We all have experienced those mortal moments. The moments that impress upon our humanity and our carnal desire to make a difference. As sustainable thinking becomes accepted into more and more industries the discussion surrounding the human aspect of Project Management must be at the forefront.
While looking towards creating a better future, humanity has always found a way to technology to keep pace with our ambitions. The need for faster transportation begot the automobile. With New York City and Chicago finding themselves unable to expand out, they looked to expand up and such thinking spawned the elevator. In the race to space, not only did we create the technology to go but also created the tools and technology to explore the final frontier.
There are final frontiers in every industry that are yet to be explored. Our technology and processes have advanced at an incredible rate in the last century however for a large portion of that time, several considerations were left out of the decision-making. We didn’t have the project management methodologies or the widespread sustainable thinking that exist today. We didn’t have social media to discover that more and more humans desire and greener, cleaner better world. But now we do have a perfect combination of the three. We have project managers with a heart for sustainability and access to all manner of media. We have the knowledge and the influence to create better projects and processes. To retool what has been into what will be. To look back at old projects with a new vision. We have the ability to save the world one project at a time. We can and we will.
But all the talented project managers in the world won’t solve any issues if they do not have a mastery of the “The Human Effect”. These are the skills necessary to bring professional strangers together to create a team that can produce not just results but an environment of success, trust and respect. In the film’s “Oceans 11, 12 and 13” you had tremendously talented individuals in their own areas of expertise. Never-mind the fact that they were all criminally inclined just stay with me on this one. What they wanted to accomplish was beyond any of their individual talents. Honestly, what they wanted to accomplish would have been beyond their combined talents as well if it wasn’t for the trust of respect that either had for one another’s talents. They had to trust and respect each other or else none of them would have gone all the way to Las Vegas. Hopes and dreams and flights of fancy don’t cut it when business and reputation are both on the line. And in this case, life mimics art.
As project managers, we craft, design and implement environments of trust, respect and success. These fundamental traits must never change. Projects fail at times because of funding, that is true. More and more projects, however, fail because of the environment created by the project manager. Even in a work culture that at times exudes uncertainty, un-professionalism, and chaos, the environment that we create can be solid, professional and peaceful. I’ve done it and it can be the new normal.
It takes more than just mastering the methods of project management. It takes more than being a subject matter expert in your field. And yes, it takes more than smiling all the time. Being genuinely engaged and committed to the success mod the project above your own celebrity. Being a servant leader to all ranks that your project interacts with. Working harder, smartly; not longer hours, but more efficient hours. Honestly caring about the people own your team, their personal lives and the impact real life has on their work performance. Being genuine cannot be taught, it’s either in you or it’s not. For most people, it’s in them. For some it’s a question of whether or not their genuine is allowed to come out and play. Being genuine cannot be bested by vanity. It cannot be outdone by selfishness. Being genuine comes one moment at a time and in each instance, the balance between success and failure of the team and project is held. This fact makes such moments truly mortal. As I stated in the beginning, we all have experienced those mortal moments. The moments that impress upon our humanity and our carnal desire to make a difference. And again, as sustainable thinking becomes accepted into more and more industries the discussion surrounding an environment of success, trust and respect; the human aspects of Project Management, must be at the forefront.