Whether you're in the clear or suffering pretty hard in today's economic climate, there are probably moments when you would prefer to just go to your old bedroom in your childhood home, hide under the covers and wait for someone to call you when dinner is ready.
Many times things seem out of control, and maybe in reality they are. That doesn't mean you should just duck and cover and wait for it to blow over with hopes you'll come out okay. If you think about it, out of control situations stem from a lack of organization or communication. Negative headlines hit the airwaves day and night and it's hard not to feel the world around you in crumbling. Just remember that old saying, "when the going gets tough, the tough get going" and nothing is bolder, stronger and more durable than Project Management.
There is always an opportunity to gain control and find success. I say this from experience as I've weathered many economic storms in my time as a business owner. From more than two decades, I've found ten ways you can implement Project Management to help push through adversity and land back on top.
10 Ways to Use Project Management to Survive and Succeed
- CUT OUT THE NEGATIVITY
Negative information depletes your energy, drags you down and ultimately wears away at your ambition and spirit. Stay clear of negative practices like gossip and media hype as well as those who deliver the bad news. Instead, develop your own strategy around changes, risk management and problem solving.
- DREAM IT. BE IT.
If you think you cannot control your destiny, think again. Similar to "you are what you eat," "you are what you dream." If you focus on failure you will fail. If you set long-term personal and organizational goals for success, then you will eventually achieve it. Envision yourself going through the motions and conversations to get yourself exactly where you'd like to be. If you do this daily and continue seeing yourself succeeding, then it will become a reality.
- BE A LIFE-LONG STUDENT
Seek out opportunities to do your own formal and informal learning. Engaging in activities like informational interviews, podcasts, webinars, or training and development courses will all take you to your customized major. How often have you met someone who went to school for Art History only to become a Dermatologist later on? You have the power to become an expert in whatever you'd like. And chances are, if you are excited about that subject, you will excel in it.
- WALK THE WALK. LEAD BY EXAMPLE.
Develop a "can do, we will prevail" attitude, and bring those around you up with your thirst for knowledge and your enviable project management capabilities.
It's important to connect with others in your industry to stay in-the-know about issues taking place in businesses around you. Face-to-face informational lunches, LinkedIn.com professional groups and tweets from "thought leaders" on Twitter are all excellent ways to brainstorm ideas, gather solutions and share experiences that can help you now or later. It also confirms that you are not alone in any challenges you are facing and can lead to that "can do" attitude I was just walking about.
- DON'T PUT ALL OF YOUR EGGS IN ONE BASKET
Whether you are an individual relying on one industry or one company to meet all your financial needs or whether you are an organization that relies on one customer, or one product to sustain your economic well-being, you need to mix things up to keep things fresh.
- HAVE A SAFETY NET
It's just like the flight attendants tell us on their pre-flight safety instructions: you need to secure your own mask before helping others. Create a safety net so you can take risks, when needed, in your career or your projects.
- PLAN, PLAN, PLAN
Having Plans A through Z will always empower you to address new opportunities if and when they arise. Some opportunities will be golden and others will be disguised as difficulties. Remember to assess how these will impact you achieving your long-term goals, then develop a strategy that incorporates the change into your ambitions and dreams.
- CUT BAIT
Assess your projects and commitments to see which are energizing and which are dragging you down. A simple way to figure it out is to ask yourself, "If I had to make the decision today to start this project, would I?" If the answer is no, stop wasting your valuable resources on it.
- FOLLOW YOUR HEART, NOT YOUR HEAD
I've always said, "if you are passionate about it, you will wildly succeed!" If your talents are being used effectively and in the right environment, it will have a significant impact. Seek out opportunities where you can have more fun, and make more of a difference.
Take a deep breath and come out from under the covers. You do have the power to gain control and make the world your oyster. By applying Project Management practices into your life, you'll find yourself heading in the right direction. Mama said there'd be days like this and I'm sure she also said to give it your all.
About the Author
Michelle LaBrosse, PMP, is an entrepreneurial powerhouse with a penchant for making success easy, fun and fast. She is the founder of Cheetah Learning, the author of the Cheetah Success Series, and a prolific blogger whose mission is to bring Project Management to the masses. A dynamic keynote speaker and industry thought leader, Michelle was previously recognized by PMI as one of the 25 Most Influential Women in Project Management in the world.
Michelle's articles have appeared in over 100 publications and web sites around the world. You can check out her monthly column, the Know How Network, as well as her weekly radio program, Your World Your Way that is an inspiring and practical look at how Project Management fuels success.
She is a graduate of the Harvard Business School's Owner President Manager's (OPM) program and also holds engineering degrees from Syracuse University and the University of Dayton. She lives in Nevada with her family and likes to rejuvenate in Alaska where you'll often find her kayaking, hiking, and riding her motorcycle.