Viewing Life as Projects

“My life works far better when I am doing a project.” I heard myself say it out loud recently to a friend. I have always started and run projects, but it wasn’t until I read Seth Godin’s work long ago that I took on the re-frame from seeing myself in jobs and later in engagements, to running a series of projects. Sometimes they have short lives, sometimes long. Regardless, every project has marked my career in an important way.

There’s a different feeling when you start your own project. It’s yours, you say how it’s going to go. You are making it and spending time on it, so it might as well be fun and something to be proud of because you bothered to make it happen.

Inspiration For a New Project

Give & Get has been my project for several years. And recently, it has morphed to be bigger and more meaningful than in the first 2 years of its surprising and rewarding life. Four years ago, I was in search of a new project. I didn’t know for whom or about what, but I felt strongly that it was a good reason to buy a bigger house. Yes, I know. I realize people don’t take on a bigger home mortgage to accomplish a project, usually they scale down to make a sizable project happen. But I’ve never claimed to be ‘most people’. I knew only one thing. I wanted to have the space to host groups in my house to run house events. Reading Adam Grant’s book ‘Give and Take’ marked a before and after milestone. That’s how much I loved reading about reciprocity styles and the unexpected outcomes of giving. And I could see that it connected in a fundamental way to understanding how networks function at work.

We spent 2 years running a fresh take on a reciprocity circle in our home for people looking to accelerate what they are engaged in. Writers, environmentalists, career changers, employees, start-up founders, urbanists and many more came through the front doors and filled our kitchen and living room for a unique experience. And people loved it!

Extending Across and Wide

With time, I made the natural leap from seeing Give & Get as solely a public resource to something that could also address the challenges I saw leaders struggling with inside their organizations.

Working with CEO’s and VP’s and top talent over several decades gives me an advantaged view to the challenges of being responsive in a working world of silos. The threat of being up-ended by a new mandate or product, staying relevant in a disruptive marketplace or a change in government direction looms large for many people. Developing network intelligence gives you access to emerging trends, it’s also about bringing new input on whatever you are working on that makes innovation possible and foresight a reality. And that’s what Give & Get delivers by bringing mixed groups together for divergent thinking.

Making a project happen is getting easier for us all with so many digital tools available. Each of us now has the means to create a project of our own that is meaningful and delivers impact. And there are times that we see a great benefit in extending our view and creating something that meets a need with an even greater impact.

I didn’t see this coming when Give & Get first began as a project, but I have to tell you that I am honestly thrilled to have my project morph in this way.

Today is LAUNCH day. The time has come to flip the switch.

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