Big Projects require focus, tenacity and entrepreneurship

I read Seth Godin’s Blog a couple of weeks ago. He said:

Persistence is doing something again and again until it works. It sounds like ‘pestering’ for a reason.Tenacity is using new data to make new decisions to find new pathways to find new ways to achieve a goal when the old ways didn’t work.

Telemarketers are persistent, Nike is tenacious.

Seth Godin  November 2, 2013

His insight on the topic got me thinking about what it takes to start, implement and finish really big projects like the redevelopment of a whole swath of New Orleans. First, it takes someone with a vision and resources to investigate the preliminary feasibility of the project. In the industry, we call this the “back of the envelope phase” because it is using written up on a scrape piece of paper. Once completed, it is vetted by repeating it out loud to your closest friends and colleagues. If it survives, you have a project.

Now, the real work begins. One must be a be entrepreneurial to find a suitable location, assess market feasibility through third party professional evaluations on cost, financing market demand, timing and sustainability.

A huge project can take as many as three-four years to plan before construction begins, two-three years to construct and a year to activate — six-eight years of your life. The skill you need to survive this phase is tenacity.  Think about how much change will occur in six-eight years in finance, law, construction cost, technology, workforce, and government regulation!

Above all you have to be focused on the overcome. Using the Wikipedia definition for economic development “it takes a sustained, concerted action of policy makers and communities that promote the standard of living and economic health of a specific area. Economic development is the quantitative and qualitative changes in the economy. Such actions can involve multiple areas including development of human capital, critical infrastructure, regional competitiveness, environmental sustainability, social inclusion, health, safety, literacy, and other initiatives”.

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