Yesterday I was involved in the two-hour live telecast of the Portland Rose Festival’s Grand Floral Parade. It’s the second largest all-floral parade in the country, and the biggest event in Portland, Oregon.  Live television broadcasts and athletic contests both give us the opportunity to know in a very short window how well you’ve prepared. You either win the game, or you don’t. The broadcast either goes well, or it doesn’t.

It’s a lot like life, and a lot like managing any project.  Here’s a checklist for any project.

  1. Understand the steps you need to take for success. Assign timelines to each of those steps.
  2. Imagine the worst possible scenario and plan for that. What is your “showstopper?” Plan for the worst and hope for the best.
  3. Make sure you have the right mix of people on the project with all required skills.
  4. Assess your own strengths and weaknesses with honesty. Put people in place with strength in your weak areas.
  5. Communicate to other team members in detail.
  6. You must have back-up plans. It is not enough to have just a Plan B. You have to have a Plan C and preferably a Plan D too.
  7. Always do a “pre-flight check.”  Make sure everything is working and that people know their roles.
  8. Avoid complacency.  Arrogance causes blindness; blindness to your competitors, or new problems that must be addressed.
  9. Believe in your project. If you don’t love it, who will?

Remember to take notes during the project on what’s working and what isn’t. Bring team members together afterward to discuss what can be done better next time. Several small improvements can make a significant difference in your product, your service, your life!

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Category : Leadership