Everything in your life is a Project.
How well do you manage projects?
“Make It So!”
– Patrick Stewart
(Jean-Luc Picard from “Star Trek)
Has your Leader ever asked you to, “make it happen” or “make the problem go away”? Have you ever told one of your subordinates to do the same? Have you ever silently told yourself, “I need to make this go away?”
This book is about Leading Projects and what it takes to become more effective tomorrow than you are today, thus becoming absolutely essential to any employer.
The older I get, the more I’m convinced that everything in life is a project. Your birth was a project. Your death will be a project. Why? Because every activity, event, problem, challenge, or goal in your life has a beginning, an end, and a duration of time in between. That means it’s a project, with a before, during, and an after.
The sooner you recognize that everything in your life is a project, use the tactics, techniques and tools from this book, the sooner you’ll be able to enhance the quality of your life.
Unfortunately, most people stumble through life with a victim mentality; complaining, “How could this happen to me. I’m a good person! Let’s ignore it and see if it goes away.”
The best way to predict your future is to create it.
It’s possible to create a life with less stress, frustration, and failure, with more confidence, success, and value added to your career. Everything you experience, or will experience is a project of sorts. So, the better you prepare for it, the better your life will become.
That’s why we wrote this book. This book is a distillation of The Effectiveness Guide with a focus on making things happen; Leading Projects to resolve problems. The more you know about how to avoid, reduce, or eliminate every pain in your life, the more pleasure you can experience in life.
If there was a pill guaranteed to eliminate or reduce the intensity, frequency, and duration of anything negative in your life, would you take it? Conversely, if there was a pill guaranteed to create or increase anything positive in your life, would you take it?
This book is that pill. This book will enhance the quality of your life and the lives of those around you, but only if you use what you’ll learn here.
As for my life, I’ve made many bad choices alone the way and I failed to act on bad situations that were very painful. I just suffered in silence, hoping it would resolve itself. If I would have known and used what you’ll learn here, my life would have experiences less pain, with more joy, wealth, and serenity.
All the problems in your life can be subdivided into these three categories:
- Anticipated Positive: Graduating from High School, falling in love, getting married, getting a job, leaving home and supporting yourself, buying a car, choosing a college, graduating from college, picking a career, advancing in your career, raising children, buying a home, etc.
- Anticipated Negative (expect, but not know when): Failure, setbacks, delays, distractions, accidents, illnesses, injuries, job loss, death of a loved one, your death, etc.
- Unanticipated (what you don’t expect, but could happen): Catastrophic acts of nature, adultery, divorce, incarceration, addiction, bankruptcy, victim of a crime, foreclosure, repossession, disability, terminal health condition, explosion, etc.
What’s the Solution?
Learn how to convert every problem or *pre-problem, into a project designed to maximize the positive effects and minimize the negative effects.
*Pre-problem: Any challenge, struggle, toleration, adverse situation, issue, concern, shortfall, or obstacle that is unknown or unacceptable to you that could affect the quality of your life.
If you’re prepared, problems and their results will be less severe, with a shorter duration, and a better result. If you’re unprepared, your problems are still the same, but the longer you wait to resolve them – the worse they become.
Pre-problems don’t become problems unless you are totally unprepared and have no idea what to do.
Most pre-problems do not become problems, because someone took swift and decisive action when they occurred. This means that if you use the tactics, techniques, and tools from the book, turn the pre-problem into a project, you can take the action needed to ensure it never becomes a problem.
I know that if you approach each problem or pre-problem in your life with a project mindset, your chances of resolving it will be quicker, easier, and cheaper.
Have you ever been in a position of being overwhelmed; too much to do and too little time to get it all done? If so, maybe it’s time to delegate.
Here are several suggestions to enhance your ability to delegate.
What is Delegating?
Your ability to delegate is critical because you can’t do everything. Develop, nurture, and use others as a resource to act on your behalf. Even though you remain totally responsible for the overall outcome, delegation allows you to grant sufficient authority needed by a Delegatee to accomplish specific tasks.
Delegation begins when one person (the Delegator) asks another person (the Delegatee) to do a something (the Assignment). The Delegator doesn’t have to be a superior. Delegator’s are often peers, friends, a spouse, or an independent contractor (i.e. someone you pay like a supplier, vendor, or other service professional).
Delegation saves money and time, motivates members, and builds effective leaders.
Delegating is the process of granting or transferring (agreed upon) authority from one person (the Delegator) to another (the Delegatee) to accomplish an assignment. This empowers the Delegatee to act independently with appropriate resources to accomplish the assignment.
Whenever you delegate anything to another person, 5% of your job is telling the person what you want done; the other 95% is ensuring it gets done.
The Delegator remains responsible for the Delegatee’s acts or omissions in carrying out the purpose of the assignment.
Why is Trust so important to Delegating?
How much does your leader trust you? How much do you trust your Key Players? Trust involves many variables. If you’ve worked with your Key Players for a while, you’ll have a better feel for their capabilities and limitations. Since we all mature at our own pace, each of your Key Players will be at a different level of maturity; a different level of personal responsibility.
Delegation is far more than asking someone to do something.
Since delegation is all about trust and granting authority to accomplish something, there are definite degrees of delegating.
Here’s a list showing the different degrees of delegating starting out with granting very little authority and little trust and ending with the granting full authority and complete trust:
- Get the facts and bring them to me for action (little trust and authority)
- Develop alternatives and I’ll take action based upon the facts
- Be prepared to take action, but don’t do anything until I say so
- Tell me what you propose to do and when
- Analyze the situation, take action, and tell me the results
- Just go! Here’s the situation, deal with it! (complete trust and authority)
What is Accountability?
Accountability is often confused with responsibility and is normally not a problem until something goes wrong. For example, if there is a problem with your project, you will get the opportunity to explain to your leader what happened. Sometimes, depending on the severity of the problem, your leader will be very unhappy with you. This may seem unfair or unreasonable, especially if it wasn’t your fault, but caused by one of your Key Players.
Don’t take it personally, take it professionally and fix it.
What most new Project Leaders don’t understand is that Responsibility and Accountability go together; they’re part of the same iceberg.
Unfortunately, you can’t see the Accountability part of the iceberg, which lies hidden beneath the surface, until things go wrong. When things go wrong, which they will, your leader’s job is to ask you for an explanation.
Your leader expects you to know or to find out:
- What happened?
- What caused it to happen?
- What are you going to do to fix it, so it never happens again?
Effective leaders understand that things will go wrong. All they want you to do is to step up, find out what happened, report what caused it, and what is being done to fix it. Or, if you cannot fix it, what do you recommend be done so it never happens again.
What your leader doesn’t need is for you to play the blame game, make excuses, or hide the truth.
Instead take these actions:
- Investigate: What happened and what caused it to happen?
- Return and Report: Report to your leader the facts and your recommendation
- Fix it: Fix it for good
- Return and Report: When fixed, report the fix to your leader
Establish the reputation for being a good problem solver, as well as a good problem finder. Leader’s like it when you anticipate things going wrong before they become a problem or a crisis.
Your job is to help your leader find, fix, and eliminate all distractions that could slow or stop the achievement of his goals.
We all make mistakes. This is how we learn. However, mistakes, errors, and defects are not a problem if they’re caught and fixed before they leave the unit.
The acid test for accountability is the absence of complaining, blaming others, and making excuses.
What systems (checks, procedures, rehearsals, preventive actions, QC, or Testing) are in place to catch mistakes before they leave the unit?
To be continued: You can learn more about Project Management, and how it can help enhance your career, by add this volume to your professional library, today!
MAKE IT HAPPEN!
WHY EVERYTHING IN LIFE IS A PROJECT
Here’s what you’ll learn:
CHAPTER 1: YOU CAN’T DO IT ALONE
CHAPTER 2: THE PROJECT PROCESS
CHAPTER 3: WHAT’S YOUR PLAN?
CHAPTER 4: IS THIS TOO RISKY?
CHAPTER 5: LET’S GET THIS APPROVED
CHAPTER 6: TIME TO COORDINATE
CHAPTER 7: TRACKING ALL THE “MOVING PARTS”
CHAPTER 8: CHECKING, CHECKING, CHECKING
CHAPTER 9: GETTING AHEAD OF CHANGE
CHAPTER 10: HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM!
CHAPTER 11: TIME TO PREPARE
CHAPTER 12: WHERE ARE WE?
CHAPTER 13: IT’S GAME TIME!
CHAPTER 14: PROJECT’S OVER, NOW WHAT?
APPENDIX A: WHAT “PLAN OF ACTION” LOOKS LIKE
APPENDIX B: “DON’T FORGET NOTHIN” LIST
APPENDIX C: CONDUCTING REAL WORLD PROJECT
APPENDIX D: BRAINSTORMING
APPENDIX E: PROBLEM RESOLUTION MEETING
APPENDIX F: RISK ASSESSMENT
You now have the chance to enhance your career by learning how to Manage Projects.
You also have the chance to purchase The Effectiveness Guide, which contains all 9 Core Competencies of Effectiveness, but does not include Make It Happen, because Project Management is not one of the 9 Core Competencies of Effectiveness.
Here’s what you’ll learn:
CHAPTER 1: WHAT MAKES A LEADER EFFECTIVE?
CHAPTER 2: BY BECOMING A BETTER DELEGATOR
CHAPTER 3: BY BECOMING A BETTER PLANNER
CHAPTER 4: BY BECOMING A BETTER ORGANIZER
CHAPTER 5: BY BECOMING A BETTER COMMUNICATOR
CHAPTER 6: BY BECOMING A BETTER PROBLEM SOLVER
CHAPTER 7: BY ENHANCING YOUR AWARENESS
CHAPTER 8: BY BECOMING A BETTER TRAINER
CHAPTER 9: BY ENHANCING YOUR ABILITY TO MOTIVATE
CHAPTER 10: BY ENHANCING YOUR CHARACTER
APPENDIX A: PLAN OF ACTION EXAMPLE
APPENDIX B: REAL WORLD PROBLEM SOLVING EXAMPLE
APPENDIX C: ADVANCE PROBLEM SOLVING WITH VUCA
APPENDIX D: CAREER ADVICE
APPENDIX E: CREATING MISSION AND VISION STATEMENTS
The Effectiveness Guide will be the best investment you’ll ever make in your career.
Also, if you feel this information could help someone else, please take a few moments to let them know. If it turns out to make a difference in their life, they’ll be forever grateful to you – as will I.
Let’s make a difference together – one person at a time!
All the best!
Founder of TheCAREERMaker.com
Connect with me at:
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The 9 Core Competencies of Effectiveness