My mother was very smart because she was smart about things that mattered. Oh, she could do the hard math, the Latin, and the pain-in-the-neck late night questions from the high school kids (my sisters and I) without complaining, but mainly she knew how to have success at most endeavors.
She used to say “Nothing Succeeds Like Success” a lot.
While she was no where near as entertaining or flamboyant as my father, she always pushed us to have small successes first in any larger undertaking. …and it usually made a difference.
It works at home too. I have one child that has an amazing backhand in tennis. She is more tentative with her forehand. If we start with nothing but backhands for her (instant success), the rest of the time is fun and she is able to listen to constructive suggestions more.
I’ve tried to apply that in my work life. For example, I write two thank you cards every day before attempting the creativity needed to blog each work day. It helps. I feel “on a roll” a bit even though writing a thank you card does not require intellectual heavy lifting. People like and need to be thanked, its an important part of business. …and it helps me write.
ERP Implementations are this way too. I’ve often found that when we create a useful and solid general ledger chart of accounts with practical financial reports (the easy part) that compare the right columns (budgets, forecasts, actuals, prior periods, variances, etc.) the project kicks off well. People see the success and want to contribute.
Once having this success, we now often get more commitment and from more people at the client in helping to resolve the more difficult challenges such as those brought about by revenue recognition challenges and allocation issues in Project Accounting, or setting up or configuring complex order types in Distribution Accounting modules.
Succeed with the easy stuff first, it gives you momentum.