For many people, starting a new project means excitement and fun. Others dread having to tackle a new process regardless of the opportunistic outcome. Either way, the success of a new project depends heavily on several factors including motivation, planning and resources.
The energy industry is a place where new projects can mean huge profits if you execute properly. Izzet Bensusan, founder and CEO of Karbone, is an expert at identifying what it takes to make a new energy project successful. He has to be since Karbone is the leading finance and advisory company in the emerging renewable energy and emissions space.
Bensusan, a member of YPO, has worked on large-scale wind, solar and biomass power plant financings, receiving numerous accolades from leading industry publications and organizations. He has also served on various advisory boards, including the Environmental Markets Association and the Leadership of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE).
Bensusan was willing to share his tips for making any high stakes project reach its maximum success.
1. Don't stop learning.
Many people think that simply having a great idea is enough to get a plan off the ground. Often a good idea will start you on the right path, but as truth unveils and environments change, a great idea can become a bad one in a hurry. Bensusan puts great faith in people who constantly learn through the process. "If you put your mind to it, you can learn anything you want," Bensusan noted. "You just have to know what information to look for and find it."
2. Inspire a great team.
"Some people think that if they had a million dollars, they would hire the best people in the world, put them in a room together and call it a day. That's the same mistake a lot of sports teams make when they draft a team of superstars and expect to win the championship. It doesn't work that way unless everyone is on board and excited to succeed with you and will contribute accordingly," said Bensusan. "Surround yourself with the right mix of people that are excited about executing the idea with you."
3. Be patient.
"You should never think that your idea is going to happen in the timeline you imagined. You just never know," said Bensusan. "The things you can control, you control them. If you don't have enough patience, you will never succeed. If you're patient, it shall come to you. If you're impatient, you will change your idea all the time."
4. Make money the byproduct, not the goal.
The pure goal of money can be limiting to innovation according to Bensusan. It can drive you down a short term or misguided path. A long-term broader purpose will stimulate more creative and expansive thinking. Have a primary purpose beside money to ensure that you will drive the right kind of innovation.
5. Keep a mental mirror.
Many leaders only look forward once they throw their plan into action. Then they often accuse others of missteps or outright failures which becomes disastrous for the well-being of the team. Bensusan stressed the need to self-assess constantly as a reminder of how to improve. His method? "Keep a mental mirror in your office. You want to look in the mirror regularly and ask whether you are doing the job right. If you are blaming other people, you will fail.
6. Be ready to shift.
Not every plan will work every time. In fact, failure or unexpected obstacles may set in at any moment. This requires swift and careful movement. "You have to adapt," said Bensusan. "Things move fast, and if one idea doesn't work, you have to tweak it."
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