What is The Crux

Ever heard of the term "crux"?In mountaineering terms, it's the most difficult part of a climb.

Regardless if it's a climb or a personal goal, I see the start as the most difficult part.

I used to think that starting was easy and finishing was the hard part. I would now say finishing is hard, once you get started.

Do you keep putting things off, day after day, week after week?

Now that we've started a new year, what are you going to commit to? Almost as important, what will prevent you from getting started?

(the pic is from a trail map for the Sugarloaf Mountain trails that I've hiked)

Stakeholder Management Strategies

On occasion, I read a piece that speaks to me.  Recently, it was a post titled The Yellow Brick Road - What Do Your Stakeholders Expect, written by Bas de Baar, an independent project consultant based in the Netherlands.  Bas clearly articulated a story of his youth and aligned it with a stakeholder management strategy. I loved this piece. If there’s one thing I think project managers and the like need help on, it’s developing stakeholder management strategies. I sometimes sit in meetings, as an observer, to see how the vendor is interacting with the client. Representing the client, I know what makes them anxious and what doesn’t. As the meeting progresses and the client feels they are not being provided enough information, they commonly become very anxious.

In the Yellow Brick Road piece, Bas described fond childhood memories of an annual family vacation.  As part of the planning process, his father wrote detailed driving instructions on how to find their way.  Based on the checkpoints his father had documented, Bas knew how much further they needed to travel to reach the next checkpoint or complete their journey.

Now imagine how much different his memories could have been, if his father hadn't provided him with those documented checkpoints? Imagine if every time Bas become anxious from the long trip, he had to ask his father how much further they had to go?

I seemingly remember, as a child, doing this every time I got into the car.

How much longer until we're there?

5 minutes

Put yourself in your stakeholders' shoes.  Try to align your communications and management strategy with their current perception of the journey.

Graphic: Pictofigo

Why the game of Candy Land bothers me

Every child's first game, CANDY LAND is a colorful way for a preschooler to experience the joy of game play. The game teaches color recognition and matching while reinforcing the lesson of taking turns and being a gracious winner or loser. You will love to see the smile on a young person's face as they travel through CANDY LAND. That's what Hasbro has to say about it.  What do I have to say about it?

Every father's first game, CANDY LAND is a colorful way for a parent to tell his child that this is not how life really is.  The game teaches color recognition and matching while reinforcing an attitude that you can still succeed, even without a strategy.  It teaches the lesson of accepting an outcome, when nothing is within your control and everything is left to chance.  You will love to see the smile on a young person's face when you play your first game of chess.

I'm a loving father.  But I'm also insanely competitive.  I don't think we do our kids any favors by teaching them to just throw the dice or spin a wheel and let life hand them a destiny.  I'm going to raise my son to not expect a ribbon for just showing up.  I'm going to raise my son to not expect something for nothing.

I want him to know that there are risks is life but there are also great opportunities.  It might not start with a game called CANDY LAND but it sure will in the game called LIFE.

Do you think everyone should be rewarded for just showing up?