My club was enlightened to the challenges and costs that immigrants face when trying to become US citizens, and the stories of failed attempts on the journey.
Paul Oates, Speaker Committee - South Windsor Rotary Club
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SWaynePow'Rful Presentations Newsletter
June 2010 - Energy!
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 2010
"My project is your highest priority... "
How to get stakeholders and team members to devote attention to your project when you need them. 
If you manage projects in a matrix environment, or across companies then you will run into the situation where people tell you that they don't have time to work on your project due to higher-priority work.
The way to get the focus that your project needs for your success, is to demonstrate your energy and enthusiasm for your project. Nobody wants to work on a project that a project manager doesn't seem to care about.
Use these tangible tips to display energy and enthusiasm for your project.
1. Always take the opportunity to talk live with people, when you can. Replace emails with live calls wherever possible. Communicate by talking, and listening - you will get your message across, make people feel valuable and have the opportunity to find out about potential issues that have not yet surfaced.
2. Communicate frequently. Speak live with your stakeholders. Show transparency by communicating your project plans and status. This keeps your project in view.
3.  Do what other project managers don't normally do. If everyone in your organization relies on emails, then make a point to phone your stakeholders and leave voice messages. Take stakeholders to lunch if nobody around you does this. Stand out as the project manager who has energy. Bring your abundance of energy to the project in your voice and actions.
4. Smile, and laugh. You can't convey energy and attract people to work on your project if you are not fun to work with. Challenge yourself to have fun and encourage humor in project meetings.
5. Get a reputation for running projects professionally. Nobody wants to work on projects where every 15 minutes reveals a new surprise and work is frequently reworked due to poor planning. Insist on planning and following the plan, and discouraging scope creep. Apply the basics of professional project management, such as running efficient meetings and following up on commitments that people make to you and to each other. Demonstrate your energy by initiating these basic project management skills.
6. Understand the project. Make sure that you are in control of the project and are truly the executive sponsor's agent for the project. Don't allow yourself to become the "clipboard toting project manager" whose only objective is to check off the boxes on the task list. Take ownership of the project and make the effort to understand the project. 
7. Ask team members on the project "What is your biggest problem on the project?" and then help them to solve the problem. Demonstrate that you are helping them to succeed.
In summary, show that you have abundant energy, and bring your energy to the project, then you find innovative ways to make sure that you and your projects retain high priority in the minds of stakeholders. In turn, people will be more willing to give your project the focus that it needs for your success.

Energy, not process, determines the priority that your project gets in a matrixed organization.    

Your energizing email strategy
Email overload can drain your energy. Go from exhaustion to exhilaration by creating your energizing email strategy.
What is your strategy for dealing with email? Even if you think that you don't have a strategy, not having a strategy is a strategy. Incoming email disrupts your project plans, and drains your energy if you try to answer every email that you receive. You cannot allow your projects and your life to be controlled by other people sending you email.
Therefore, today is the day to create your personal strategy for dealing with email. I propose that you consider my strategy, as input to your strategy. If you want to control your energy and decide where you will invest it, then draft up an email strategy today, and improve it as you see fit.
Wayne's Winning email strategy:
1. Ruthlessly cut off emails at the source. Unsubscribe from newsletters that you don't want to receive, which appears to be a never-ending endeavor.  
2. Set up email folders and rules to automatically file emails that you receive regularly, but don't want to receive and can't opt-out of.
3. Don't respond to emails, immediately. Educate people that you respond to emails on your schedule, not when they send the email to you.
4. Create a folder for emails that appear to be low priority, and file them away. Review them when you have down-time (which you probably won't ever have).
5. Aim to keep your email inbox completely empty, with zero emails. You will have more energy and feel more in control when your inbox is completely empty, every day. 
Your inbox is largely under your control, if you make up your mind to believe this.
My embarrassing moment of the week.
I purchase and read a lot of books. I was complaining about the high cost of books when my son asked "Why don't you just write your own books?"  After thinking about this obvious solution to the problem, I realized that it is not practical. I don't like to read bad writing.
Do you know someone who is stuck and not progressing towards a goal? Contact me and I will schedule a sample coaching session to see if we can work together.
Do you need a speaker for your IT or Project Management conference? Contact me and let's discuss if I am the right speaker for your event.
Get more value on my blog, facebook and   View Wayne Botha's profile on LinkedIn

Email me with any problems or questions that you have about project management or presentations and I will attempt to address them in a future newsletter.

More next time!

Wayne Botha

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