How I went from “having butterflies in my stomach” to implementing Eur 20 mil projects
Million euros transformation programs, working with cross-functional teams of more than 100 people from 9 countries, with multiple regional and local reporting;
Being the go-to person for implementing complex projects or the shoulder to cry on for the management and implementation teams when things go wrong;
“Help us, we’ve been struggling with Agile for the past two years and we’re still not there yet”
I was …
Obsessed to learn and better myself;
Eager for external validation;
Afraid of potential failure, unsure I can deliver new initiatives.
Mentors, wrong steps and lessons learned
Gaining trust in my ability to make a difference in almost any project didn’t happen overnight.
I was already developing technical training materials (Excel, Access, MS Project) and delivering courses in multinational companies by the time I was 21 years old and getting my first international PMI Project Management certificate at 24;
I started my trainer career delivering dozens of Selling and Negotiating, Project Management and Problem Solving/Decision Making Courses for one of the most prestigious training provider companies in Romania at the time, Achieve Global…
…or training courses for PMP and CAPM certification, for PMI Romania, since 2006.
I always felt I needed …
To do more;
To search for the next challenge, that “something” that would empower me to become who I wanted to be: to play first fiddle, to be the one who makes a difference.
Yes, like everybody else, I wanted to change the world! Or, at least, the organization I was working for.
At the time, it felt like a terrible burden, but I realized that the only way you can grow is through continuous learning, that happiness derives from progress and progress equals stepping out of your comfort zone!
The start wasn’t easy. Not at all.
Transitioning from theory to practice, applying the acquired knowledge to multiple fields and industries and finally, switching to consulting, required a lot of time and a sustained effort to adapt and learn.
And a lot of “buts” before reaching the “yesses”:
You are well prepared, BUT where are your certifications?
You’ve delivered a lot of projects, BUT none in IT.
You have a lot of relevant experience, BUT no projects larger than 100k Euros.
Work on weekends, sleepless nights and holidays spent at the office until late at night.
I’ve invested time in some business ideas only to realize they didn’t have the necessary growth potential. I’ve dedicated a few years of my life to the development of a start-up, and learned that small projects and budgets aren’t necessarily easier projects nor do they come with lesser challenges, but with different types of challenges.
I realized we define ourselves by our previous experiences and the way we relate to them dictates the quality of the decisions we are able to make. That’s why accepting failure and integrating it in my decisions as lesson learned was an extremely important step in my professional growth. I understood that each one of my mistakes and blunders (and there have been a few of them) was an opportunity to make better decisions next time. And they helped me reach a degree of maturity that allows me to treat interactions with others with more empathy and patience: we didn’t experience the same things in our professional pasts, so we will not necessarily interpret present situations in a similar way.
I’ve accepted a role in a top multinational company, which allowed me to get involved in several initiatives and experience diversity and complexity at a completely different level. And the opportunity to continue my learning process, working alongside very nice people.
It took me 3 years to realize that, although the direction was correct and I was ticking off my list objective after objective, something was still missing. That’s when a new stage in my life began that I will elegantly name “the transition period”!
Organization, prioritization and setting boundaries
Because I wanted to stay connected to day-to-day activities, to the adrenaline of overcoming each obstacle and to different projects implemented in parallel. For another 3 years, here I am, both a contractor and an entrepreneur!
It’s been a challenge and a tough lesson about organization, prioritization and setting limits. The conclusion? You can end up delivering the same number of projects, working for 3 days instead of 5, if you change the way of working – both for you and your team.
You can optimize any process if you are willing to try
Although working part-time on large projects and growing your own business are apparently two incompatible things, in my experience they complemented and maximized each other.
It’s been a very intense learning period, of trial and error, in order to determine what works and what doesn’t, how the processes, applications and human interaction would be best optimized.
As a result, I have gained a flexible way of thinking and I understood that most times it’s better to apologize than to ask permission. I learned I needed to stand by the solutions I strongly believed in, to implement and adjust them as needed and, once validated, to transform them in a new way of thinking, with a higher level of maturity. My main goal was: how to make a difference and bring added value in the shortest possible time!
I had the honor to be directly involved in dozens of projects and to help thousands of professionals overcome all types of challenges in their projects, during my training sessions!
“That’s exactly what happens in my project” and “it happened exactly as you said it would”
I hear that a lot from my students, but I’m still happy every time! Because it validates the fact that I understand their challenges, I give them the most useful examples to be able to objectively assess the situation and a step-by-step course of action to reach the desired result.
Based on my experience, I can quickly identify patterns and use them as a tool in creating a better way of working. That allows me to act like an experienced guide who takes you to your destination using the safest and most scenic route.
And it comes natural to me because I combine my passion for projects and my fascination for new things with proven techniques, methods and tools that have brought me results over and over again.
From a point on, nothing can stop you anymore
If I hear one more time “we need someone to supervise them and check the to do list, we don’t want anything complicated” I think I’m going to probably lose it!
We need to see reality as it is and clearly differentiate between project implementation and magic. It takes effort and work to deliver results. And every time you change your way of working, it takes even more effort than usual. (And this is a valid statement in any field and in any change, not only when it comes to projects)
But I know you are ready to make the effort.
I believe that’s why you are here.
That’s why you get involved and say yes to new initiatives.
That’s why you are ready to invest time and energy and try to do things differently.
And you will get back tenfold.
Because yes, it can be done. You can deliver consistent results; you can be more satisfied with your professional activity and you can lead a better life.
Discover what we can achieve together
I defined 2 types of programs based on the level of support needed and the area you wish to improve.
A little about me
The first CAPM (Certified Associate Project Manager) in Romania in 2006, PMP (Project Management Professional) since 2011 and Executive Coach since 2014.
Scrum Master, Product Owner, Agile Coach & Trainer in multiple initiatives, fascinated by the Agile mindset and its adoption in varied fields since 2013.
I take cold showers and occasionally practice the Wim Hof ice baths and breathing techniques.
I can’t get enough of coffee! 90% of the time I will invite you to an informal meeting by suggesting a cup of coffee. And I will almost invariably order a black espresso.
At least once a month I play FIFA on PS5, always online and always 2 vs 2. It’s been my guilty pleasure since back in ’98!
Customers who recommend me
Hanibal: “Either we find a way, or we make one!”