Positive Personal Development practices that produce Successful Project Execution.

Peter Drucker, Jack Welch, & Nehemiah

A successful person is not a person without problems, but rather the man who has learnt how to deal with his problems successfully.

Challenges and difficulties of life are hydra-headed; the harder they come, the tougher the champion emerges to surmount them. Organizations, people, families and communities are constantly confronted with unprecedented levels of change.

The need for change in the face of the fast pace at which events take place and technological advancement evolve these days has made change a way of life, and the pattern by which we must work to meet set goals and dreams.

Prompt adaptation to quick changes is essential for efficiency, ensures good return on investment, and enhances relevance in the world today. We must respond to change for effectiveness, and become competitive to thrive in today’s market and life.

There is always a solution to each problem, but those solutions are often discovered and noted by smart people who genuinely look for them. How smart are you? Some solutions are found more easily than others. Keen people tap into right solutions to meet challenges in life and business.

Projects are designed solutions to meet changes that had cropped up in time and space. Managing the inherent risk associated with change and innovation is quite fundamental to good management practice for successful project execution and delivery.

In his book, The Practice of Management’, Peter Drucker transformed corporate management with Management by Objectives, (MBO), a process by which corporate goals are set with the agreement and understanding of both management and subordinates. Management objectives are set and made clear to both staff and employees so that everyone know his specific role, and aspire to play such role for successful goal attainment. As a result, corporate performances improved through collective goal setting, open avenues to make choices in respective courses of action, and the deliberate empowerment of each cadre to make judgment and decisions in line with set goals and focus.

As meaningful management result was discovered to be attainable outside the corporate entity, management by objective was expanded into the marketplace. Peter Drucker responded with Managing for Results , a theory and practice on the application of management to obtain results within the economy and in the market. The book enunciated the need to seek results through the development of management and products that:

  1.  Gives prime attention to the customer,
  2. Encourage entrepreneurial based market strategy geared towards a profound and prominent presence in the market,
  3. Timely innovations directed at taking full benefits of the advantages and opportunities of the moment.

Results came from the new ideology with improved corporate gains and profits emanating from the positive response of the market to management innovations and creativity.

Result- focused management leads to result based leadership.

Result-based leadership leads to effective leadership.

Effective leadership = attributes × results.

To maintain effective leadership, the top echelon of management must demonstrate effective and profound leadership attributes and qualities.

What are results?

Too much attention is often given to leadership qualities and styles, organizational capabilities and visions, competencies and potentialities while we overlook the desired results that all these personal attributes should deliver.

Results are the essence of result-based leadership.

Organizational capabilities and leadership must bring forth desired results, credible results, and profound results otherwise it has failed. 

Jack Welch addressed the challenges faced by corporate leaders in obtaining desired results in most of his writings and practices, especially as the CEO of General Electric. According to Jack Welch, it  is well and good to improve productivity and obtain set goals and results in the interim, however, the most profound achievement of corporate leadership is hinged on her ability to put a  team in place that will take the organization to the next level and sustain her.

 25 Lessons from Jack Welch

Welch urged other leaders at GE to “make sure you have the very best people to carry your vision out. Hire those most capable of turning visions into reality – ask questions about how they might go about attacking a particular thorny problem. Promote those people who have the best record of making things happen.” These kinds of people are the Champions.

There is always a great demand for the champion. Whether in government, public service, corporate organizations, athletics and sports, science, education and academics, social and the general aspects of life. To carry out great tasks and do exploits goes beyond the common aspects of learning and training, but rests on the application of talents and gifts to do what initially seemed impossible. It requires planning and dedicated pursuit to become a winner in life.

Turning out a champion requires having a concrete dream and the strong desire to attain the dream. It is essential to make the decision to pursue the dream into successful attainment, and the determination to go through all the odds and challenges till victory is attained. One also needs the dedication to the chosen course and the plan to attain it, the doggedness to push ahead towards the winning mark in the face of challenges, oppositions, and disappointments from friends and foes.

Before the crown is won, there must come first the preparation of the champion. A good example is taken from the Book of Nehemiah. The Bible is full of various aspects of exemplary human endeavors, recorded for our learning and edification, with the view to trust God, and depend upon Him.

The Book of Nehemiah is a great lesson on personal development for the onerous task of management of public service. The fall of Babylon occurred in 533 B.C. when Cyrus, King of Persia, captured Babylon by the stratagem of diverting the waters of the Euphrates from their usual channel, so that they no longer flow through the city. His armies marched through the dry bed of the river under the gates into the city and so captured it almost without a battle. King Artaxerxes emerged later after Cyrus. Nehemiah was a Jewish cup-bearer of the Persian king.

Nehemiah was troubled when news came to him that:

  1.  The wall of Jerusalem had been broken down.
  2. The gates of the city of Jerusalem had been burned with fire.

Though living at ease and comfort in Persia, Nehemiah realized, as an Israelite, that his brethren were in distress and needed his support. He resolved to take up their burden and do all he could to relief their situation. In confronting the problem, Nehemiah, about 446 B.C. took the following steps of excellent project management:

  1. He established the challenges and the dangers inherent in not doing anything.
  2. His first application was unto God through prayer and supplication, to receive favorable response from his appeal to the King.
  3. The king found Nehemiah moody, and entreated him to tell his worries. Nehemiah laid his challenges before the King, who granted him favorable response in approval to travel with generous support for him and his project.
  4. Nehemiah designed a strategy whereby the project was divided into manageable stages, patterns and procedures for more accurate planning.
  5. He ensured that resources for successful execution and implementation were adequately provided and supplied from Persia and Palestine, with express approval from the king, and willing support of the Jews in Palestine.
  6. Nehemiah followed up with regular stage reports and management briefs at each milestone.
  7. Nehemiah maintained regular vital meetings with stakeholders to maintain the momentum of the progress of the project, and devise tactical and spiritual measures to confront serious opposition and detractors.

Under Nehemiah’s energetic administration, the walls of Jerusalem were repaired within two months, the city was once again secured, economic and social reforms were put in place, and the glory of the land and the people were restored. Management by objective yield good results in social and economic measures when corporate leadership is effective enough to put up a team that will get result, sustain the corporate body, and take the organization to the next level.

Are you the Nehemiah of your enterprise, your organization, or your community, or seek we for another?

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