Monday, July 11, 2011

3 Important Ingredients for Success

Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.  -Unknown

I am currently working on a pretty complex project in Australia.   The project really interests and excites me- it is all about taking an old way of doing things and transforming it into a new and better way.    Being able to collaborate with the people who do this work and help to improve the quality of their work life makes this project even more appealing to me.   I am all about building teams and improving morale.

My confidence level does not necessarily match my enthusiasm.   I am effectively feeling my way around in the dark here- having to rely heavily upon the experts to understand work flow and a lot of high tech processes- like fabricating composite parts etc etc etc...and the project isn’t just one little section of this factory, but includes the entire factory and quality department.  

I have found over the years that three things are important when expanding into new, uncharted territory:   Be gentle with yourself, Surround yourself with positive, supportive people and take baby steps.

1) Be gentle with yourself.   Allow yourself some flexibility, including permission to fail.  When you are doing something new, you cannot always expect to be perfect the first time around.   You need to learn, and this is often best achieved by finding all the wrong ways first!   Permit and accept the possibility of failing up front and it makes the task seem not so daunting.   Ask questions, take in the ideas and feedback that others offer, and be sure to listen to your gut.     

2) Surround yourself with positive supportive people.  I cannot advocate this enough.   I have a great management team that I am reporting to here.   Today, I expressed my approach to this project and was told, “Great- that sounds like the right thing to do.”  My confidence was raised ten-fold.  

This is also a good reminder to be that positive, supportive person to others.  If you have knowledge, share it where it is needed.   Don’t shoot down ideas that may be different from your own.  Be mindful that there is always more than one better way.  New ideas deserve consideration and support. 

3) Baby Steps…Sometimes thinking of the whole picture can be debilitating.  Focus instead on the little steps to get to the end of your goal.   I was asked today by the same manager above if I was comfortable with the project- it is a big one!   I told him that right now I felt I was moving in the right direction.   If a few steps down the road I don’t know what to do, I will ask for help.   You only have to worry about one moment at a time.   Make the best choice you can when each moment presents itself and you will do marvelous!

 Take Good Care!

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