Do you know who Roz Savage is?
For those who don’t, Roz is the first woman to have rowed solo across three oceans – the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian. Solo.
And you know how that came to be? She knew she needed a project, and so she chose one. Roz Savage was a management consultant living “the big life” in London. She was 33 when she sat down and wrote two versions of her obituary:
“The first was the life that I wanted to have. I thought of the obituaries that I enjoyed reading, the people that I admired… the people [who] really knew how to live,” she says. “The second version was the obituary that I was heading for — a conventional, ordinary, pleasant life. The difference between the two was startling. Clearly something was going to have to change… I felt I was getting a few things figured out. But I was like a carpenter with a brand new set of tools and no wood to work on. I needed a project. And so I decided to row the Atlantic.”
Design your own projects.
Her exercise of writing your own obituary may not appeal to you, but you can certainly jump ahead of that step to designing your own project too.
This is the time of year when we get persuaded to think about goals and resolutions. Compelling, but also somewhat nagging, making us feel apprehensive and nervous. Switching it up a bit, wherein we swap goal-setting for project-piloting can be very, very effective, and much more appealing to us.
I’m bringing it up now, for two reasons:
- This is another way you can revisit the exercise we started together earlier this month: Looking back to Hō‘imi Forward. Overlay what you have already done, with this lens of potentially piloting a project in 2015.
- Take advantage of December’s lulls in a personal yet proactive way. In January, most workplaces direct the attention of everyone involved with them toward their own goals and resolutions, i.e. the professional ones you are expected to adopt, which are attached to workplace mission and vision — as they should, and as coaches like me will encourage them to do. Therefore, it is time to prepare, and under your own terms.
Coming to an understanding of what you want personally first and foremost is a very wise move. You will still be expected to adopt those professional goals, but if you already have your own project in mind, you can adopt and adapt.
To use the vocabulary intention we favor in Managing with Aloha, you can value align, you can choose a particular learning focus (parallel to your company’s objectives), and you can sharpen your project directions toward the accomplishments which may be possible.
In other words, you can go for a win-win, personal and professional.
Pilot that project.
Sky’s the limit as far as the personal project you choose, and you only have to choose one. Recognize that one project can have a lot of moving parts when done well: Managerial Batching: 1, 2, 5 and 7.
Need an example? I previously shared my 2015 project focus with you here: Failing Forward Out Loud, (which includes some thoughts on whether or not you should publicly share your intentions).
My best advice to you is this: Be a dabbler. Consider each and every project you undertake, to be a pilot – an experiment you will take on, conduct, and purely wallow in for a while to both test it and enjoy it, and then decide about continuing or not somewhere down the road in the process of playing with it.
Take full advantage of the fact that the only person you need permission from in choosing your project, is you. It is personal, and therefore, it will be highly pleasing.
Pilot your project in the laboratory of playful experiments!
In our Managing with Aloha vocabulary intentions, to pilot a project is to consider all pilots half-hatched experiments and temporary possibilities. They have the potential of more fully revealing themselves as you work through them.
To treat something as experimental and temporary is extremely liberating. We take more creative license with projects staged in those settings, and tolerate the messiness of the entire endeavor. We study more, we curate as we go, and we are less impatient in our decision-making. Frankly, we give ourselves more of a break, we take our time, and we take more chances.
Oh, and we partner so easily! We do much better with getting others involved, asking for their help, opinion, and expertise in a way that implies nothing beyond “no strings, just play with us for a while.”
We also know that we have the option of rejecting something totally: It was an experiment. A trial run. A simmering pot in our test kitchen that we tired of eating from, and became old left-overs. We tried it out, we dabbled with different combinations of it, and we ate. No one can accuse us of not giving it a good shot, but beyond those justifications, we probably understand what we are rejecting far better than we might have at first impulse, often gaining smaller wins in our meandering: Managing: Be a Big Fan of the Small Win.
So give this some thought, or just go with your gut: What instantly comes to mind for you as your best possible project pilot in 2015?
“Piloting projects” is one of the ‘—ing’ verbs which has been slowly populating itself here on MWA Central as a subject tag (you will normally see these tags in the footer of each post.)
Here are a few suggestion links to articles already there:
- The connection of Faith and Learning
- We Earn Our Keep, Integrated
- Policy Changes Ache Groundwork
- Beauty in the Work: “Things Occur to You.”
- Choose your next Project Kukupa‘u
Try another tag in the footer: How about treasure hunting?