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June 16, 2009 / jasonpinto

The Dragon Slayer

Projects sometimes fall into these buckets:

 – Projects you love working on
–  Projects that are sort of okay, and you look forward to completing them
 – Projects that you don’t want to touch

Let’s talk about that 3rd group. Why do some projects have the yellow “caution” tape around them?

Perhaps a similar project failed miserably in the past. Or maybe there’s a tug-of-war for control. Or maybe it means it that you need to shake up your daily routine in order to spend time on that type of project.  Maybe you don’t actually understand why a project is occurring, or how it will help. Whatever it is – it’s putting you outside of your comfort zone.

And, maybe you don’t intentionally avoid helping on that project…. but, you don’t exactly roll up your sleeves and stick your hand in the barrel.

Projects like this can be a drag. Some of them deserve to be shelved. However – there are absolutely some projects that put you out of your comfort zone but that must be completed.

You could spend the rest of your working days trying to tip-toe around these projects. Or, you can find a way to own it, or to do everything in your power to turn them into a positive experience for the people around you.

Yes, these types of projects are not always the dragon. You can’t scrap them all. Rather, the dragon is the choke-hold of uncertainty that they add to your actions, or the uneasiness that they may create.

Well, if you have the power and the opportunity, fix it. Devote whatever time and energy you can to make those projects run more smoothly…. to help push them to completion.

Yes, slay the dragon, and your team members will no longer have to cringe whenever that type of project is brought up at a company meeting.


Depending on your business, these “dragon-like” projects could be anything.

Maybe it’s a customer satisfaction survey. You know you should do it. You’ve talked about it for months. But — maybe you’re scared as to what the feedback will be.

Or perhaps it’s a new design… maybe for a website, or even a business card. You want to do it. You think it will help. But can you handle showing it off, dealing with suggestions, and ultimately trying to get approval?

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