

I’m not going to turn my back on what I’ve learned over the years.  I will still champion the baseline information the pursuit of these certifications or accreditations exposed me to.  But, I’m not going to continue using them in my name.  It’s just not who I am.

7 Replies to “What is in a Name”

  1. The last federal government shutdown was fifteen years ago, in two phases: from November 14 through November 19, 1995 and from December 16, 1995 to January 6, 1996. Will there be another? Maybe, maybe not. I will point out that there are news reports that Roger Ailes, head of Faux News Channel, is about to be indicted for suborning perjury. Will the Republicans push ahead with their plans if they don’t have their head propagandist suited up and ready to charge onto the field? Again, maybe, and maybe not.

    I’ll be the first to agree that we should always keep our resumes current, our job board alerts functioning and our personal branding precise. But risk exposure equals likely impact times probability, and if I were still contracting with a Beltway Bandit, like I was the last time, I’d be on Amazon, looking for things to read during my down time. YMMV.

    Peace be with you.

    1. There truly is a difference between possible and probable. But, though I understand the odds of a shutdown are remote, and if it happens it should be short, I’m just trying to limit my risk exposure. Unlike Congress, if the Federal Government shuts down, I’m not billable. If I’m not billable, I’ll be looking for work.

  2. Slightly off topic but since you mentioned you may have to “accept” the risk I figure I would pose the question. Do you believe there is a difference between exploiting, enhancing, and accepting a risk? From a semantic standpoint would you be able to clearly define the difference to others? Just curious what other’s thoughts are.

    1. Well, risks fall under two categories: positive and negative. I don’t like to call them positive risks. I traditionally just call them opportunities. Regardless, exploiting and enhancing fall under the positive. Accepting can fall under either positive or negative. In my case, I’m dealing with a negative risk.

      When exploiting a risk, you’re trying to elimination any uncertainty.
      When enhancing a risk, you have to understand the underlying cause of it. You then try to influence the underlying triggers.

      When accepting a risk, you acknowledge the best course of action is to not do anything at all (in relation to that risk). You just continue on with your project.

      So, to be specific, I’m accepting the risk of the shutdown. But, I’m attempting to mitigate the impact it will have on me, if the event it does occur.

      Good question!

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