Sunday, March 18, 2007


please go to the new area for my blog.


Dan Schawbel

Monday, March 12, 2007

Setting yourself up for success

You just received a project due in 5 days. How will you accomplish this goal in a timely manner and deliver?

It's all about setting yourself up for success, so that you deliver the best possible content in a 5 day span, and actually finish it before it's due. This way, it will allow leway between edits and completion. The strategy for accomplishing this is to establish a project plan that spans 5 days. The plan should include all the work that needs to get done, in order to finish the project on time, as well as periods where certain portions of the project need to be complete. Once you have established this plan, you need to follow it for the 5 days.

If this is a collaboration effort, you must include the other "stakeholders" in your plan, and mark the days in which they need to take part in this initiative. If they have to sign off on pieces of the project or the entire project, mark these gates on your plan. If it is a long-term plan, you may included phases or draft cycles. The important thing to consider is how complex the project is and the audience it is being provided to. After you know those pieces, you can construct the project plan to meet the needs and requirements of the audience. Make sure you communicate this plan with the stakeholders of the project, so that everyone is on the same page.

To properly set yourself up for success, you should bring the due date of the project to at least 1 day before it is due. This will provide pressure at first, but you will have less stress closer to the deadline.

A good tool to use to create plans, such as the one described above is Microsoft Project, which is project management software designed to track the progress of a project and attach resources and deadlines.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Goal Alignment

Your goals are how you measure success. They are the objectives you set for yourself, either in the short-term or long-term of your career. When you evaluate your goals, make sure they are attainable and are noteworthy. For instance, if you want to be an accountant, your short term goal could be go obtain your CPA or to get your masters in accounting. Short-term goals could last anywhere from a few days to a few years, depending on your situation and requirements. With long-terms goals, you are looking out into the future, as to whom you would like to be in 10 - 20 years, what your desired job might be or where you will relocate to. These are all decisions you will make over a period of time, based on your current situation and your desired outcome. By creating your goals, you are giving yourself something to measure success and achievement.

Goal alignment is critical to the achievement of long-term goals. Short-term and long-term goals must be aligned, which will create an underlying strategy that you will live by. For instance, if you are destined to be a Lawyer, you notice that you will need some additional education and a possible internship to get into that field. Those are both your short-term goals and your long-term goal might be to have your own practice. The key is that both align, and that your short-term goals support the overall effort, so that you end up where you want to be.