Wayne, your presentations at our Professional Development Day were enjoyable and instructive. Leadership, and successful project management, starts with having the ability to communicate clearly, and we greatly appreciate you sharing your expertise with our Chapter.

I'm happy to lend my voice to let other PMI chapters know what an engaging and informative speaker you are.

C. Shankar - PMI Westchester
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Issue # 37 Summer 2011

Pow'Rful Presentations Newsletter

Summer 2011 - Mid-year review, refocus and special offer.
Pow'Rful Presentations is a relatively monthly investigation of ideas, strategies and techniques to assist readers be more present in life, better project managers and make effective presentations (in all senses of the word).

Disclaimer - depending on your background, and my South African origins, you may find some of my spelling and grammar to be "imaginative".

© Wayne Botha 2011

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Do you have the wrong stuff?

Don't you just hate it when you work hard, make sacrifices and reach a goal, only to find out that you were operating with the wrong information? Early in my professional career I was told "if you work hard and make outstanding contributions to your employer then you will be rewarded with salary increases and promotions." 


After following this advice for years, I found out that this advice is wrong. If you work long hours and make valuable contributions to your employer then there is a slight chance it will be noticed and rewarded. Many things can go wrong with this equation, including your manager taking credit for your work, your employer going bankrupt, involuntary layoffs, etc. You need more than just hard work to get promotions and salary increases. You need to learn organizational politics, leadership skills and build professional relationships as well. 


The same is true on your projects. You may be managing your projects with the wrong stuff. You may be using incomplete or inaccurate information, focusing on bureaucratic reports and applying metrics that no-one cares about while your project goes down in flames.


How do you know if you have the wrong stuff, or the right stuff?

We are now enjoying the summer months of 2011. It is the perfect time to reflect on your goals for 2011 and measure progress towards these goals. If you are like me, then reviewing the goals you set six months ago fall into these categories.

  1. Yes, I still want to reach that goal. I must put more effort into that.
  2. That goal is no longer relevant to me and I am taking it off the list.
  3. Here is a new goal which was not on my radar six months ago.
  4. I should start the new diet. (Yes, it is also on my list.)

How do you feel when you review your list of goals for 2011? Disappointed that you have not yet met your goals? Satisfied that you reached some of your goals?


Realistically, here is what you can do to help yourself reach your goals in the remainder of this year. Obviously, if you have not reached your goals yet, there are reasons for it and nothing will change unless you make it change.

  1. Do you have the wrong stuff? (Is the goal realistic for you, do you really want to reach it?)

  2. If you have the right stuff to reach this goal then what is preventing you from reaching it? This is simple but difficult to answer. The best way to work through this is with an impartial and trusted advisor. Why? Because you can't see the obstacle, even though it is obvious to a trusted advisor. The common obstacles are: a) too many goals which diffuses energy and focus, b) vague goals, c) no plan of manageable steps to reach the larger goal.

  3. Is your environment supporting or demolishing your attempts to reach the goal? If your goal is to get better at finishing the projects that you start, then prioritize your projects, dump the unimportant projects, reduce your volunteer activities and clear your desk. You largely determine your environment including your office space and personal relationships. Stack the deck in your favor and help yourself to create the environment that supports your progress towards goals. If your goal is to lose weight then consuming large quantities of hand-crafted beer won't help (even if it is in the name of science.)

  4. Do you have enough expertise to reach your goal. If not, then ask people who have reached the goal you are trying to reach and get a fresh perspective. Read books from authors who have reached the goal. Jump on youtube and gain new knowledge.

When I work with clients I find that even project managers don't implement basic planning skills and knowledge to reach goals. Usually, we know how to reach our goals. We don't implement what we know for manifold reasons. For example, unclear vision of the goal, steps not clearly defined, no support network, personal baggage and gremlins that make us get in our own way.


When you refocus your goals for the final half of 2011, contemplate if you have the right stuff to reach your goals. Don't wait until it is too late and reflect with regret on December 31, 2011. 


Look in your mirror today, ask "Honestly, why have I not reached this goal yet?" and get help from a trusted advisor or life partner. There is no magic wand. I have found that talking through the goal and obstacles helps me to refocus the larger goal and particularly identify the next few steps that must be taken to reach that goal.


As Martin Luther King, Jr. said "Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase." If you take the few steps in front of you today, then you will probably get to the top of the staircase.


My wish for you, today, is find out if you have the wrong stuff as quickly as possible. Then find the right stuff and move forward to reach your goals in 2011, before it is too late.

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Once-off special offer, valid until September 30, 2011.


Relationships are a corner stone of successful projects. Your ability to build and nurture professional relationships distinguishes your career while managing projects. You probably know this. What you may be missing are the right tools to implement this knowledge.


The common challenge with soft-skills is specific training in and pragmatic tools to create and nurture professional relationships. This is especially true you are an engineer-type with limited natural people skills.

Here's the deal. I received training on Relationship Awareness Theory earlier this year so that I can facilitate SDI® workshops. People who manage projects need these pragmatic relationship-building skills more than anyone I know.

If you refer the monthly meeting planner for your professional association (such as your chapter of PMI®) to me, then I will give you a complimentary personal consultation to help you improve your relationship skills. When I speak to your professional association, we both contribute to the win/win/win outcome.


Please refer the person in charge of scheduling speakers for your chapter meetings to me. Then contact me and we can setup time for a complimentary consultation.

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More next time!

Wayne Botha

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