Boniface Mwangi swings off the road and parks outside a bland commercial building, one of the many that dot the roadside. A woman peers from the grill opening of one of the kiosks. The name of the kiosk is “From Shoots To Fruits”.
One day you will going down a new path, unwary of the missteps, holes or turns that awaits you ahead. You won’t understand why everyone keeps saying you should follow your dreams because at that very moment, clarity will have forsaken you. The venture you will have taken will be a long short, but then again the rewards are what softens the risk.
every feeling, every tear, every rejection will remind you of an easier option you could have taken, an easier place you could have stayed, an easy position you could have kept. you will be reminded you had most things working for you, yet you chose to etch your own path, you had to venture into the unknown. This are just a few of the changes you will dread on your new journey towards a dream you only can describe. be strong if you see it in your heart, you can make it, you can get it.
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. Eleanor Roosevelt
You will know that sitting and thinking about tomorrow will make you cold, a busy brain steals warmth from inactive hands and feet, all your days you’ve been on the move, now live wants you to sit and plan, you can’t keep guessing, you have to start planing, that’s the only way you can estimate or forecast the results of what you doing today.
You will accept a commission that has been turned down by all others in your field, because after all you are not on the same path with them. The four walls to your office or room will start constrict and squeeze you inside, you wont be breathing easy and your friends and family will notice, the most important thing is to keep the focus on the goal, what you wish to accomplish is your ultimate focus, forget what you are going through, just make sure you are upright, head high and you earning progress not just movements.
Always remember your present state, of course, is your fault. If for one moment you doing it for someone else or to earn acceptance from someone then you are lost, I will advise you to stop because you wont be able to handle the disappointment that come with failure. Learn to find success for yourself, everyone is seeking theirs, and if you fail for yourself you learn, if you fail for others you lose twice. Failure is never an opposite to success, its part of your success, its part of your growth.
You will face discomfort which will not, either be a self pitying morass of abject failure, but more the arctic doldrums between the high elation of a recent win in your presentation and the distant worry that the results might be too far for reach to warrant any excitement. Every triumph will have a sharp edged downside, that’s how great wins are built, great wins attract great responsibilities; you have to keep up.\
Long-shots are uncomfortable and gut wrenching, but so great are the returns that you just keep on shooting those long ones hoping for the best. You get good at it by making myriad of them without tiring or regrets, you lose you win, at the end it gets easier and that’s the only venture you will get into. This may be a new course you’ve decided to take, a new business you’ve ventured into or a change in a profession that only you understands the end result.
The long-shots will be relationships you will decide to invest in against everyone’s expectations of you, ideas you will want to develop that no one will see them the way you do, or people you will give a chance that others will think they have no chance. The most important thing is always know what you want, plan for it and always know the results you want from it. Be good at risk management, research and preparations, remember long-shots are different from overreach, one requires planning, the other is a gamble.
Start a business, go back to school, change your job or leave that person though you don’t know how next month will be, the most important thing is the conviction of what you want, the urge to achieve something beautiful or the build towards the shape of your future.
Soar up and be proud of it, you are not meant to remain where you are…
Look at the girl my brother loves
She gives her affection in halves
They talk with shapes and emojis
So my brother is always guessing
A different day a different zone
A man who’s smitten gets no bone
Pretty smile when she’s broke and shaggy
Very busy and down after she’s groomed
He hopes tomorrow will be bright
Keeps calling and texting at night
Waiting with a basket of promises
And a bent heart and things his heart misses
He mends wishes in his sleep
And a tight anger hidden deep
No idea what his misery really is
Its his first time to feel this way
I pray he allows his heart to break
To grant this rodeo a good brake
Nurture a new returned romance
And seal this torment of a chance
I see your face drop, every time we meet and we discuss the time you called the shots, I thought you said that I’d be better if I was ruthless and learnt to lie to my juniors to show am a team player.
I see your remember every time I tell you I still believe in trusting my team, in developing my team and showing them the importance of teamwork. I told you my team is me, if they fail I fail, if they are vulnerable I am vulnerable; that’s why I learn everyone’s story,interests, temperament and dreams. I want to be able to predict their behavior, decisions, feelings about courses we take in our projects. This assures me I can manage them, I can manage the project’s tasks, deadlines and risks.
If I can predict every team members’ priorities I am able to be in control of tasks and main activities of a project, because ultimately my goal is to internalise my critical path. I want to be able to plan, change and alter upcoming before they become risks to my projects’ budget, scope, timeline and quality.
I see your face drop when I tell you I still believe my employers are more important than my suppliers and clients because they are the people that make the clients happy. I promote their comfort, their priorities with control and that’s why clients come back; not because am a good negotiator but because they saw professionalism in my delivery, they saw the agency to meet goals in my team, and can trace Emotional intelligence in dealing with my team.
I strive to enable my team such that milestones can be met without my constant contribution, supervision and directions. That day when my input directions won’t be needed to accomplish a goal, I will register it as a win for me and to each one of them. That way I can keep learning new things because I still have lots to learn, to be better, to be great, to mellow into self actualization. When I can mentor someone into growing both as an individual and a professional.
For now I am learning, I am correcting what I have gone wrong, I am discovering my full potential and appreciating everyone who is helping me along the way. Loving those who taught me all the things I shouldn’t do as a leader and a project manager, because I chose a different path, a different approach a different process . I believed in mentors who promoted my growth and the growth of others, today I meet those who told me my believes are wanting and tell them so far am doing fine, I can be better but my progress so far is well and on the right course.
Appreciate every person you meet in your journey to greatness, if they don’t teach you things to do to win, they will teach you things not to do.
_photo by Buschman Consultancy
I have learnt a lot of lessons in the year 2016 but the one greatest of them all is the importance of developing each team member as an individual.
How many times have we dismissed a team member just because he/she is not good at a certain task!? Doesn’t know how to work with a certain software!? Didn’t present the report as you always wanted, with the right template, the right details!? While all along never stopping to figure out
1. Have they being equipped with the skill?!
2. What are they actually good at for now before being trained on the missing skill!?
3. How come you didn’t know they aren’t qualified to write that report in the first place!?
4. How can you improve them as their leader!?
Leadership is a responsibility, but most of us take it as a given, we confuse job titles with leadership, we call out juniors for skills they haven’t acquired without acknowledging that Someone took time to train us too, someone sent us the report templates beforehand, someone trained us at his/her own time how the boss likes his presentations, someone listened to and answered out questions.
While it may be someone else’s job to orient the new hires, do you take time to know your team, their capabilities, their strengths and weaknesses before dismissing them right and left!? Do you know what each one can do, and can’t do!? That’s your responsibility, that’s your main job, that should be your focus because as much as you might have equipped them with all they need, you need to develop them, take each one of them individually for what they need and what they have. Provide what they might need or guide them on how to get it, develop what they already have and make sure its working for you and your team goals.
Leadership is all about making individuals work at their best in their respective strengths to achieve a greater common goal for the team, its about magnifying the strength in everyone and tightening up the weak links. Give the weak qualities in your team members time to ebb, if a team member shines in his greatest quality he will want to improve so much his weakest quality won’t be much of a worry to you anymore.
So as 2017 opens us up to greater heights, see development of team members as a long term process, discover what they dream or desires to grow their interests for the team benefit, lead each one of the differently according to his guidance needs, use your organisation goals for individual development, have those hard conversations, celebrate those wins and try place most of them in their strength areas/zones; you gain a happy teammate and a great win for the organization.
All our projects are behind schedule, that we have to admit; unless of course we haven’t started because we are still waiting for the start date. Well, after all is said and done we have to agree the one rare statement is, “We glad everything went as planned.” Projects have a mind of their own, they either surprise you by stretching the timelines to eternity or if its lucky time they take shorter than planned for. Wouldn’t we all enjoy that?
In Kenya to start with I can attest to the fact that almost 99% of the projects fall way behind schedule and over budget. While I am one of those who manage these projects I think the best state to be in is one where we are sure of a few ways we would try to save the misery if we can’t avoid it. Mitigation works better if we armed with predictive data to keep the monitoring of the timelines in order. Sometimes we don’t have this data at our disposal but just the unexpected occasions are enough to point us to a possible schedule slip. These include miscalculated tasks, desertion of staff, and misdirected or underestimated resources. These resources are people, processes and tools
While it brings lots of inconvenience and loss of money it can be mitigated or totally covered by a few ways:
- Schedule Crashing plan
- Fast tracking
- Work Overtime
- Reallocate/swap resources
- Re-evaluate the dependencies
- Avoid scope change
- Scale back the scope of work
SCHEDULE CRASHING PLAN
This means trying to gain more time on the critical path from the least application of resources. The deal is to give more resources to the project which almost all the time means more money into the task at hand, more than was allocated but better for the critical path recovery.
The only time you can save some cost is whereby you engage more resource for less time. i.e instead of using one man to finish a task in six days you engage 3 men to do it in two days, that way you save 4 days for your critical path. Of course you have to give extra monitoring effort to the quality aspect of the same task to make sure it’s not compromised.
This involves checking the tasks you have arranged to run in succession and if you have some which you can finish in parallel then you do that. In this method of recovery you are certain your timelines are recovered from the time it would have talent to do those successful tasks.
If everyone in the project worked a few more hours every day, more work will be completed thus saving a few days that will help save the project timelines. This will incur more cost of salaries/wages but if the timeline is of more importance than the cost at the time; it’s the best way to go.
This involves checking which parts of the project are more important to finish first and thus picking some resources from other tasks and adding to the said tasks. It also involves totally substituting some resources if they can be more effective somewhere else than where they are initially allocated. These should be monitored not to affect the critical path negatively at any one time. We keep in mind that we saving on the timeline even if it means more cost.
REEVALUATE THE DEPENDENCIES
Sometimes our problems can be solved from checking our dependencies and evaluating their timelines in depth to be sure the time we allocated can be of help to us and to the project. Any invalid dependency between the activities is eliminated and thus release of some time to our schedule. A good example is whereby we allocate 3 days to send a paper report to the headquarter while we can pay more for overnight service thus salvaging two days and getting approvals earlier.
AVOID SCOPE CHANGE
In any of these projects every scope change should be approved and the effects to the timeline, quality and cost evaluated to avoid any disagreements. If scope changes keep happening they end up lengthening the timeline and thus project slipping won’t be avoided. Run every scope change with the sponsors and senior management, and if the sponsors are the one proposing the change; make sure you present the effects on the timeline and cost as a report before you start on the change.
SCALE BACK THE SCOPE OF WORK
If the timeline is very important to the project and all the possible alternatives are not helpful, you can propose a scaling back of scope. Sometimes you can present a project that is not 100% with a promise to finish the remaining sharpening of the remaining scope, as long as they are just minor tasks which will be finished fast before the product or service starts its intended work. This only happens as a last resort and I would firmly vote against it.
While all these are possible saviors to any slippage of our projects sometimes the problems are beyond us as project managers. The best we can do is give it our best effort, be in charge of all the happenings and the events that might happen in future to be able to prepare for them or avoid them completely. Make sure the team you have buy-in to your way of doing things so that they help with any incoming risks; both by pointing them out before they raise their head and also helping solve them.
I cannot sleep in your prescence.
In your absence, tears prevent me.
You watch me My Beloved
On each sleepless night and
Only You see the difference
Looking at my life
I see that only Love
Has been my soul’s companion
From deep inside
My soul cries out:
Do not wait, surrender
For the sake of Love.
If you can’t smell the fragrance
Don’t come into the garden of Love.
If you’re unwilling to undress
Don’t enter into the stream of Truth.
Stay where you are.
Don’t come our way.
All year round the lover is mad,
Unkempt, lovesick and in disgrace.
Without love there is nothing but grief.
In love… what else matters?
Love is our Mother and
The way of our Prophet.
Yet it is in our nature
To fight with Love.
We can’t see you, mother,
Hidden behind dark veils
Woven by ourselves.
Do you want to enter paradise?
To walk the path of Truth
You need the grace of God.
We all face death in the end.
But on the way, be careful
Never to hurt a human heart!
Do you know what the music is saying?
“Come follow me and you will find the way.
Your mistakes can also lead you to the Truth.
When you ask, the answer will be given.”
The Master who’s full of sweetness
Is so drunk with love, he’s oblivious.
“Will you give me
some of your sweetness?”
“I have none,” he says,
unaware of his richness.
You know what love is?
It is all kindness, generosity.
Disharmony prevails when
You confuse lust with love, while
The distance between the two
This Love is a King
But his banner is hidden.
The Koran speaks the Truth
But its miracle is concealed.
Love has pierced with its arrow
The heart of every lover.
Blood flows but the wound is invisible.
Am angling my eyes on the horizons this evening of possibilities , thinking of the many miracles that could happen tomorrow, or the next hour, or the next month, year. God aligns our paths with tasks, beliefs and people all towards a bigger goal, a bigger plan, a better eventuality. In the mean time all we have is the possibility, the eternal fact that if we realize the brightness of the future, our today will be full of hope and believe.
Every one seems to forget all the times you had to fail to be where you are. We look at people we think have got it all and we never know what they had to go through, what they sacrificed, the many times they were at our point. They cried themselves to sleep, others were beaten by problems and lay on cold floor for days. The only
noteworthy deed is at a point in time they rose up and decided to stay upright. They etched their destinies and it stood.
I wish I could improve my abilities to see beyond the fantasies and listen to the stories, to get to know where that person was years ago. I hope to see my fails as parts of success, and my misses as part of the perfection journey. I want to miss every shot I can right now, because I have a strong believe that one day I will shoot without missing, I will score every kick and will forget my inadequate days of today.
I choose to see possibility in my everyday actions, hard work and sacrifice. I choose a positive next minute, hour, day and week. I choose big success.
I have these subconscious regrets which I can’t admit to anyone, Mistakes I have done before but can’t really shed light on, because I have outlived them, I accepted them, for a moment I forget them and talk of them while I hide their identity.
I imagine a German with a strong conviction into the truth, does right because he can, while still obligated by a strong urge to do good because good has been done to him. He hides a Jew at the basement, feeds him, clothes him and converses him. He knows Hitler might know and he will die but he fills his days with danger. For a moment he doesn’t mind the consequences, and he floats at the thought of making someone’s day a safe one, a better one.
It posses no danger to anyone but me, I have lived and accepted I am my own hazard, that I have the ultimate guard on my destiny, all borne in the choices I make everyday. Many of them skewed and plain stupid but none of them blamed on someone else, all of them making me to the person I am today, and shielding me against much worse state of life, because the few right choices I have made so far are still the cushion I lean on when its dark and deep into nothingness, believing I’ll wake up and make one more good choice.
So today I will right a few words of pride, positivity and vanity, it feels like a good way to archive my thoughts and the depth or emptiness of self.
Rewards and motivation are an oil change for project engines. Do it regularly and often. – Woody Williams