changingminds.org

How we change what others think, feel, believe and do

| Menu | Quick | Books | Share | Search | Settings |

Three Big Mistakes That Ruin Good Projects

 

Guest articles > Three Big Mistakes That Ruin Good Projects

 

by: Lisa Earle McLeod

 

Where do you start a painting project? Or any type of project?

I was refinishing some furniture recently, and found myself thinking about the three classic mistakes that people make when managing project workflow.

Mistake #1 - Starting with the most visible parts first

Years ago, whenever I was doing a project I’d start with the most prominent part first. For example, wen my husband and were putting up wallpaper in our first home’s foyer, I couldn’t wait to get it up. So we started with the big wall immediately opposite the front. Which is why for several years the most visible part of our home had a line of crooked wallpaper right in the middle of it. We should have started in a less prominent place to build our skills before we tackled the big showy part.

When I work with clients, I advise starting projects with a few easy backstage action items first. You want to be able to get your feet wet on the less critical parts, so that you have skills and confidence before you tackle the largest most visible elements. But don’t wait too long

Mistake # 2 - Saving the hardest part for last

Building up your experience works, but only to a point. If you save the hardest parts for last, you’ll find yourself running out of time and energy. Exhibit A for this classic mistake is the dresser I refinished where I saved the top part for last thinking that by the end, I’d have perfected my glazing technique. Wrong. I peaked midway, by the end, I was tired, it was late and I was just slapping glaze on the thing like a drunken housewife trying to douse a cheap ham. Which is why there is now a lamp and a book sitting at odd angles on top of said dresser to cover my sloppy late night work.

When you’re planning workflow, put the most important elements in the middle. You’ll be experienced enough to do them well, but not so pushed for time that you rush. For a recent client project, we scheduled the high profile all hands meeting for the mid point. We had some quick wins we could share, and we generated internal enthusiasm to carry us over the finish line.

Mistake #3 – Not starting because you don’t know how it will end

I know, Stephen Covey says, start with the end in mind. It’s good advice that can keep you from aimless endeavors. But you don’t have to know exactly how things will turn out to start. The best advice I got on this came from Meryl Streep, well, actually her husband. Meryl Streep was doing many films about foreign women with heavy accents and dramatic stories. A reporter asked her, how do you get into the character, what do you do first, the accent, the movements, the backstory, what? Streep said, “I learned from my husband who is a sculptor, just start. Pick whatever place seems the most interesting, or doable, and just start.”

I’ve followed this advice for years. I don’t start my book in the beginning, some I’ve started in the middle, others with the end. I start projects with the parts that seem manageable. I advise clients to start with the places they find interesting. Because here’s the thing, once you start, you’re in. If it’s the right project, the work itself will give you energy.

 


Lisa Earle McLeod is a sales leadership consultant. Companies like Apple, Kimberly-Clark and Pfizer hire her to help them create passionate, purpose-driven sales forces. She the author of several books including Selling with Noble Purpose: How to Drive Revenue and Do Work That Makes You Proud, a Wiley publication, released Nov. 15, 2012. She has appeared on The Today Show, and has been featured in Forbes, Fortune and The Wall Street Journal. She provides executive coaching sessions, strategy workshops, and keynote speeches.

More info: www.mcleodandmore.com

Lisa's Blog How Smart People Can Get Better At Everything

Copyright 2014 Lisa Earle McLeod. All rights reserved.


Contributor: Lisa Earle McLeod

Published here on: 14-Dec-14

Classification: Development, Management

Website: www.mcleodandmore.com

Site Menu

| Home | Top | Quick Links | Settings |

Main sections: | Disciplines | Techniques | Principles | Explanations | Theories |

Other sections: | Blog! | Quotes | Guest articles | Analysis | Books | Help |

More pages: | Contact | Caveat | About | Students | Webmasters | Awards | Guestbook | Feedback | Sitemap | Changes |

Settings: | Computer layout | Mobile layout | Small font | Medium font | Large font | Translate |

 

You can buy books here

More Kindle books:

And the big
paperback book


Look inside

 

Please help and share:

 

Quick links

Disciplines

* Argument
* Brand management
* Change Management
* Coaching
* Communication
* Counseling
* Game Design
* Human Resources
* Job-finding
* Leadership
* Marketing
* Politics
* Propaganda
* Rhetoric
* Negotiation
* Psychoanalysis
* Sales
* Sociology
* Storytelling
* Teaching
* Warfare
* Workplace design

Techniques

* Assertiveness
* Body language
* Change techniques
* Closing techniques
* Conditioning
* Conversation
* Confidence tricks
* Conversion
* Creative techniques
* General techniques
* Happiness
* Hypnotism
* Interrogation
* Language
* Listening
* Negotiation tactics
* Objection handling
* Propaganda
* Problem-solving
* Public speaking
* Questioning
* Using repetition
* Resisting persuasion
* Self-development
* Sequential requests
* Storytelling
* Stress Management
* Tipping
* Using humor
* Willpower

Principles

* Principles

Explanations

* Behaviors
* Beliefs
* Brain stuff
* Conditioning
* Coping Mechanisms
* Critical Theory
* Culture
* Decisions
* Emotions
* Evolution
* Gender
* Games
* Groups
* Habit
* Identity
* Learning
* Meaning
* Memory
* Motivation
* Models
* Needs
* Personality
* Power
* Preferences
* Research
* Relationships
* SIFT Model
* Social Research
* Stress
* Trust
* Values

Theories

* Alphabetic list
* Theory types

And

About
Guest Articles
Blog!
Books
Changes
Contact
Guestbook
Quotes
Students
Webmasters

 

| Home | Top | Menu | Quick Links |

© Changing Works 2002-
Massive Content — Maximum Speed