Daily Steps for The World Water Crisis

Have you ever looked at a potential problem and thought “There is no chance on earth that i can solve this. There is too much to do and not enough time.”  In my three years with my company Darley, there have been a few moments where i felt overwhelmed about the amount of work i needed to do.  However over time I realized that big challenges in my job are a ‘set of daily tasks’ that need to be done.

In my job at Darley, I have worked as Business Development Manager to develop two new divisions of the company; Darley Water Purification Systems and Darley Custom Pump Solutions.  Both divisions started within the past five years and we are attempting to do one of the hardest things in business : Sell New Products to New Customers.

Due to the undefined role of Business Development for these emerging divisions, I began to learn as much as possible about the different market segments.  In particular, the WATER MARKET.  Currently there is no market more attractive in the world than technologies surrounding water treatment, storage, distribution, monitoring, etc.. With all the potential for growth in in the industry, I still found myself thinking: Where do i start?  Who can i sell products to?  Where are the customers?  The questions don’t stop.

In my three years, trying to direct the company towards the water market has not been an easy task.  Darley is a committed fire company with a many tendencies of an old school company.  Darley likes to innovate, but at the speed of Darley.

As i sat at my desk in the early days, many times i would get stuck because i didn’t know what to do.  This wasn’t because there was a shortage of work, but because there were so many things that needed to happen in order for Darley to grow in these water sectors.  Where do I start when trying to do something to solve the world’s water crisis?

This is when the light bulbs started going off.

If I do a better job of personally managing my time in the office, that is one step closer to help more people in the world get access to clean water.  If I can better plan out my tasks out in the morning, I can complete tangible action items that need to get done.  With my tasks better defined on a daily basis, I can better utilize the internal resources I have at Darley to get more things done.  If i get more tasks done a daily basis on a personal and group level, we are moving one day closer to helping more people with access to clean water.

I now look at my job as a daily adventure.  Of course I need to plan for future trade shows and what are we doing in 3-6-9 months.  However all we can do is best manage our time on a daily basis to be as productive as possible.  I want to change the world.  I want to help people get access to clean water.  I know this will not happen overnight, but my actions needs to improve and get more efficient every day.   Now before I go to bed I always ask myself “Did I do anything today that moved me closer to my goal of helping people around the world?”  If i answer “no”, I think about what went wrong, acknowledge the inefficiencies, and move on to the next day.  

Water, water everywhere…but not a drop to drink.

If you have time, watch VICE.  VICE is the best documentary series in television right now.  Season three has a special about the water crisis in India. For me to truly get behind a solution, I need to experience the problem first hand.  I spend one week in India and watched this documentary.  Here is a sneak peak: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GcLFXixHyW0

5 thoughts on “Daily Steps for The World Water Crisis

  1. Kevin, thanks for sharing your insight. I frequently feel the same way at my work as well. I’m working on a very intricate project that has high visibility within the company. With so many moving parts it is very easy to feel overwhelmed. This is where I find the WBS can be of great assistance. Breaking down large tasks into smaller, more manageable sub-tasks and work packages allows us to better plan resources and attack milestones. It also provides an easier way to judge if a given day/week was successful, identify where things went wrong, and course correct where needed. The WBS does need to be used carefully, however, because it can get out of hand very easily and you may find yourself in a situation with an unmanageable number of work packages to complete!

  2. Kevin – great post, and I loved your commentary about being overwhelmed on the world water crisis. I definitely feel overwhelmed with what is occurring in California and their drought. I know that we are both from California, and it pains us to hear about our families and friends faced with this predicament. I also recognize that these problems will not be solved overnight, and that intermittent steps are needed before solutions are presented. Your comments about staying on task, and putting together tangible action items will help you succeed at your ultimate goal. I am always reminded of a movie that Bill Murray starred in, ‘What about Bob’, and in one scene, Bob felt overwhelmed on getting on the elevator. His therapist, played by Richard Dreyfuss, told him to take baby steps. This is so fundamental in tackling large projects. Plan the small steps ahead to get you to the end goal. Another point that you mentioned is asking whether or not you made progress on your goal. If not, make adjustments, and plan accordingly. It’s so simple, but if executed, you will be admired by your colleagues as brilliant. And I agree, VICE is amazing!

  3. Hi Kevin, I really enjoyed your post! It sounds like you have a passion for what you do and I’m sure that it helps keep you motivated at Darley. Taking on major projects can seem overwhelming at first but just like Matthew said in his comment is to think “baby steps”. Each step is a step closer to the finished project. I like to create a list of what needs to be done and scratch off each task that I completed I can see that I’m accomplishing something. It’s the little things that help you along the way!

  4. Kevin, thanks for sharing your role and what it entails. This sounds like an ambitious project but one that can help people to get one of the basic necessities in life. Do you have a staff to help you with this project? Seems like you are a one man wrecking crew. It appears to be a big responsibility for one person. Thank you for recommending the show VICE. I have not seen it but I’m curious enough to check it out.

  5. Kevin great article your such a goal driven person. Your knowledge of world water crisis amazes me, I’m happy you do something you love. This project will be a great mission for you, I know you have all the resources in tact to complete this mission and achieve success. Your team awareness will grow, I’m sure your the project manager of your group executing this proposal! Thank you for a great article, it educated me on this important subject of matter.

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