Episode 68 – My Vision Board Made Me Do It.

Episode #068
Original Air Date: 11.06.2018

31 Minutes

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Our Guest This Episode: Tricia Molloy

How do you set goals? What sort of goals do you prioritize? Have you tried using a Vision Board to realize your goals in life or in the workplace? Our Velociteach guest Tricia Molloy talks to us about setting and achieving goals. Tricia explains the Reticular Activating System and how to use Vision Boards for your project success. It can be a physical board or a digital dream board - Tricia discusses the options.

Tricia Molloy is an author and speaker who presents programs on reducing stress, achieving goals and improving work-life balance. Tricia consults with a number of organizations, including Marriott, Kellogg, The Home Depot, Deloitte and the Network of Executive Women. She facilitates vision board workshops for employees at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Verizon, and Ernst and Young. Tricia started her own public relations firm, Molloy Communications, in 1988 to support the success of other passionate business owners.

In the conversation, the team talks about overcoming obstacles to accomplish your goals, techniques for reducing stress and distractions, and methods for staying focused on your goals. We hope this inspires you to make your own vision board today!

Favorite Quotes from Our Talk:

“A vision board helps us to have the clarity, the confidence, and the courage to achieve goals that are important to us. ”

- Tricia Molloy

“I’m a big believer in thinking about what goals are important, and writing those goals down, and having a plan.”

- Tricia Molloy

“Clutter distracts and confuses us, and it drains our energy, and it keeps us from doing what’s most important, gets in the way of our goals.”

- Tricia Molloy

“…we are inundated with so much information all the time, our brain needs a way to block out what’s not important and bring in what is. …. that’s what the Reticular Activating System, or RAS, does.”

- Tricia Molloy

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Table of Contents

00:50 … Meet Tricia Molloy
01:59 … Our need for goals.
03:00 … How to identify goals?
05:04 … Obstacles/Distractions to goal setting.
09:30 … Stress – good or bad?
12:50 … Energy management.
15:15 … Vision Boards and RAS.
16:53 … Creating and using Vision Boards.
25:25 … Vision Board for a Project team.
28:28 … Wrap Up

TRICIA MOLLOY:  We live in a world where there’s so many distractions.  And in order for us to focus, it really makes sense to think about what goals are most important to us in order to get that done.  So, I’m a big believer in thinking about what goals are important, and writing those goals down, and having a plan.

ANDY CROWE:  Welcome to Manage This, the podcast by project managers for project managers.  Normally you’d be hearing the voice of Nick Walker right now; but Nick also has a job chasing storms, and Nick is involved right now in some weather activity.  And so this is Andy Crowe.  And I am playing kind of host here, along with Bill Yates.  We have a very special guest in the studio today.  Bill, tell us about our guest.

Meet Tricia Molloy

BILL YATES:  Yes, we do.  Our guest today is Tricia Molloy.  Tricia’s an author and speaker who presents programs on reducing stress, achieving goals, and improving work-life balance, all things that we can improve on, for sure.  Tricia consults with a number of organizations, for example, Marriott, Kellogg, The Home Depot, Deloitte, and the Network of Executive Women.  She facilitates vision board workshops.  We’ll have a lot more to say about that.  And she’s worked with employees at the CDC, Verizon, and Ernst & Young.  Tricia, welcome to Manage This.

TRICIA MOLLOY:  Thank you.

ANDY CROWE:  Tricia, one of the things that we’re very excited to talk to you about are these vision boards.  But I feel like we need to set the stage first and talk a bit about goals.

TRICIA MOLLOY:  Yes.

Our Need for Goals.

ANDY CROWE:  So thinking about goals – and this is certainly something that project managers have to focus on a lot; right?  We have a lot of goals.  But why do we have goals in work and in other aspects of life?  We have to set goals to get things done personally.  What is it about us?  What is our need for goals?

TRICIA MOLLOY:  Yeah, we live in a world where there’s so many distractions.  And in order for us to focus, it really makes sense to think about what goals are most important to us in order to get that done.  So I’m a big believer in thinking about what goals are important and writing those goals down and having a plan.

ANDY CROWE:  I like that.  You know, Stephen Covey in his “7 Habits for Highly Successful People” book talked about beginning with the end in mind.

BILL YATES:  Right.

ANDY CROWE:  And so a lot of times it’s useful to kind of envision an outcome.  And it doesn’t always turn out the way we plan, I guess, but it’s a useful exercise, huh.

How to Identify Goals

BILL YATES:  That’s for sure.  Now, Tricia, I know you’ve worked with a number of organizations and with individuals who struggle in this area, and you have the chance to really coach them and help them identify goals.  Let’s say you’re meeting with me, and you’re talking through my need for goals, and you’ve kind of sold me on the idea.  How do you help me identify goals?

TRICIA MOLLOY:  Oh, that’s a great question.  Sometimes you think first about what you don’t want in your life.

BILL YATES:  Okay.

TRICIA MOLLOY:  And then those goals just naturally evolve from there.  So that’s one way to do it.  Another way is to think about what you want the final outcome to be.  And then of course there are steps before that.  And each of those steps inevitably becomes a goal.

BILL YATES:  Okay.  That’s good.

ANDY CROWE:  Is this intuitive to most people?  Do they know how to set goals?  Do they walk in with misconceptions?  What do you think?

TRICIA MOLLOY:  Huh.  I think the problem becomes people not being clear about whether they deserve to have, to achieve those goals.

ANDY CROWE:  Wow.

TRICIA MOLLOY:  I think that’s a big piece of it that I see a lot of.  They don’t feel worthy enough.  And so sometimes in my coaching we start with that.  They might say that they want to get promoted or start their own business or have some type of health benefit.  But when we get down to it, they don’t think that they can accomplish it, or they don’t think that they actually deserve it.

ANDY CROWE:  What’s interesting kind of to dovetail with that, I’ve worked with project managers before, and they have an issue taking up space.  They just don’t feel comfortable taking up space.  So they’re always shrinking away.  They’re shrinking away from conflict.  They’re shrinking away from motivating the team.  They just, you know, some of that’s being a shrinking violet.  But I see some of that in the same spirit.  It’s almost not believing you deserve.  I mean, I told one person recently, “You are a human being.  Human beings take up space and sometimes inconvenience other human beings.  It’s okay; you know?  That’s part of what we do.  You don’t want to be obnoxious about it.”

TRICIA MOLLOY:  Right, right.  But you have to stake your claim.

ANDY CROWE:  Yeah.  And, look, we’re doing projects.  Projects have never been done before.  That’s part of the definition of a project.  This is something new.  And so you are disrupting things and changing things and moving things around.

TRICIA MOLLOY:  Great point.

Obstacles/Distractions to Goal Setting

BILL YATES:  Obstacles.  One of the obstacles you talked about are distractions.  We are all busy.  And thanks to technology, we are getting busier and having more and more distractions in our pockets, in our hands, all the time.  Those get in the way of me achieving the most important things, those big goals.  What are some other distractions, or maybe what are some tips that you have to help people overcome distractions, overcome those obstacles?

TRICIA MOLLOY:  Well, I talk about craving your goals.  And the first step in the CRAVE formula is clean out the clutter.

BILL YATES:  Clean out the clutter a little bit.  Okay.

TRICIA MOLLOY:  Yeah.  Clutter distracts and confuses us, and it drains our energy, and it keeps us from doing what’s most important, gets in the way of our goals. So we have physical clutter, like a messy workspace.  But we have technical clutter, like you talked about information overload, our overreliance on our cell phones, spending too much time on the Internet on social media sites.  We have to start thinking about how we can outsmart our smartphone, figuring out what notifications we need and what we don’t need, getting rid of apps that we don’t use, that type of thing.  And then we have that emotional clutter.  And that’s a big thing when it comes to distractions.

ANDY CROWE:  Okay, describe that further.  Some of our listeners are not totally into emotional intelligence.  So what are you talking about with “emotional clutter”?

TRICIA MOLLOY:  It’s the “what ifs,” the regrets, the resentments, the things that we haven’t forgiven about someone else or perhaps ourselves.  It’s unfinished business.  Unnecessary obligations.  It’s toxic people.

BILL YATES:  Okay.

TRICIA MOLLOY:  I like to say those are the ones that light up a room – when they leave it.

BILL YATES:  Okay, yeah.  Radioactive.

TRICIA MOLLOY:  Yeah, yeah.  And just becoming more aware of what those pieces of clutter are and trying to figure out a way to let them go.  Like I talk about unnecessary obligations.  And one of the exercises I often recommend is to look at, to create a list of all your obligations.  And usually it’s best to look at it as your daily ones, your weekly ones, your monthly ones, and even your yearly ones.  Write them all down.  Check off the ones that are essential to your work responsibilities and to your responsibilities at home.  Then look at the others and rank each one on a scale of 1 to 10 in terms of what’s most important, and then consider dropping or delegating anything under a 7.

And what that does, it just makes you recognize all that stuff that’s been distracting you that really isn’t very important. Then all of a sudden you become more aware of you have the time and energy to focus on what really matters.

ANDY CROWE:  Have you ever watched an episode of the TV show ”Hoarders”?

BILL YATES:  I have, yes.

ANDY CROWE:  Have you, Tricia?

TRICIA MOLLOY:  Just the promos.  That’s enough to make my skin crawl.

ANDY CROWE:  Yeah.  It’s hard for me to get in touch with that.  But you have people who have such an attachment to every single thing, and they invest so much emotional energy.

TRICIA MOLLOY:  Yes.

ANDY CROWE:  And then somebody external will come in and start kind of counseling them about it and saying, okay, you’ve got to get rid of one of these two things.  And they can’t do it, a lot of times.  And it’s fascinating to watch.  It’s fascinating to watch that kind of attachment.  But when you talk about clutter, there’s a great quote, and I probably would get it wrong, the attribution wrong.  But the quote is:  “Perfection is achieved, not when there’s nothing left to add, but when there’s nothing left to take away.”  And you look at, for instance, the Apple iPhone, what a simplistic device it is.  And they keep removing things.  They removed the headphone jack – controversially, of course.

BILL YATES:  I’m still mad about that.

TRICIA MOLLOY:  Right, yes.

ANDY CROWE:  They removed the home button.  Now it’s just a piece of glass with aluminum.  And it’s fascinating because, as they do that, the adoption rate gets higher, and people get more and more addicted to it.  So that’s its own issue.

BILL YATES:  So it’s working.

TRICIA MOLLOY:  What a great example that is for us, to think in terms of can we continue to simplify our own lives, use that as an example.

ANDY CROWE:  Yes.  Because what we do is just the opposite.  We keep adding.  And they call it “feature creep” and “scope creep” and et cetera.  But we keep putting things on, and suddenly our life is bristling with unnecessary things.  And it’s like barnacles.  It becomes like barnacles on a ship.

TRICIA MOLLOY:  Yes, yes.

Stress – Good or Bad?

BILL YATES:  Tricia, one of the obstacles that you call out is stress.  And I think of these things, and as Andy describes them, these are all stressors.  These are all sources of stress.  Some of them have good intentions and are very useful tools.

TRICIA MOLLOY:  Yes, can be motivational, mm-hmm.

BILL YATES:  Right.  But they become sources of stress.

ANDY CROWE:  So when you think about stress, I know you have a focus as part of your practice of how to reduce stress.  Is there an optimal amount of stress?  Is any stress good?

TRICIA MOLLOY:  Oh, definitely stress can be good; can be beneficial; can be motivational.  It can get you out of bed at the beginning of the day.

ANDY CROWE:  Gets you to work, doesn’t it.

TRICIA MOLLOY:  Gets you to work, yes, and all that.  And everybody had, I think, a different stress threshold, I would think.  So again, it goes back to being aware.  Is that stress harming us?  Are we starting to notice physical ailments related to stress?  Mm-hmm.  I recently did a blog post around work-life balance, you know, “What’s Your Sign?”  And the idea was what is your sign that you’re out of balance, that you’re dealing with too much stress?

I just asked my followers.  And so the majority talked about stomach pains and headaches and muscle ache and confusion and frustration and just being crabby.  So it’s interesting to see the common signs that reminded people that I’ve got to do something because I’m stressed out.  I’m out of balance.  So we need to be conscious of it.

ANDY CROWE:  So I’ve asked this question of guests before, but get a little bit personal here.

TRICIA MOLLOY:  Yeah.

ANDY CROWE:  When you get really stressed, where do you feel it?  Where does it manifest?

TRICIA MOLLOY:  Oh.  I would say probably body aches.

ANDY CROWE:  Okay.

TRICIA MOLLOY:  And that’s probably because along with working too hard, I’m also not moving enough.  And so that’s a piece of it, too.  And then I just get a little bit – what would I say?  Short-tempered.

ANDY CROWE:  Okay.

TRICIA MOLLOY:  Short-tempered, yes, that’s a good way to put it.

BILL YATES:  That’s a good thing to note for later.

ANDY CROWE:  Right.  With me it feels like somebody is sitting on my chest.

TRICIA MOLLOY:  Oh, you feel it right here.

ANDY CROWE:  And that’s when I know.  I feel it right in the center of my sternum, and it just feels like there’s weight.

TRICIA MOLLOY:  And it’s hard to breathe?

ANDY CROWE:  Oh, yeah.  You don’t get a full breath because it’s too tight.  And so – but that’s always the idiot buzzer on sort of the dashboard of my life is that, when I start feeling that, I know if at all possible I have to step away and try and decompress.

TRICIA MOLLOY:  That’s your sign.

ANDY CROWE:  Yeah, that’s it.  That’s it.

TRICIA MOLLOY:  That’s right.  What’s your sign?

BILL YATES:  Mine can manifest in different ways, but it’s usually just a very physical thing.  It’s my body.  I’m used to working out or moving.  And so I can totally relate to that.  There have been times when I’ve been working on writing code back in the day, or figuring out how to communicate something to a customer.  And you’re really focused on it.  Maybe you’re poring through reports for long hours, and you’re feeling it in your shoulders and your neck.  And then it manifests in a headache.  And, yeah, I get mad.

ANDY CROWE:  I’ve heard you say you feel it in your neck before; haven’t I?

BILL YATES:  Yeah, yeah.

TRICIA MOLLOY:  Yeah, mm-hmm.

Energy Management

ANDY CROWE:  Well, Tricia, I’ve got another question for you.  One of the things you’ve talked about is energy management.  And you’ve said something interesting, that energy management is really on par with time management in terms of being important.  So what does that mean?  And how do I manage my energy level?  Is this like the Snickers commercial, where I just need to eat one, and I’ll be okay?

BILL YATES:  Where did Andy go?

ANDY CROWE:  That’s, well, yeah, that’s their answer, obviously.

TRICIA MOLLOY:  It would be great if it was that easy.

ANDY CROWE:  Wouldn’t it?

TRICIA MOLLOY:  Yeah.  So for a lot of people it has to do with the time of day that they’re at their optimum.  So some people are morning people; other people like to get a lot of work done in the evenings, that type of thing.  But it’s also about what your mom and your doctors always told you.  Eat healthy.  Drink plenty of water.  Get enough sleep.  Sleep is a big issue for a lot of people.  And exercise or stay active.

But then it goes deeper than that.  It’s about spending time with positive, supportive people, and less time with the others.  It is about enjoying nature.  It’s about practicing random and not-so-random acts of kindness; it’s about listening to great music, singing, singing with others, scheduling what brings you joy.  That really helps to raise your energy.

ANDY CROWE:  I have a friend who works for Facebook in California, and she told me not long ago that the new trend there, they say that sitting is the new smoking.

TRICIA MOLLOY:  Oh, yes.

ANDY CROWE:  So now everybody’s standing at their desks.  That’s the big thing.

TRICIA MOLLOY:  Yes, right.

ANDY CROWE:  We’ve kind of played with implementing it at Velociteach.  We have our own standing desks for a lot of people.  And this is the first time I have sat down today, since being here.  So it’s a little bit of a transition there.

TRICIA MOLLOY:  Yes.  Are you seeing a difference?

ANDY CROWE:  No, but I’ll tell you what.  I have been experimenting with diet and have seen dramatic changes in energy level.  And so that’s made a big difference.

TRICIA MOLLOY:  Yes.

BILL YATES:  I think the point about sleep and the need for sleep is huge.  And, man, that’s one of those facts I keep reading more and more about.  The research is right there in my face, yet I’m still having a hard time getting those levels that I need.

ANDY CROWE:  I’m not the poster child for good sleep habits.

Vision Boards and RAS

BILL YATES:  No, yeah, that’s tough.  Tricia, one of the things that I got pretty geeked out about as I saw you working with our team here in the office is this idea of a vision board.

TRICIA MOLLOY:  Oh, yeah.  I love that.

BILL YATES:  The vision boards are great.  And I want to start out with an abbreviation, the RAS.  You talk about a “Reticular Activating System.”  And I just wanted to say that because it makes me feel like a biochemist or a scientist or something.  But what is a Reticular Activating System?  And then we’ll get into this idea of a vision board.

TRICIA MOLLOY:  Yeah.  When I first heard about it, I thought it might have been a piece of exercise equipment.

BILL YATES:  Right, yeah.  How do I use this?

TRICIA MOLLOY:  Exactly.  And I did a little research and found out it’s actually a function of your brain, and it acts as a spam filter. Since we are inundated with so much information all the time, our brain needs a way to block out what’s not important and bring in what is.  So that’s what the Reticular Activating System, or RAS, does.  And so think about the last time that you decided to buy a car, and you picked out the make and the model and perhaps the color.  What was the next thing that happened?

BILL YATES:  You saw it everywhere.

TRICIA MOLLOY:  Yeah, you did; right?  Right.

BILL YATES:  Everybody has my car.

TRICIA MOLLOY:  Exactly.  On the road, in the parking lots, and even in commercials.  And did you ever wonder why that was true?

BILL YATES:  Yeah.

TRICIA MOLLOY:  Yeah.  It’s simply because you programmed your RAS.  You said this is important, and it brought that information to you.

ANDY CROWE:  See, and here I thought the universe was trying to tell me to buy that car.

BILL YATES:  They were confirming your need, yes.

TRICIA MOLLOY:  That’s right, that’s right.  And that’s what a vision board does.  It programs your RAS.

BILL YATES:  Ah, okay.

Creating and Using Vision Boards

ANDY CROWE:  Okay.  So talk to me about how we go about creating one of these.  I mean, why does it work?  How does it work?  Tell me, walk me through some of the practicality.

TRICIA MOLLOY:  Sure.  So again, when we talked earlier about goals, setting goals and all of that, we get distracted.  We focus on things that aren’t very important.  And a vision board helps us to have the clarity and the confidence and also the courage to achieve goals that are important to us.  So it programs your RAS.  It’s an opportunity to slow down and reflect on what’s most important.  Sometimes people do vision boards by themselves, sometimes in groups, sometimes they do it as a team within the organization, or perhaps family or friends.  It gives everyone a chance to get to know each other a little bit better.

And a vision board is a great communications tool.  When you see someone else’s vision board, and I’m sure you’ve seen it in the office, all of a sudden you know a lot more about them and what’s most important to them.  And I’m sure you’ve probably already done this where you’ve seen something on someone’s board where you say, oh, you’re interested in this, or you’re thinking about that?  I have someone to talk to, or I can help you with that.  And you would never have that communication in any other form.  So that’s how a vision board works.  And I love being what I consider myself to be, a “dream midwife.”

BILL YATES:  A dream midwife.  Okay.

TRICIA MOLLOY:  So I get to facilitate that process with people.  And I see them come into my workshops where they’re distracted, where they’re not clear.  But also, we talked about before, they might have these pictures and these words of what they want to manifest, but they’re not quite sure if they deserve it.  And so going through this process and getting them to put that on the board and talking about it really just shifts them tremendously, especially when others around them are supporting that.

BILL YATES:  Quick question on this.  So help me get the visual.

TRICIA MOLLOY:  Yeah.

BILL YATES:  This vision board.  I’ve seen one, but others have not, obviously.  What does it look like?

TRICIA MOLLOY:  So it’s a poster board.

BILL YATES:  Poster board.

TRICIA MOLLOY:  Just simply a poster board that has pictures and words that reflect what you want to manifest.  So you might cut out pictures and words from magazines.  You might print them from the Internet, and sometimes it’s your own photos.  I always recommend that you include one really great photo of yourself right in the middle of your board so it makes it even more personal.

And then it’s interesting.  So some people like to have all their goals on one board.  This becomes almost like a personality test.  Some like to have one goal for each board; or a personal board and then a professional board.  Some people who are into feng shui and are familiar with the bagua map will actually – it’s a diagram that focuses on what they call “eight treasures,” like career and health.  They will use the foundation of a bagua map to create their vision boards.

I was doing a vision board workshop recently; and this woman who was doing a show-and-tell at the end, she explained what was on her board, and then she flipped it over.  She had another picture on the back.  And she said, “In about 15 years I’ll be retiring from this organization, and I know I want to start a foundation to help feed the hungry in my community.  So that picture is my reminder of that.  But it doesn’t go on the front because it’s my next chapter.”  And that’s the first time I’ve ever considered using the back of a board.  So I learn all the time when I facilitate these workshops.

BILL YATES:  Have you see people do this electronically, as well?  Because I can get the tactile – having this thing in front of me and going through and printing things off the Internet that I see, or magazines.  That’s very hands-on.  I like the kinesthetic approach with that.

TRICIA MOLLOY:  Yes.

BILL YATES:  What about electronic, where I can update it or shift things around?

TRICIA MOLLOY:  Yes, and some people do that, too.  My preference is, like you, I like to be able to cut out pictures and glue them on.  Kind of it reminds me of what I felt like when I was a kindergartner, when anything was possible.  But some people would rather do it digitally, and that works, too.  If you do it the old-fashioned way, I always recommend that you take a picture of it so you have that on your mobile devices, so you can reference it any time.  You can share it with other people.

And then a big piece of the vision board is how to use it.  So you want to place it someplace that you’ll see every day.  And it depends on your home environment and your work environment.  If you feel like it’ll get support, you want to have it public.  If you feel like you might get more questions than support, then you might want to make it private.  I have some clients who keep it just in their walk-in closets or something like that.  But they get to see it.

ANDY CROWE:  These are the ones I want to see now.

BILL YATES:  What did they do?

TRICIA MOLLOY:  Right, right.  And then I suggest just a couple of minutes a day to ask yourself this simple question:  What’s one thing I can do to bring me closer to this reality?  Sometimes it’s an immediate insight, and sometimes it’s later on in the day you’ll have an idea.  And that just helps you continue to keep engaged with the board.

ANDY CROWE:  One of the things that I think is useful about that question is it keeps you oriented in the direction of your goals.

TRICIA MOLLOY:  That’s right.

ANDY CROWE:  And so you may not make major progress.  And to be honest, you might not even make minor progress every day.  But if it’s at the forefront of your mind, then it becomes really, really useful.

TRICIA MOLLOY:  That’s right.  That’s right.  You’ll start to be more aware of resources and opportunities and helpful people when you engage with the board.

ANDY CROWE:  You know you’ve had an impact on quite a few of our staff, so that these vision boards have been popping up around the office.

TRICIA MOLLOY:  Yeah.

ANDY CROWE:  And it’s fun to see because it helps you understand somebody else’s goals.  So, yes, it starts with you understanding your own goals.  But then you begin to look around, and you start to see things about people that you didn’t know; you know?  I’ve worked with people for years, and I really never knew that was a goal of yours.  Talk to me about that.  How does that help you connect with somebody else, just understanding their goals?

TRICIA MOLLOY:  Yes.  So you can offer support to them.  But in certain cases you can find ways to collaborate with them that you would never have considered before.

ANDY CROWE:  I like that.

TRICIA MOLLOY:  So very powerful.  And I always say that this is an organic process.  So once you create that board, it will change.  You might want to prune it.  You might want to add things to it.  I know with my workshops we keep the poster boards fairly small; and a lot of people will say, well, I’ve got a lot more that I want to put on it.  So I suggest that that become the centerpiece of a larger poster board and just kind of build out from that board.

And again, it’s all about an individual, what resonates with each individual.  So in some cases they will not want to have anything on there except what they imagine their future life would be like.  For me, I want to keep those images on there of things that I’ve accomplished because I want to celebrate that.

BILL YATES:  Right.

TRICIA MOLLOY:  Because I don’t want it to turn out to be this burdensome to-do list.  It’s my whole life – my past, my present, and my future.

ANDY CROWE:  And people can get into trouble.  First of all, if they don’t set goals, then they’re not deliberate about life.  And you wake up every day.  You do what you do, you go home. You turn on the TV.  And the next thing you know it’s time for bed, or you end up clicking on a screen all night.  And so just being intentional and deliberate is a huge part of that.

TRICIA MOLLOY:  It sure is.

BILL YATES:  Quick question about this, Tricia.  I see this almost as a heads-up display.  It’s a reminder of, okay, here’s what’s important to me.  But I know in my own life I tend to – I’ll create maybe an important note.  It could be as small as a sticky note or as big as a vision board.  And then, after a while, as time goes on, I become desensitized to it.

TRICIA MOLLOY:  Good point.

BILL YATES:  So I like that you say “pruning.”

TRICIA MOLLOY:  Yes.

BILL YATES:  That seems important.

TRICIA MOLLOY:  Keep it fresh.

BILL YATES:  What else can we do to keep it fresh and keep it organized?

TRICIA MOLLOY:  Some people do a vision board, it’s part of their ritual.  They do it every year.  So usually at the end of the year or the beginning of the year, or sometimes around their birthdays, a special milestone, that type of thing.  A fresh one.  You might pull things from your old one, and sometimes it’s completely fresh.  So that helps.

ANDY CROWE:  And let’s be honest.  Sometimes you have to prune toxic team members and relationships that are unhealthy or unproductive, as well.

TRICIA MOLLOY:  Yes.

Vision Board for a Project Team

BILL YATES:  True.  One thing that I wanted to pivot into is the use of a vision board for a project team because I’ve seen that before.  I didn’t call it a “vision board.”  But it was a reminder for those team members as to here’s what we’re trying to achieve.

TRICIA MOLLOY:  Yes.

BILL YATES:  This is our goal.

ANDY CROWE:  This is the top of the WBS.

BILL YATES:  Yeah.

ANDY CROWE:  Or this is our epic story in Agile; right.

BILL YATES:  Exactly; right, right.

TRICIA MOLLOY:  Yes.

BILL YATES:  And sometimes it’s as practical as the product we’re going to create.  Here’s the prototype.  Or I’ve seen even more personalized, here are the customers that we’re trying to serve.

TRICIA MOLLOY:  Yes.

BILL YATES:  And here’s kind of a before and an after.

TRICIA MOLLOY:  Yes, all of that works, even including when the project is finished, and you want to memorialize it with the board.  Even including a testimonial from that client about how delighted they were with the work is a great, I mean, I can imagine a whole wall full of these boards, and here are the projects that we’re most proud of.

BILL YATES:  Right.

ANDY CROWE:  Right.

TRICIA MOLLOY:  There’s just something about incorporating that visual that really resonates with people and connects with them on a very emotional level.

BILL YATES:  Right.

ANDY CROWE:  I also like to describe it in terms of the impact that it’s going to create on people.  I mean, ultimately that’s  what we’re trying to do.  And so do you remember Google’s old mission statement?  It may still be their current one.  But it was to organize the world’s information.

BILL YATES:  Yes.

ANDY CROWE:  And so that’s like a really clear idea that could become the center – and I guess it was, in a sense – the center of their vision.  We love the impact that we get to have on project managers because we make a difference in some people’s lives.  And so that’s a great thing for us.  So I like this.

BILL YATES:  And I think back to a specific project, or really a program.  And we had David Gibson in the room here, interviewing him about the MRAP program that he was a part of, the Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles that were created back 2006, 2008.  And he talked about the use of – again, he didn’t call it a “vision board,” but he talked about the use of artifacts and the use of before-and-after pictures to help motivate the team.  Turned out to be, I think it was a six-year program.  So it was long haul.  And they had to stay motivated.  And their goal was to replace a vehicle with one that was more safe, and it saved lives.

So I remember, Andy, one of the artifacts that he showed us with a piece – it was a piece of an MRAP vehicle that had been impacted by an IED, an Improved Explosive Device; a mine, if you will.  Got blown up, but everybody survived, went back to work the next day.  And they took a piece of that vehicle, signed it, said “Thank you, you saved our lives,” and sent it to them.  So that was on their vision board to keep them motivated to keep producing and going forward with the project.

TRICIA MOLLOY:  Wow.  That’s so powerful.

BILL YATES:  Yeah.

Wrap Up

ANDY CROWE:  Tricia, thank you so much for sharing your time and expertise with us here on Manage This.  And we always like to leave our guests with something more than they came in with, and we’ve got our Manage This coffee mug for you that you…

TRICIA MOLLOY:  Oh, lovely.

ANDY CROWE:  …can use and enjoy in good health as you set your goals and help other people do the same.

TRICIA MOLLOY:  I sure will, thank you.

ANDY CROWE:  You also have a course coming out.

TRICIA MOLLOY:  I do.  Very excited about that.

ANDY CROWE:  On our mobile learning platform InSite:  https://www.velociteach.com/online-courses/.  Tell us a little bit about this.

TRICIA MOLLOY:  Yes, it’s called “CRAVE Your Goals, Motivate Your Team, and Get Things Done.”  And it’s about the five CRAVE steps which include cleaning out the clutter.  It’s also about using affirmations, visualization.  There’s a great video on it of the vision board process.  So I’m very excited to be launching that soon.

ANDY CROWE:  And I have seen excerpts and promotions for this, and I’m very excited about it, as well.  So we’re looking forward to that.

BILL YATES:  We want to take a moment to say thanks to our listeners for telling us what you’d like to hear on Manage This.  It’s been a tremendous help.  Send us your questions, what sort of guests appeal to you most, and what topics you’d like to hear more about.  Just go to the Velociteach Facebook page and use the comments section.

Now it’s our chance to give back.  You just earned PDUs, Professional Development Units, by listening to this podcast.  To claim them, go to https://www.velociteach.com/ and choose Manage This Podcast from the top of the page.  Click the button that says Claim PDUs and follow those steps.

That’s it for us here on Manage This.  We hope you’ll tune back in on November 20th for our next podcast.  In the meantime, you can visit us at https://www.velociteach.com/manage-this/ to subscribe to this podcast, to see a transcript of the show, or to contact us.  And tweet us at @manage_this if you have any questions about our podcasts or about project management certifications.  We’re always here for you.

That’s all for this episode.  Thanks for joining us.  Until next time, keep calm and Manage This.

5 responses to “Episode 68 – My Vision Board Made Me Do It.”

  1. Can’t wait to do a vision board to get some clarity. Thank you for this great podcast episode!

  2. Okada says:

    Thank you for the idea Vision Board.
    It seems good to let my colleagues understand what I am trying to achieve.

  3. Anindya Gupta says:

    This is extremely scientific!

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