Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Begin With the End In Mind

This month, my daily tips are all based on Stephen Covey's book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and his second habit is to begin with the end in mind. All of us who manage projects understand that this means we should have a clear vision for the final outcome of a project.

Vision is important for several reasons. The predominant one is that you need to be very clear on what results you are trying to accomplish with your project. Another reason is that a compelling vision motivates team members to give their best performance to the project. And finally, a clear vision can be tested with all stakeholders to ensure that they agree with the final destination of the job.

In Covey's book, he is talking more about your vision for your life, rather than a project vision. Do you have a clear plan for your life? If not, you may be like most people who have regrets at the end of life--things they never did that they wish they had done.

Do you want to be a project manager for the rest of your life? Do you want to use it as a stepping stone to a more senior management position? Or are you an accidental project manager, and you would rather not be managing projects at all?

In any case, it is a good idea to think about your life and what you want to experience. You don't get to redo it, so its highly important to try to do it right the first time.

The late Steve Jobs is reported to have asked himself every day if what he was going to do that day was something that he looked forward to doing. If he said "no" several days in a row, he tried to pass off whatever it was and do something else. I think that's a good approach.

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