Combinations and my project
It's life, Jim...

Strengths, Project, Principles

OK, combinations and my project, what's it all about?

After finishing step 2 in the 'Go put your strengths to work' Marcus Buckingham asks you to write down three Strength Statements: those activities/tasks (in your work - life) you are always looking forward to, those who 'set-you-alight' with joy and focus, those activities that make you feel strong. All three need to be very specific and clear. Once you see your specific three statements on paper you know (gut-feeling) you want to 'play towards' those strengths every day of the week. (The other steps in the book tell you how to 'go about this' - and there is where IMHO the Brag! book by Peggy Klaus comes in.)

Anyway, one of my strength statements mentions project management (in combination with combining ideas, tools, methods to help to give any project a flying start). To me running a business is/feels like a chain of projects - from start-up project through to enhancing systems, implementing new ideas, new tools. Of course I like to see everything as a project, it's an 'activity' that calls on many of my strengths and where I'm looking forward to to do, every week, every day even.

Now I have 'landed' this project I'm over the moon for various reasons. It's not a project that concerns our own business (OK, side-ways perhaps), I'll be managing a project for someone else (or in his own words: "You can try to 'project-manage' me").

Many a times I've mentioned the Givers Gain principle here (and there and of course here too). Our own business thrives on the Givers Gain principle; we give (willingly) free advice on the internet, on the phone, by email and in our showroom and this way we gain trust from our customers.
'Doctor' Richard Calderwood Here and also on many other blogs I've mentioned the fact how much I (and our business) have gained from the many gifts from one particular person.
How his strengths - talents, knowledge, wisdom and advice keeps me going, goal after goal, challenge after challenge. How Richard C helps me reach my/our business goals. And every time I reach a goal he's there to challenge me to set the next goal, and the next (see, there we go again: chain of projects).

Besides a Chartered Accountant Richard is an excellent Business Consultant and he specialises in helping companies 'curing business ailments, restoring profitability and cash-flow; taking the business to the top of the field'
(I like to say we're the living proof of his expertise).
I know how Richard works and I like where he stands for, his integrity and high values. And I so want to give back, but until recently I didn't know exactly how (implementing his ideas into our business and making it more profitable is his reward Richard tells me time after time) . Now I finally found a way, a good way that hopefully helps Richard reach his new goals.

Liz said two weeks ago: helping is a bloggerly thing. Although I had mentioned many times over to Richard that blogging web-publishing would IMHO be the best tool for him at this moment and although Richard had said many times that he would think about it, realising - seeing it in print - what one of my 'strengths' is gave me the perfect excuse idea to 'help-out'. Reading "Peggy Klaus' book at the same time as Marcus Buckingham's gave me the right way to 'ask' to project manage the web-publishing for Richard.

And that 'did' the trick, he said yes ;-) (Although according to him it has also to do with synchronicity)

So, here we are, one week further down the road. First project meeting done and dusted and already many decision made:

  • the title of the 'blog' (his fields of expertise as mentioned above form the subtitle, well second subtitle even - the first subtitle is another story),
  • the design and column layout,
  • the way the posts will be published without claiming too much of his time (Richard writes, I copy-paste and tweak it in typepad, for the time being)
  • the how and when of replying to comments (Richard is a busy man, so we want to make it apparent that comments are very welcome, will be replied to, but probably not instantly - we're not all like Liz who lives in our pc's!)
  • which web traffic tracker to use
  • what the content of the various 'fixed' pages will be
  • etc.

At the moment the 'blog' is up - but pass-word protected, sorry - with only 2 tiny test posts to check if everything is working; I've claimed it for Richard at Technorati; I've also put a face up for him at MyBlogLog (if he visits your blog you'll know); 'enrolled' him on TheGoodBlogs and more of those little webmarketing technical thingies I like doing and know are important.
Richard has to do the hard part: writing, writing and writing.

What his goal with the web-publishing is he will tell you shortly (and I hope you all will go over there then to say hello);
My goal is to make the web-publishing as easy and practical as possible for Richard and to make sure that when it's properly launched he'll 'hit the ground running'.

I'm convinced we will both succeed in these goals and that before he knows it Richard will start (like I and many of you do too) to think in 'blog-posts' ("Oh, that's a good story to post" or "That's a good example of... I must write about that" or "This experience can help others too, must put it on the blog right now"). I'm sure he will - we all do, don't we?

The plan is to 'launch' beginning next month, weather depending (and that is a completely different story too ;-)) and than the 'fun' part can really start. I'm already looking forward to it.

p.s. Mark McGuinness, hope this post does explain more or less what I meant in my comment on your excellent series on types and strengths.


Kent Blumberg

Very cool - your first blog-baby. No better way to become a star blogger than to spawn baby blogs. Can't wait to see what Richard has to say.

Karin H.


You make me laugh out loud! Blog-baby, I never heard of that one before.

I'm sure you'll appreciate the advice, the stories, the practical tips and more Richard C will be 'handing out'. Also sure you will like the way Richard works with his clients. I think the two of you have many things in common.

Karin H. (Keep It Simple Sweetheart, specially in business)

Stuart Baker

Kent, spawning blog-babies. That is great!

And Karin, what a wonderful gift to Richard and the rest of the world. Talk about "givers gain"! This is what the Abundance is all about- giving freely, which keeps giving more back and expanding.

Nice job.

Stuart Baker

Mark McGuinness

Hi Karin,

Thanks, that's a good explanation! Marcus Buckingham's work is excellent, I think his work on strengths could complement working with the Enneagram (as long as we don't try to shoe-horn one into the other).

I like the idea of 'thinking in blog posts' - something I definitely do, but hadn't thought of it in that way before. Good luck with your 'blog baby' - I've been helping some other people get theirs going, it's really rewarding when they 'get it' and start to get excited...

Karin H.

Hi Stuart

Thanks for your kind (as always ;-))words. Abundance, yes, you're right again. I feel I'm always on the receiving end of Givers Gain, high time to 'turn the tables'. Re-finding - re-defining my 'strengths in a proper, decent and structured way is helping me with this too.

Hi Mark

I thought you would agree ;-) Finding your strengths and putting them to work is part of the ever learning curve, isn't it?
I'm still glad your series on the Enneagram started last week (talk about synchronicity!) because it made me more aware of why and what I'm doing. Looking forward to the rest of the series - don't keep us waiting too long (one of the characteristics of me I am always working on: to become more patience ;-))

Karin H.

Steve Roesler


What a terrific gift of friendship.

Now, be sure to tell Richard that we look forward to his blog and will try to keep a proper comment balance sheet--we won't operate "in the red."

Karin H.

Hi Steve

Yes, friendship works two ways and like you say with comments, we have to avoid being in the 'red' - without feeling obliged to too, not?

I'll tell Richard; the site should be up in a very short time, we're both working hard on it. Team-work, that's what I like ;-)

Karin H.

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