What would you do if…?

15 August

My wife is in the process of reading a business book for work, and we often chat about interesting ideas or insights she picks up as she moves through the chapters. The book sets up similar to others, providing some background on the author, her work experience and how the book came to be written. It also starts off with an interesting question, that should definitely get a person thinking – “What would you do if you were not afraid?”

Now this is a pretty broad question, and I would not attempt to answer for anyone other than myself, but I started to think about how I may be able to apply this from a work perspective and how this concept would work in taking on the role of a project manager or project team member. Part of the challenge of being a project manager or team member is the expectation placed upon you to get work done, and done successfully. In many cases this work is often on top of your regular day-to-day activities, it is challenging and often stressful, and usually, does not go as smoothly as predicted or planned. So, by its very nature, project work pushes greater degrees of accountability, forces confrontation, and requires people to deliver a sometimes less than optimal messaging aka “bad news” to a non-receptive and sometime hostile audience. Bottom line – it can be scary stuff.

So how do we take some of the fear out of such an undertaking? Notice I said “some” here, as these steps will not solve every issue or risk that arises (nor can they be anticipated), but should help position you and your teams for smoother communications, a better project process, enhanced organizational education and understanding around projects and hopefully more effective projects overall. Here are some steps to consider:

  • Understand your organization and its organizational culture – is it formal or loose? Does it like electronic updates or face-to-face interchange of information? .Learn how to navigate through the organization the way it likes to do business. This is the framework you need to work in and through.
  • Communicate all ways and always – this needs to be done up and down through the organization. It needs to be done frequently to insure expectations are set. It also needs to be concise and focused on the key points the audience needs to know, especially if items are being monitored for potential negative impact to the project. The sooner the team and organization are aware of a potential problem, the easier it will be to work a solution that all can feel comfortable with implementing. The goal here is to avoid surprises. We like them around the holidays and for birthdays, but not in our projects.
  • Understand your facts – people react much better to hard data and facts, not gut feel or assumptions. If you can provide the key point to how and why you got somewhere (coupled with the constant communication above) people will tend to react much better.
  • Come prepared with options – it is very easy to push a problem to someone else, but chances are good they won’t like it. This goes even more for management, making “your problem” theirs will not win you any points. Coming in with a number of potential options that are well thought out and have the impacts, and both pros and cons identified with a recommendation determined are much better received and demonstrate someone with a proactive approach and who is a problem solver. The key here is to be a solutioner, not just a reporter.
  • Ask for what you need – telling people what you need is just the right thing to do. It is hard, because sometimes we feel like we need to do it all ourselves, or that this admits weakness, or lack of skill on our part. The true question here should be do we want to see our projects and teams fail, if success could easily be within our reach. It is unfair to assume that our project sponsors or executive teams will know what you need if you don’t ask for it. Couple this with the solutions steps above and it allows our management teams to make educated decisions and evaluate potential trade-offs that can impact their business.
  • Throughout the project lifecycle keep repeating these steps – this is not a one-time activity, it needs to be applied constantly and diligently through the project. It is easy to get wrapped up in our day-to-day activities and loose site of the big picture. Taking a step back and allowing think time can often make all the difference.
  • Be sure everyone on the project team follows and practices the process – everyone needs to be pulling in the same direction for the overall project to succeed. By setting this standard you allow people to build a sense of team and trust, without having to worry about recrimination. It builds confidence and allows skills to be enhanced, creating better project capacity within the organization, which is just good business.

Based upon our experience as consultants, most people and companies are reasonable, given reasonable situations to work within. We believe that this approach is both sound and reasonable and will keep your people and projects moving forward toward the success you expect and need. Keep in mind, not every project will be smooth, and not every project will be bad either. Usually it is a combination of both, which is true for life as well. If you position yourself to be able to address challenges as they arise, with a good plan and a consistent approach, you will be seen as a champion, a driver and an asset to your organization. As a result of this, you may find yourself as the go-to person in your company with a reputation for handling difficult situations with diplomacy and aplomb. Be prepared to take on even bigger (and scarier) projects than before. Just maybe, you will find out what you could do if you aren’t afraid, and that is a really nice place to be.

P.S. the book I referred to is “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg.

52 Responses to “What would you do if…?”

  1. hotshot bald cop April 12, 2022 at 9:07 pm #

    Wonderful views on that!

  2. Rvrifv May 6, 2022 at 12:18 am #

    viagra next day delivery – sildenafil online sildenafil 50mg brand

  3. Ugwhao May 8, 2022 at 6:59 am #

    prednisolone buy online – order generic neurontin 100mg buy cialis 40mg online cheap

  4. Sddpwg May 10, 2022 at 9:10 pm #

    order augmentin 625mg sale – augmentin over the counter buy cialis without prescription

  5. Beuxcs May 13, 2022 at 6:17 am #

    trimethoprim pill – cheap viagra 150mg purchasing viagra on the internet

  6. Qtoxdx May 15, 2022 at 12:04 pm #

    order cephalexin 125mg pill – order cephalexin 500mg online cheap order erythromycin 250mg pills

  7. Ltlxqw May 17, 2022 at 11:49 am #

    order sildenafil for sale – buy nolvadex 10mg generic ivermectin 6mg for sale

  8. hotshot bald cop May 18, 2022 at 1:25 am #

    Right on my man!

  9. ojcwzcks May 18, 2022 at 1:44 am #

    cheap provigil 100mg provigil 200mg oral order generic modafinil

  10. tmaxuunn May 18, 2022 at 4:48 am #

    buy modafinil online cheap buy provigil 200mg pills

  11. ztjnckvx May 18, 2022 at 5:36 pm #

    modafinil ca order modafinil 100mg sale provigil ca

  12. tygsxcqa May 18, 2022 at 6:51 pm #

    provigil brand modafinil 200mg drug

  13. Nnrhpm May 19, 2022 at 12:23 am #

    rhinocort for sale – tadalafil pills buy disulfiram generic

  14. hugxvhhx May 19, 2022 at 7:49 pm #

    buy provigil 200mg pills buy provigil

  15. peleytmt May 20, 2022 at 12:10 am #

    modafinil 100mg for sale order generic modafinil order provigil 200mg for sale

  16. xcaelmya May 20, 2022 at 3:15 am #

    order provigil 100mg pills modafinil 200mg pills provigil uk

  17. olcsklzd May 20, 2022 at 10:54 am #

    erythromycin for sinus infection erythromycin ophthalmic ointment side effects

  18. Zwgsfv May 20, 2022 at 11:50 am #

    ceftin 250mg pill – buy methocarbamol 500mg pill buy tadalafil 10mg for sale

  19. aqlpboqc May 20, 2022 at 5:13 pm #

    provigil 100mg sale modafinil pills

  20. pfcrckuw May 20, 2022 at 6:38 pm #

    provigil 200mg uk cost modafinil 200mg modafinil 200mg pills

  21. Tqhltr May 21, 2022 at 10:12 pm #

    brand ampicillin 250mg – cialis 5mg uk tadalafil 10mg ca

  22. oyycjxzv May 21, 2022 at 11:30 pm #

    order modafinil 200mg for sale

  23. htblrjly May 22, 2022 at 4:36 am #

    order provigil 100mg sale

  24. zsbpoxpg May 22, 2022 at 8:38 am #

    provigil 200mg tablet

  25. Hildegard May 22, 2022 at 2:34 pm #

    Right on my man!

  26. jrincsjd May 23, 2022 at 12:25 am #

    generic modafinil 200mg order modafinil 100mg online provigil 200mg cheap

  27. gdzozftd May 23, 2022 at 1:38 am #

    modafinil 200mg pills

  28. Ncapns May 23, 2022 at 11:49 pm #

    amoxicillin 250mg uk – buy zithromax without prescription order levitra 20mg generic

  29. odzrgncw May 24, 2022 at 8:30 pm #

    how to take erythromycin erythromycin ointment dosage

  30. Whsdgq May 25, 2022 at 8:09 am #

    stromectol ebay – ivermectin buy australia levitra 10mg tablet

  31. Cifhfq May 26, 2022 at 10:01 pm #

    doxycycline for sale – tadalafil uk cialis daily

  32. MarkRar May 28, 2022 at 3:48 am #

    can i buy gabapentin online

  33. fxszhkni May 28, 2022 at 8:26 am #

    erythromycin base 250mg erythromycin mechanism of action

  34. WimRar May 28, 2022 at 8:30 am #

    amoxicillin price mexico

  35. WimRar May 28, 2022 at 11:02 am #

    metformin discount

  36. PaulRar May 28, 2022 at 3:15 pm #

    trazodone tablet 50 mg

Leave a Reply