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Chapter 6. What is Challenge?

The challenge stage involves implementing your plan, facing a test, solving a problem, or confronting a difficulty that must be resolved before the result can be achieved. It is the “moment of truth,” sometimes called dragon slaying, when the theory you’ve created is tested for its effectiveness. The challenge is the point at which change takes place, and change can be messy.

Challenges are, by definition, difficult. However, there is a difference between the difficulty of a challenge and our emotional uneasiness about it. Emotions provide important clues that can guide the way if we listen hard and long enough to hear the message. Good judgment and common sense go a long way toward negotiat-ing dark waters. Do not ignore the sensation of needing “a bigger boat” if you think you’re in over your head. “If a project feels uncomfortable, then something’s probably wrong,” says experienced project manager Bill Drobny. The trick in the challenge stage is having the wisdom to know the difference between the difficulty of hard work and things that feel wrong.


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