The year was 1999 (A.D.)
I bid for, and got, a three-month consultancy for a publishing company based out of town. They hired this PM Journeyman to help implement a multi-project reporting system.
Don’t let the title “consultant” fool ya – it simply meant I was a glorified office boy subjected to the whims of my project masters
I was holed up in a murky motel just off the motorway about a mile from the customer site.
Getting a taxi was a nightmare.
Driving out to the sticks for one-mile fare was not worth it they all told me …
So I walked.
I got a body like a sack of spanners, so I figured I’d take my trusty Walkman player to kill the time and pain.
(Remember those? Before iPods and MP3 players?)
And each day on my way to work I’d listen to some tapes by Robert Kiyosaki — author of the bestselling book, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”. Specifically, I listened (over and over) to a tape where he talked about the importance of building pipelines instead of carrying buckets in business building.
Here’s how he ‘splained it:
Imagine you’re on an island village.
And, you have an idea to bring water from the river.
Right now, most people would go to the lake, fill as many buckets as they can carry each day, and bring them back.
Not so the wise man. Instead of heroically carrying buckets (breaking his back and wearing himself out) back and forth all day… he builds a pipeline to bring the water to the village — completely freeing up his time, energy and resources so he can play, build more income streams, whatever he wants.
Yes, pipelines take longer to work than toting buckets.
They also take thinking.
Plus, you may not see immediate gratification.
But, over time, you build a business that takes a life of its own — and keeps working hard for you even if you take off on vacation or to play golf or whatever it is you do.
It’s a brilliant concept.
One well worth thinking about.
And guess what?
This is basically what a half-decent project manager does
See, the project is a pipeline to implement business improvement. They too, take thinking, strategy, planning, patience, hard work, and the benefits may be many months or years before they come on-stream (pardon the pun)
Which is why a qualified project manager with a reputation for delivery earns more than most lawyers and doctors.
And how do you get good?
You put yourself in pole position Captain!
Don’t let ’em steer your ship, Skipper.