Sometimes you just have to take the bull by the horns and make something happen. You simply have to power through until you break through to the light of day and achieve the change that you envision. Except that, as a project manager and leader, it is NEVER your job to just get things done. It is your job to organize the resources, expectations, and motives of everyone involved so that the vision is achieved. Project Managers get work done when they can align all of the facets of personality, resources, talent, ability, political will, passion, and more.
The task of aligning stakeholders and resources is often daunting to new project managers. New Project Managers often have three reactions to getting a project done:
- Do the work themselves
Don’t Manipulate – Be Honest
Manipulation may appear to be an effective tactic initially. You may be able to market your ideas, and perhaps get some leverage because you have somehow found a way to get people on your side. But the amount of energy that it takes to maintain the marketing, sales and manipulation cycle is unsustainable. A better route is to be candidly open. Some people may not buy into the project vision right away, but your consistency and the support of the people who see the vision will soon lead from a place of honesty rather than manipulation.
Don’t Strongarm – Be a Strong Advocate
Like manipulation, you don’t have enough energy to be able to force everyone to do what your project needs all of the time. You might win some meeting room negotiations, but eventually, you won’t be able to bully people into your way. A better route is to become a strong advocate. As a project manager, you are cheering on the success of the change. It is your job to advocate for the change, not force people to join you. If you can get people to agree that the change is necessary, people will naturally join you on the journey to make this happen.
Don’t Do the Work Yourself – Give The Gift Of Contribution
New project managers sometimes feel that they should do all of the work when the project starts going sideways. Not only is it impossible to do all of the project work yourself, but it also doesn’t honour the people who should be doing the work. Give your project contributors the chance to give their gifts to the project. As a project manager, paint the picture of the change that is coming, inspire people to move towards the change, and allow them to give their best contribution to the change.
Manipulating, strong-arming, or doing the work yourself won’t help you get the project done. The only way to effectively lead a project is to lead people and manage resources productively. Become an effective leader, and you will become an effective Project Manager.