High Performing Business – Freedom – Expanding Capabilities
Michelle LaBrosse, CCPM, PMP, PMI-ACP, RYT
I started my first company in 1987 at 25 years old after completing my tour as an Air Force Officer. I had several quick successes which were very nice, but because of this beginners luck, I did not develop the capabilities needed for enduring success. Over the next ten years, inspired from those early results, I started up multiple businesses – many of which ended in flames. In 1997, having had enough of the failure route, I cashed in on my Aerospace Engineering degree to take an employed “vacation.” I found my way to the United Technologies Research Center’s Systems Engineering department where they wanted to infuse the center with my entreprenurial fervor. What they wanted though and what they really needed were two very different things. My boss there told me in my first ever civilian performance review, “You are extremely good at getting things done, but you could become even better if you developed more formal capabilities in project management.”
While at the Research Center, I was invited to one ineffective meeting after another. To this day I attend few meetings and host even fewer. But since I was doing an employed “vacation,” I decided to make the best of it and started doing “research” at these meetings. Soon I was running the meetings and being asked to facilitate teams that had lost their way with their projects. My boss asked me to create a course to teach my meeting facilitation techniques but what these folks really needed was a very simple way to launch and do their projects. I suggested we create a really quick and easy way to teach and do project management. She replied “but we are already sending a couple dozen folks to a five day project management program every year.” Obviously this was not having it’s intended effect.
The Research Center felt they no longer needed the Systems Engineering department but kept me on to facilitate meetings. I continued to do “research” and experiment on the most effective and efficient way to teach and do project management. This was where the early ideas for Cheetah Learning were born. We still use many of the concepts validated in that research environment for Cheetah Learning courses today. But, what has helped me develop the freedom I experience in my life to this day was heeding my boss’ advice in that first performance review – “develop more formal capabilities in Project Management.
You too can create more freedom in your life by developing more formal capabilities in Project Management. Download our free Cheetah Smart Start Guide for the PMP Exam and see how you can be on your road to increased independence.