Champion Your Passion

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opportunityAuthor: Jeffrey Coleman, PMP – President and CEO of Illumnovate®, LLC

Have you found yourself sitting at your desk, or in deep thought at the water cooler or in the meeting conference room (while you are listening to someone’s rhetoric or a bunch of colleagues vehemently debating on an issue) asking yourself one (or many) of the following questions???

  • How did I get here?
  • Why are we dealing with Organizational Dysfunction?
  • Do I have to deal with this problem, challenge, issue TODAY or again?
  • Why do I have to work in this environment?
  • How did I wind up with this (situation, position, etc.) as me being limited in my creative freedom, access to available resources and/or professional growth (or potential)?  I DID NOT sign up for this!!!
  • Will my concepts ever be seriously considered for innovation and/or integration?

If you ever have asked yourself any of these questions, then you are not alone! Chances are that historically, you may have already asked at least one or more of these questions to yourself regarding your career, or are doing this now in your present position.  Just remember, as a wise Realtor back in the early 90s had shared this important piece of advice to Yours Truly, “You are the architect of your own Fortune (or Mis-Fortune),” this is definitely true with all aspects of life, including championing your true inner passion while maintaining your integrity and doing something lucrative.

According to 2016 Employee Retention and Engagement Statistics, approximately 34% of American Workers are engaged at their workplace.  So while 86% of all workers are glad to be gainfully employed, while is there such  low engagement by employees/contractors in taking initiatives to improving or taking ownership of the everyday business operations (outside of any worker’s /contractor’s direct responsibilities)?  Simple: There are not enough incentives to inspire and cultivate worker’s interests if there isn’t a true connection between Upper Management and the Workforce-at-Large.  We have all been there – either as a worker who wants to actively make a change, but feels uninspired (or disillusioned) because our Project Managers could not (or intentionally would not) align our good intentions and well-planned ideas with overall Organization Objectives, or as a Program Director, a Portfolio Manager, a Project Manager or a Task Lead, I may have not had the luxury of entertaining all great ideas because this activity doesn’t have enough available human resources, materials and funding (capital) and/or time to appropriately cultivate this concept from inception to delivery, or simply I have other issues with the concept or design/implementation approach.

And there are other issues with the lack of general support or interpersonal challenges among the rank-in-file within a given Corporate/Organizational Environment.  Sometimes you have Managers that simply will never appreciate the value of your concepts or ideas simply because it is not the way they like to manage their Project Management Organization (PMO), Line of Business (LOB) or Division/Department.  Other times, they may consider your drive, concept or idea a threat, especially if it means that the Organization/Corporation may seriously consider it as a more efficient, dynamic and innovative way of improving and conducting everyday operations versus theirs, especially if they were complacent or comfortable with the status quo.

And lastly, you must understand that everyone that you work with, and/or work for, may not necessary like you!!!  While you can always improve on your interpersonal and communication skills with people, sometimes there may be issues (or something that you are unaware of) that the Manager(s) may never disclose.  Therefore, never take it personal – it’s only business and if you are not aligned with a Business or an Organization that cultivates your passion and values you with the full package (provided that you are conducting yourself in a professional, respectful manner where most within your Industry would consider you more of an asset than a liability), then you should gracefully make plans to move yourself and your career elsewhere.

We have to understand that business, in any form is very competitive and if you are not careful in choosing your advocates and allies (along with demonstrating your natural aptitude, talents and passion), this could be your downfall in any business opportunity or position, leading you to having your reputation, brand and career compromised!!!

So the next natural question is – “How do you Champion Your Passion?”

You should ensure that at a minimum, execute the following recommended actions –

  • Answer these questions:
    • What are your natural talents?  Strengths?  Hobbies and/or Visionary Ideas to fuel your passion?
  • Develop your Near-Term, Mid-Term and Long-Term Plans aligning your passion with your career.  Sometimes this means extensive investment into re-building your current career or simply starting over.  However, remember that dreamers, simply dream, but visionaries, transform their dreams into reality!!!  This may mean that you have to start with low budgets and/or minimum resources – but with networking by asking successful people who are where you want to go how to get there and by being fair with investing (by paying people for their time/resources with volunteerism, bartering time/resources and MONEY and by building Teaming Relationships), you can and in fact, will get to your destiny and success with time.  Another consideration is that you will have to have extensive training, certifications and education to be considered qualified for your new opportunities in your chosen field of passion.  So be ready to learn and re-learn and be COACHABLE!!!!
  • Is the current (or future) position/opportunity is in alignment with your ultimate passion and near-term (2-year), mid-term (3-5 years) and long term (10 years+ to ∞)?
  • Provide yourself with “Self-Inventory” every six (6) months during your period of employment (or period of performance [POP] for contract, if you are a 1099 or self-employed).  Ask yourself the following questions –
    • Were the mutual verbal discussions and written contracts and correspondence on what your position was, what the detailed responsibilities were and what the Stakeholders’/Customers’ Expectations were, carefully and appropriately explained?  Did anything with what was expected versus what you have experienced thus far, change?
    • What do you like about your current position?  What do you not like about it?
    • What are your current plans for the corrective courses of action with communicating your concerns to Management/Customer?
    • How will you adjust or rebut to rejection or reluctance from your Manager/Customer regarding your identified issues, risks, verbalized complaints?
    • How will you take constructive criticism in your self-improvement and execution of the recommended course of action for your career and path to your ultimate dream job (which should be in alignment to your passion)?
  • Perform self introspection of your true self in your quiet, fun moments at Home, on Vacation and at the Office, too.  Look at the Tangibles and Intangibles –
    • Feelings of Happiness, Inspiration, Hope – Natural, Spiritual and Physiological
    • Improved Health
    • New Professional Relationships/Associations, Friendships, People
    • Actual Analysis and Evidence Demonstrating Successful Projects, Concepts, Work leading your closer to your Ideal Dream Project/Job and Passion

I believe that with this Plan and suggested techniques, you can LIVE YOUR DREAM and Champion Your True Passion that way you will never have to work (in the dreary, painstaking toiling sense) another day in your life!!!

Enjoy your lives!

Jeffrey Coleman, PMP – President and CEO of Illumnovate®, LLC


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