My name is Marianne Bell and I will be the host of this podcast. I am a self-proclaimed introverted yet independent certified project management professional and a certified John Maxwell speaker, trainer and coach who loves to learn, help people dream big and to turn those dreams into reality using project management and developing them into the person their dream needs them to become.
I have spent the last 10 years improving my knowledge and skills in the areas of agile project management, leadership, personality styles, strengths, strategic and business management and most recently I have entered into the world of entrepreneurship with my personal development business that I named Navigate Your Life. As well I have created of a youth development program that I am naming Create Your Best Future.
I became an official project manager in January of 2006 but the reality is I had been unofficially managing projects since I became a medical secretary in 1999. In 2005, I was working as a payroll specialist that supported people who used a specific software to process payroll. I loved that job, it was my favourite job I ever had but it was it was four years after completing my business degree and I didn’t feel like I was operating at my fullest potential.
I thought I would be further along in my career but moving up into management in my company was not something that came easily. So out of frustration, I decided to move on and took a consulting position with a software company which required me to travel. The promise at the time was I would be away two days a week, three at the most which my family decided was acceptable but when I learned it would be closer to 4 days a week during the month the software was being implemented at the customer’s site, I walked away right before Christmas.
I had no job and no idea of what I would do other than I could always go back to working with Kelly Temp and fall back on my experience as a secretary. And then I got a call from the company whose payroll software I had expertise supporting only three months earlier. They heard I was out of a job and brought me in over the Christmas holidays to interview for a position that would officially manage implementation projects 25% of my time with the other 75% being spread across business analysis, software testing and supporting the client who just happened to be the employer I left only a few months earlier. It was perfect situation and I had expertise in how their software worked so of course I took the job
I quickly picked up on the technical side of managing projects with the help of my boss at the time; so planning a schedule, putting it into microsoft project, conducting meetings, working with the technical staff to gain a deeper understanding of how the software functioned – all of this put my administrative skills to work and appealed to the introverted, process-oriented side of my personality. But, because I had a business degree with a major in health care administration and human resource management, I also loved working with the customers to understand their business needs and helping them to set up their system so that it would enable their business improvements and growth into new areas of their business.
Life was great, I was loving my new job, I was learning a ton of information and I was moving up in rank and gaining more responsibility but at the same time I was beginning to get frustrated and stressed that I didn’t have enough of the people skills needed to be assigned to work on the larger scale organizational change projects – the ones that I really wanted to work on. Looking back at this situation now, I realize I was not doing what I needed to grow and develop those skills and to be honest I blamed my employer for not helping me build my personal / professional development plan. In 2009 I decided it was time for me to take control of my life and my career which was a good thing because at the end of the day it was always my responsibility to do this! But often employees feel it is their employer’s job to develop them and give them the tools they need to be successful at their job.
I chose to go back to school and get a master in business administration that had a strong innovation, change leadership focus woven throughout the curriculum which was exactly what I wanted and needed to get me to where I am today. But it took me 10 years to get here. That will be another story for another episode for why it took me so long.
I created this podcast with a plan of sharing the knowledge I have gained from my own career development journey as well as to share stories of project success, failure and lessons learned that I gather from others that I meet along my journey.
My intention is to help young entrepreneurs and professionals prepare today so that they can successfully navigate their future as project leaders. Even though they may never become an official project manager, I guarantee they will find themselves managing projects from the side of their desk and when that happens, I don’t want them to make the mistake of only focusing their time and money developing the technical side of the project management’s talent triangle. I want them to see that it’s more important to develop the strategic and business management, leadership and now even more so, the digital skills.
90% of a project’s success is communication which is a key part of engaging project stakeholders. One of my leadership mentors, John Maxwell wrote a book titled “Everyone Communicates, Few Connect”. On the back of the book’s cover it reads “The ability to connect with others is a major determining factor in reaching your full potential”.
As an entrepreneur or professional, your ability to stand out above the crowd in your field of expertise and make the money you want demands that you take a wholistic approach to your personal development.
I hope that you find this podcast valuable. I would love for you to share your thoughts with me on Instagram. You can find me at the handle iammariannebell for now until I decide where I really want to live on social media. Thanks! And I hope you have an awesome day.
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