It Is a Wow World

Gary Horsman

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Even though you may not brag could you . . . if you wanted to . . . brag about what you do?

We must remind ourselves that we are in the midst of a white-collar revolution. In our new economy (and it is ours) all our work is project work and we need to make each project a WOW project.

The world . . . it is a changing. Are you excited about it or confused and afraid? This is a thrilling time and a time with lots of challenges as well.

How do you “WOW” them? Complete “WOW” projects of course!

What are WOW projects? For that matter - What is a project? A project has a beginning and an end and there are deliverables associated with a project.

A WOW project has goals and objectives –- the deliverables - that inspire and motivate others and achieve something of significance.

A WOW project will satisfy the following:

 The WOW project is not hype.
 It really matters.
 It makes other people smile.
 The results make a significant difference.
 The WOW project could be “bragged” about.
 If it is your project then it highlights the value that you (yes you personally) add.
 If it is your project then it differentiates you and is vital to your portfolio.

At this point I want to interject a quote from a man (a mere mortal) that has been dead for 500 years.

“The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it. ”

- Michelangelo

Here are four factors that may be considered as you evaluate any project to determine if it is a WOW project. I urge you to consider evaluating your projects in this manner. As a minimum it will give you additional insights into the work that you do and will help you to construct a portfolio that you can brag about.

1. The WOW Factor (1-10 scale)

Let’s examine level 1 . . .

You go to work. You sit and think for a while and sometimes you just sit. At the end of the day you find that you have completed another day’s work and it helped you pay the rent. There no wow-work here.

At level three you think you have dome good work and some other people notice. Your day created something of value.

At level 5 you feel you have done something pretty cool and you gain supporters when they learn of the project and the results. You are starting to move into the wow category.

Level 7 is a level that results in lots of fans and you may brag about the project if you want to. Better yet your boss may also brag for you which is always nice. This project will be a main item in your project portfolio. This is wow!

At level 10 the project is so cool that all people notice and you are identified with it. The project is a part of your identity and defines your value and worth in a significant way. WOW!

Define and go for your WOW project.

2. The “Beauty” Factor

Is there beauty in the performance of an artist? Is there beauty in the performance of a violinist? If you are an Accountant do you create beauty when you work? How about if you are an Engineer or an IT professional? The answer is you can if you think about creating a WOW-project. We all have the opportunities to create WOW projects. Is there beauty in your projects?

You will know when you have added beauty to your work. For example, if it is a report you will have organized it better and you will have made the report a thing of organizational beauty. You will have added extra organizational functionality or added the beauty of clarity. Form and function are blended together in a way that all who touch it can define as beautiful.

3. The “Impact” Factor

How do we create a project with impact? Ask yourself these questions.

  • If you are a complete success with this project what will be the outcome. Envision it clearly.
  • What will change? How meaningful will the change be?
  • Who will benefit and in what ways? Think of how to benefit many people and significantly.
  • Who will notice? The higher the impact the more people will notice.
  • How is it different? The same-old-same-old will not create impact.

     Have you reached more people?
     Have you captured their attention?
     Have you left them with something memorable?
     Have you fully engaged them? –- This is impact.

    4. Fans that Rave

    How do you want to be remembered? Do you want to be remembered as:

  • One that minimized risk.
  • Perhaps you want to be remembered as the one that supported the boss or respected authority and the chain of command.
  • You may want to be remembered as the one that got all the errands done and paid all the bills on time.


    There is nothing wrong with the any of the above but none of the above will create fans that rave.

    Rather . . .

  • Don’t be timid. Think of something big and go for it!
  • Do it with passion and excitement. You can make budget and respect authority and pay all the bills on time AND have a WOW project (or a string of them).

    Consider your profession . . .

  • If you are a teacher do your students rave about you and your class?
  • If you are a builder do your clients and real estate agents sing your praises?
  • If you are a consultant do you get your clients to think up WOW projects and support them to achieve them?

    You are the creator of your work, your situation, your destiny and you can “get by” or aspire to greatness. Ask yourself “Who do you want to be?" Go and do it.

    Here are some essential Must Dos

    1. Review your past projects or resume and put them into four categories.

    Excellent failure

    2. Make you work not simply something you do but rather who you are.

    3. Take the power you need to create WOW projects – no one will hand this to you.

    4. Do not do “so-so” projects do something big!

    5. Don’t be afraid to fail as your failures lead the way to success. In the words of Darren LaCroix –- a fellow Toastmaster “fail forward”.

    6. When you conceive of a project will it lead to “bragging rights”? If not then rethink it.

    7. Sit down and write your eulogy. How do you want to be remembered? You have control of your actions and the way you will be remembered can most significantly be determined by you.

    8. Get started now! Don't wait until you have more money or when the children will be a bit older or when you have a bit more time. Get started now!

    It is important for us to make a difference for the better. What better way than to create and complete WOW projects. We can make a difference.

    Gary firmly believes that we must work to inspire and to create projects that really make a difference.

    Gary is President of Presentations That Talk. The core product of Presentations That Talk is the PTT Presenter. The PTT Presenter allows users to easily make voice-narrated streaming media presentations. This allows a company to present their products and services using presentation marketing which adds impact and WOW.

    Gary now lives in Woodstock, Vermont. Prior to this he lived in Ireland and was in charge of Operations and Business Development. His business development ideas were not the ho-hum ideas but rather ideas that often shocked and truly inspired. Before this he lived in Japan and ran the Marketing and Quality functions for General Instrument Japan. There, his teams WOWed the largest Japanese electronics manufacturer into becoming a major client. He has also been involved with the US Department of Commerce and was assigned to Mitsubishi Electric in Nagoya, Japan. His WOW project at Mitsubishi went right to headquarters in Tokyo.

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