Your presentation provided a valuable opportunity for our attendees to learn about the various filters that can hinder effective communications and provided actionable insights on how to communicate with clarity to all levels of project stakeholders, team members and peers.
D. Bailey - President, Westchester PMI
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Issue # 41 April 2012

Pow'Rful Presentations Newsletter

 

April 2012 Edition
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 2012

 

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April leads to May and then Summer!!

Time flies when you are having fun. Time marched on while I am leading an ICD-10 program. We are moving into May and then looking forward to summer in the USA. This means school vacations, long days of sunlight and a "summer mindset" for people to get outdoors and enjoy the nice weather after months of cold.

 

What are your plans for the summer?

 

I don't have solid plans for the summer yet. I know, I know - a project manager should already have the summer vacation plans nailed down. However, we have a few mutually exclusive things in flux at the moment that will impact our summer plans.

 

It is the same on many projects - you know the general direction of an initiative (make plans for summer), but you don't have all the information that you need to finalize plans. What should you do in this situation?

 

1. List your probably options. Should we go to Cape Cod, or the lakehouse for a week, or visit South Africa, or paint out our home?

 

2. What is the drop dead date that we need to make a decision? What is the lead time for each option? What is the cost and benefit of each one? Can we delay until June to make a decision?

 

3. Who else needs to weigh in on each decision? Every family member, or is it simple dictatorial edict from the matriach? 

 

4. When will we get together again and replan?

 

If you can't make a decision now and time must pass for other things to play out before you can make a decision, then identify the information that you will need to make the decision, and plan to make the decision at that time.

 

We never know everything up front at the start of a project, or at the start of a summer vacation. However, you can plan to replan, and anticipate some of the options that will be available to you when you make your decision.

 

 

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Would you live a different life, if you could?
I had great response to a facebook posting "What would you do differently if you could live your life over again?" Here is a reprint of the accompanying blog posting, with the author's permission.
Assuming that you had the option to live your life over again, what would you do differently? The more you think about this exercise, the more value you will get out of it. 

Heck, even if you could apply the wisdom that you have today to your life just five years ago, what advice would you give yourself?

Perhaps you will answer with something like "I would live more confidently" or "I would take more advantage of the opportunities that I had". Really? Would you? or would you be constrained, just as you were when you were in the situation in the first place?

We make decisions that are the best decisions we can make at the time, based on many sources of input to the decision. As a hypothetical example, if you decide to leave your home country of South Africa for a better future in the USA, some of the factors that go into the decision are:

1. What is the likely long-term effect of the AIDS endemic?
2. What is the likely long-term outcome of an unstable political environment?
3. What are the opportunities for future prosperity?
4. Do I enjoy living in a house that requires a security system to mitigate inconceivably high levels of brutal crimes on suburban residents?
5. Am I willing to look back on my life and say "I wish that I did xxx, but did not try?" (There is a TV commercial of a grandfather telling his grandson about his youth. Grandpa describes his dream Harley-Davidson in detail - the paint, the feeling of freedom on the open road, the roar of the engine at high speed. Grandson says "Grandpa, what happened to the Harley?" Grandpa says "I bought new siding for the house instead".
6. Your self-esteem.
7. What are the available options? (More options might provide a better decision, or not)

Now back to the point. What would you do differently, if you could live your life over again? Why aren't you doing it now?

I submit to you that you are doing what you do now, because you are making the best decisions that you can at this time. Your self-esteem, your current financial situation and your knowledge limits the decisions you can make. 

Therefore, if you were to live your life differently if you could live it over again, then it makes sense to build a better foundation. If you learn how to remove the constraints that limit your ability to make decisions, then you have more options.

To improve the rest of your time on this earth (assuming that you don't believe in reincarnation), you should begin to:
1. Learn techniques to raise your self-esteem. (I have benefited from Nathaniel Branden's work.)
2. Learn how you make decisions, and research additional ways to make decisions. 
3. Review the list of things that you would do differently if you could live your life over again, and answer the question "Why am I not doing them now?" 

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Get more value on my blog and on facebook (as much as one can get value from social media).

More next time!

Wayne Botha 

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