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Touching the Elephant


As Kirby Wadsworth says, “My problem with Elephant Projects is I love touching the elephant. I want to pat it, make sure everyone appreciates all the interesting parts of the elephant. I want to talk about the elephant a lot. I want to stay in the room and be part of the team. I want to play with the elephant. I want to map out the process of moving the elephant. I want to grab the marker and draw pictures of the elephant on the white board. I want to brainstorm all the ways we might get the elephant through the door and out of the room. The problem is when I do that, I take on the responsibility for the project. My role as executive sponsor is to make sure everyone “gets” the project. I should say, “Hey folks that is an elephant in front of you. Your job is to get it out of the room.” Then I need to get out of the room and let them do the work. I should not do the work with them, or for them. I doubt I am the only executive who likes to play with the elephants.” 


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Executive Sponsor

About the Contributor:

Attributed Author

Kirby Wadsworth

Kirby Wadsworth is Chief Marketing Officer at Limelight Networks. Kirby has led the transition from traditional outbound to content-driven inbound marketing for both global public companies and private start-ups. He serves as an Adjunct Lecturer at the Olin Graduate School of Business, Babson College, and the Sawyer Business School, Suffolk University.
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