This past year was an amazing year and I just wanted to say thank you.
Thank you, ProjectManagement.com for giving me the opportunity to blog about learning and share my discoveries with such a fantastic community.
Thank you, Project Management Institute (PMI) for giving me the opportunity to volunteer in my local chapter, Pikes Peak Regional Chapter, and to graduate with all of my awesome classmates in the Leadership Institute Masters Class of 2015. Go Frogs!
When I sat down, I wanted to write about some fantastic courses Coursera is offering to help you with your professional development in 2016. Before I forget though, I suggest checking out the Coursera Specializations. They have added some fantastic content!
Anyways, when I touched the keyboard, a burst of gratitude poured out and all I could think of was how many different ways I wanted to say thank you.
This community of project managers yearning for new ideas, best practices, and networking opportunities has been so wonderful. When I first thought of the idea to write this blog, I didn’t know what to write about. I had tried to a couple times before to blog about learning resources and you can check out my first attempt at https://kevinwraney.wordpress.com/.
The only consistent theme I found as I continued brainstorming was sharing. Just share what you love. My parents are both retired teachers, having taught for a combined 80 years in elementary school and high school. The one consistent piece of advice they gave me when I asked about their teaching methods was, present the facts and let the students take it from there. So on this blog, my primary goal has to been to share the facts I have discovered and hope you take them to the next level in your professional development.
I always thought it would be a revolutionary idea to show people how to learn using open learning resources by helping them apply some basic project management principles. Who better to help students discover the diligence and determination necessary to succeed than to show them how to apply basic project management principles when it came to their time management and developing their own self-directed curriculum? I quickly realized though that threatened the opportunity for folks to discover their own learning journey.
Every year my mom would make a huge production for her first grade students when it came time to celebrate a major holiday. My favorite was St. Patrick’s Day. For that special day, she would come in over the weekend, and patiently place tiny glittery and sparkly footprints all over the classroom along with a big green bowl of candy. The leprechauns and fairies had visited her classroom to share the special candy they prepare specially for her classroom on St. Patrick’s Day and the only evidence of their visit were the tiny green footprints. When the students came to school on Monday, they discovered one of the windows had been left open just enough so their special guests could sneak in and leave behind the delicious candy. I love my mom so much, not only for being such an awesome mom, but also because she shared with me the magic of learning and discovering your own learning journey.
We are all professionals in this community. We worry about what others think of us, how we look in our interviews, how many certifications we should earn, and how many folks are in our networks. In 2016, I hope we can re-discover the magic of learning. I hope we can re-discover the fun we experienced as children while we sat on the floor in our school library thumbing through our favorite books imagining what it felt like to fly through space or fight the evil giants threatening our kingdom.
Thank you ProjectManagement.com and PMI for giving me the opportunity to write this blog and share my ideas and learning discoveries. Thank you to everyone who has taken time to read one of my posts and thank to everyone who has shared your ideas and opinions.
I hope 2016 is just as exciting and hopefully even more magical.
Thanks mom and dad, I love you.
Why do you learn anything in your career? Is it to earn more money and buy a bigger house? Do you learn a new skill so you can get a promotion or do you learn so you can be a better helper and servant?
I am pretty sure Burnell Cotlon of New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, has never heard of the Project Management Institute or ProjectManagement.com. Yet he does know a thing or two about project management and making an impact.
He lives in the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans which was hit hardest by Hurricane Katrina. Residents in the neighborhood went nine years without a grocery store until Burnell decided to change that.
As Burnell tells the story there were no stores, no barbershops, and no laundry rooms. He was always taught, “…if there’s a problem, somebody’s got to make a move.”
I think that quote is fantastic! To get anything done anywhere, you got to make a move.
So back to my earlier question, why do you learn anything? Do you learn to make money or to make a move regardless of the rewards? Burnell Cotlon made a move to bring his neighborhood back to life. He saved up money while working at fast-food restaurants and dollar stores to buy a run-down building on an empty block and went to work. You can see in the picture below what the building looked like before and all of the delicious food it now provides to the local residents.
Burnell goes on to tell a story about the very first customer. She, “…cried ‘cause she said she never thought the Lower Ninth Ward was coming back.” That speaks to the power and impact felt by a successful project.
Learning and curiosity form the foundation of so many things. For Burnell, he had to learn how to literally re-build the building. He had to learn how to get a permit from the city so he could operate the store. He had to learn how to order and preserve all of his food and plan for future deliveries, all of which sound like project management skills to me.
I share this story because it reminds me of why I love to learn and why I love to share new ideas with this community.
So before you make your next move, take time to ask yourself, “Why do I learn?”