At my multimedia company, we’re always working on a number of different projects and initiatives. A recent success of taking a back-of-a-napkin idea from concept to execution is when I launched my new book. This was a passion project for me, and one that had been years in the making as a collection of my philosophies, strategies and frameworks for living a successful and intentional life.
I believe every leader has a passion project of some sort in them — a major initiative perhaps at their organization or in their personal life — that they want to accomplish and get out in the world.
Oftentimes, however, we don’t know where to start and what strategy to follow to make this dream or idea a reality. The following five steps will show you the strategy I developed and implemented to take my idea to write and publish a book:
1. Find clarity around the idea and the ‘why’ behind it.
It’s important to clearly define the idea, goal or project you are working to achieve. Without defining and articulating your idea at this step, it is very difficult to arrive at the destination.
Next, it is equally important to build and identify the “why” behind your goal. In other words, what is the purpose and motivation that will pull you through the unavoidable setbacks and challenges you’ll see along your journey to accomplishment? This why needs to be strong and something larger than just yourself in order to drive true success and fulfillment. For me with the book project, my “why” for writing it was my larger life mission and vision to positively impact and influence at least 100 million people with my work.
2. Develop a clear timeline and set of milestones.
It’s important to set distinct deadlines or milestones along a broader timeline with a launch goal and date that is clearly communicated and on the calendar. This way, everyone on the team can see it and work toward it. I’ve found that the mind has an interesting way of working within boundaries and circumstances. If a project timeline is left open-ended, you might not accomplish your goal or make the progress you expected because you didn’t establish clear milestones or a defined timeline.
3. Focus on your superpower and delegate the rest.
It’s critical to identify and focus on your unique talent and superpower as the driver and creative genius behind the project. Delegate the rest of the roles and functional tasks required to support the project to other people. This will ultimately create a better end product, and the team can work more efficiently toward accomplishing the goal since everyone is working according to their strengths.
4. Identify key partners and build a team.
In keeping with the above step, it’s important to identify the key partners and roles that will be required to support your leadership in the accomplishment of this project and goal. Then build a team around that. Create mutual buy-in on the purpose and why everyone will be working so hard together to accomplish this shared objective.
5. Execute, iterate, refine, launch.
Great ideas are nothing without massive, consistent action supporting them. Now is the time to do the work and execute on the goals per the timeline you have set and the milestones to which you have committed. Don’t be discouraged if something doesn’t go according to plan. You should expect to have to iterate several times and refine your project before it is ready to launch.
If you follow these five easy steps when you embark on your next major project or initiative, you will see the effectiveness and clarity of your efforts improve significantly.