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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Simple Steps to Ensure Your Project Stands a Chance

Why does it happen so often that projects that are initially driven by passion and conviction quickly fizzle out, never to be remembered except with regret? My observation and experiences have produced a check-list that has helped many people, including me, bring projects into the real world. Perhaps this check- list is exactly what the doctor ordered, as it were, for your project.

1. What is the project? You may be overwhelmed by the instinct that something momentous and important must be pursued, and that you are the one "chosen" to bring it about. That instinct, that sense of mission, is actually a good thing, because it represents the drive by which visions are propelled. What you need to do is to create clarity on what the vision that must be driven by the energizing instinct is. Get yourself a piece of paper and, even if you start in a random manner, make a list of projects that can be pursued. You can even be wildly ambitious, and start with "build a hotel". Keep listing until something resonates. When you hit that sweet spot, write a paragraph, and keep writing till you dry out. When you are done, write a sentence that captures the essential aspects of what you wrote in the paragraph. That sentence should tell you what the project is.

2. Who needs it? Ask first, "do I need this project?" If you don't need the project and what it will do, abandon it. That is not the same as saying that you must pursue a project only for selfish reasons. The truth, however, is that for the project to succeed, you must need to do it. The need may be material, intellectual, emotional or spiritual, but that need is the flame that will keep the candle glowing. Next, ask "who else needs it?" At this point, it helps to become social. Ask a cross-section of your community whether a project like the one you are thinking of will be of use to them. If on the whole the answer is yes, then your project will be supported, enhancing its chances of sustainability and success.

3. Can it be done? For some projects, the answer is easy because similar things have been done before. For others, some imagination and thought needs to be invested. When you ask yourself this question, you help yourself to focus on real-world issues, and at the same time to work up the problem-solving adrenaline that enables us to tackle challenges. The question "can it be done?" also triggers an enlightening enquiry about method and capacity.

4. What is needed to do it? Here you are marshalling your resources, and the outlines of an actual action plan are beginning to emerge. By listing the needs of the project-human expertise, materials, financing and time- you are beginning to visualize the project, and this is a healthy indication that something will actually come of it.

Do please share your views and experiences on this topic by leaving your comment on this blog.

Jonathan Wutawunashe is a Project Execution Consultant and author of the motivational book Fulfill Your Threats.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Differentiating Yourself

There is a lot of literature out there about personal branding, but it's not always easy to know where and how to start. Personal branding does not mean that you have to become a fake. It does mean that you can highlight and leverage your attributes, talents and skills to help you stand out better and be more valuable to society and to yourself. Most, if not all of us, need a little help to activate our latent or dormant strengths and to bring them to the fore. All kinds of hangups can discourage us from "transforming ourselves to be ourselves". There is neither glory nor reward in spending our lives being less than we are equipped to be, so it is very much worth our while to find and use as many "how to" materials as we can lay our hands on. Most of these practical guidance materials are either free or cheap, and they can be found everywhere, including online. Worthwhile seminars, such as those organised by motivational speaker and author Milton Kamwendo, cost next to nothing, but such seminars generate empowering ideas that can energize people in a surprising way. There are good links like that you can follow and find really good ideas to bring out the best in you. Other online resources include video presentations on popular sites like YouTube. Each video associates itself with similar ones, multiplying the resources at your disposal. Below is one of PossibilityPages' own videos. Notice how similar ones suggest themselves. Do please leave your thoughts on this topic.

Managing Time

In a chapter titled "Catch Your Day By The Throat" in the book FULFILL YOUR THREATS, the author suggests that what you do in the first hour of your workday can make or break the rest of what you attempt to do for the rest of the day. He also urges us to develop the habit of accomplishing all our goals (context sensitive of course) during the first three hours of our workday. A spotlight is thrown on "the time value of money", with the interesting argument that most of us invest a lot of time inefficiently to reap a disproportionately small amount of money. Do you agree that a time audit would help you align your workload with what you earn from your work?

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Achieving success in life

Many of us are like people who have a closet full of nice suits, but are frozen in bewilderment and confusion as they stand in front of the open closet. The problem is that none of the jackets is on the same hanger as the trousers that came with it, and everything is all jumbled up. It's a big mess. Do you feel that if only you could align your strengths, talents and abilities in a logical sequence, you could achieve your life goals? Please share your thoughts, experiences and ideas on this topic, as your input will help stimulate productive discussion on this important subject. All you have to do is type away. Of course, as the discussion progresses, new, related topics will come up, and that's all good. [Jonathan Wutawunashe, author, Fulfill Your Threats-Simple Principles to Help You Succeed in Life]