Senior Project

Izumi, Project Engineer for a construction firm that provides services to commercial facilities based in Vancouver, WA told Session 8B of the Leadership Development Lab™:

“My daughter is a high school senior. The successful completion of her senior project is a requirement for graduation.She was thinking of several project options, but just not sure what she really wanted to do. My husband and I used to just tell her what she should do. This time we decided to take more of a supportive approach to guide her. We used a modified version of Turbo’s brainstorming guidelines. The three of us sat down together and brainstormed a list of the things she has natural talent for and an enthusiastic interest in. We developed a long list of possibilities.

“From the list, we took a closer look at the areas where she has acquired training and has specialized expertise. She has been taking karate classes for over 10 years and has a second-degree black belt. The list included her training in stick, knife and travel wrench (a tool designed to reinforce the efficiency and directness of her striking skill set) in combat fighting.

“Then, we thought of ways she could use her expertise to be of benefit to others. Part of her project was researching how often people, especially females, are assaulted. Now, the list was narrowing down. This brainstorming approach helped us create a natural funnel to the right project for her to focus on. She has decided to host a female self-defense class as her senior project. She will offer her class at a small fee and then donate all proceeds to a battered women’s shelter.

“The lesson I learned from this experience is that asking questions, listening, and listing play important roles in reaching the right decisions about new projects.

“The action I call you to take is to use a brainstorming approach when you are trying to make key decisions, especially when others will be involved in the project’s execution.

“The benefit you will gain by using Turbo’s brainstorming tools is you’ll find workable solutions to your project problems.”

For the best path forward, when changes or additions are being made to your projects, always include those who will execute your decisions. This will result in better action plans and, more importantly, you will have an elevated degree of commitment. You will secure a high level of engagement.

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