Tag potential

End Game Analysis: Connectedness

This article, and the articles that follow analyze my thoughts on what I am calling my “end game.” You can read more about this concept here.

In my “end game” narrative, I shared the following topic which is one I find to be omnipresent throughout the spectrum:

“The challenge at this level is balancing one’s ability to produce efficiently and effectively while remaining reasonably connected with others.”

As a refresher, the primary reason for focusing so heavily on “deep work” is a continuous desire to maximize one’s potential. However, there is a second reason which exists at a more subconscious level that requires examination.

While this may not be obvious to some, one’s ability to form and maintain close relationships with others depends heavily on the quality of past relationships. This is true in both professional and personal contexts.

If one’s “success rate” is low, the desire to form new relationships in either context will also be low.

This can pose a problem for two reasons:

Reason #1: Challenging assignments and new ideas typically originate from other people. Not staying connected with others places an artificial restriction on one’s ability to learn about, and engage in new opportunities.

Reason #2: Spending too much time working, and not enough time interacting, goes against the principle of deep work. Hard work requires intense concentration, and thus time spent in this area is somewhat limited by default (~4 hours per day). Maintaining a balance is considered beneficial.

Over the past decade, I have personally experienced numerous challenging relationships which have tested me in countless ways. With each experience comes a period of recalibration, which is a necessary step towards establishing appropriate boundaries and controls.

I will explore this topic in greater detail in my next post.

Planescape Review.


The (New) Hierarchy of Needs – Part V

[This is the final segment of a five-part series on project management that is based upon Abraham Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs”]

Problem Solving

The next level starts to go into the core of the project – problem solving.  This is essentially what all projects are about.

What is a problem?  A problem is an obstacle which makes it difficult to achieved a desired goal or objective.  Problem solving can be fun as it helps to build a certain skill set regardless of the topic.  In the project management space, problem solving is the name of the game.  While many problems may be obvious, there are many that will not be as obvious and may remain hidden.  It’s the job of the project manager to uncover these hidden problems and take steps to address them.

To ensure understanding, hidden problems are those that are known by the project team but aren’t being surfaced to project leadership.  Team members are more likely to hide problems if they don’t have confidence these problems will be addressed.  Problems can also remain hidden if there isn’t a clear understanding of who can solve them.

Your role as project manager is first and foremost your relationship with the team – if team members have a clear understanding of the objective and team organization, and have confidence in your ability to lead, problems will be raised much more rapidly and the team will be able to make greater traction in the long-run.

Thus, your ability to lead, instill “order” and “structure” and tackle the tough problems are all very important in this “layer”.


At the top of the pyramid is momentum – that’s what ultimately keeps the project going!  Initial momentum naturally follows the layers just described, but it ultimately requires a core belief that the project will be successful.

As shared earlier, the ultimate goal of this new hierarchy is to have every team member reach their full potential.  While this is a lofty goal, if you want to deliver a quality product / service in a short period of time, this is what you need to shoot for.

As with any moving object, ensuring that you maintain positive momentum is ultimately dependent upon the source of “power.”  In a project, that source of power is the team and the hierarchy tiers that fall just below this one.  The more organized and refined the underlying layers, the less “friction” and the longer you can maintain positive momentum over the long-term.