My current work lives here: Oddball Empire - Rock on.
Why should people want to work on your project?
You know about globalization, you know this makes employees competing with people from all over the world. Have you considered The Other Consequence? That you have to compete with other GLOBAL companies and Project Managers to get good people to staff your projects?
If developers, testers and other talented individuals can work for any project all over the world, why should they work for you?
Let me start with the answer:
Because you have a project that is life changing, that is worth their effort. Because you provide an awesome creative and inspiring environment. You provide leadership that inspires people to rise to the occasion, to become larger than themselves. You give trust, and you can be trusted.
A few weeks ago I called this working environment a Project Tribe:
“The central element of a tribe is the leader and the idea, the goal. You need a leader who can inspire, one that can present Big Audacious Goals that seem to rock the world. Your project needs Al Gore, your project needs goals like “Save The Planet”. That’s why people join the gang. That’s why people want to be part of it (…)
The leader will set some rules of interaction. The leader will keep efforts aligned. Within this context the teams get self-organized and the Big Hairy Audacious Goal makes sure it’s all in the right direction.”
This is a “happy view” of the world. It is optimistic. It assumes the best in people. Some people might consider it a naive picture of their “real world”. But everybody determines his or her own world view, their mental picture that determines how they view and experience things. If you assume people cannot be trusted to perform work on their own, that’s your pitty choice. I choose to believe empowerment works:
“I am convinced that if this style of management is in your brain, you have a more tolerating, productive and positive mind set, one that is based upon trust instead of fear. I am convinced that educating around the globe about this style (instead of the old top-down directive leadership style) will have an amazing impact on more than just how businesses are run. It is about a better human-human interaction.
Do I dare to say, a better, more ethical sustainable world?“
Photography by Elvire R.
Isn’t that worth working for? Isn’t “a better, more ethical sustainable world” worth an extra mile?
And yes, it’s us, the Project Managers, that play an important role. If changes have to be done, you hire a Project Manager:
“People will turn to us to get thing done. We are the Getting-Things-Done-Squad! We have to drive these changes trough the swamp of corporate and global politics; we have to go full speed with zero-visibility; we have to make it all fit together in the end. There is no time for ass covering, compliance-for-compliance-sake, review-upon-review, no-you-cannot-change Project Management.”
You see, you really need to be this all engaging, empowering, inspiring, purpose providing Leader (with a HUGE L). It’s the only way to get the right people. It’s the only way to contribute to society.
For those of you who want to con the system, and keep on squeezing the last drop of performance out of depressed employees… Do it once, do it twice.. and you’re out of a job.
“The Internet introduced deadly transparency. The flattened and connected world makes sure reputations spread faster than you can say “Geronimo.” Over a decade ago it seemed almost impossible for someone in Europe to have a clue about the reputation of some person in Africa. With the Internet we have reputation systems in place where crowds share opinions among each other. It is not only that books and other products are recommended or thrashed, like on Amazon, but now people are taking a turn. LinkedIn provides a functionality to recommend. “
Who is going to work for you if you have a shady reputation?
If it’s not your reputation that’s going to kill your job, it’s your poor, old school skill set. Project organizations are getting more and more distributed over our globe, team members are becoming more mobile. The project manager will have to deal with an increasingly multi-cultural, global and mobile environment, in which the employees are working on more fragmented tasks. You desperately need to update your skills. If you’re a guy, sorry, but times will hit double hard on you:
“So, women are going to take the lead within project management? You bet! Multi-tasking, social and communication skills are natural properties for the ladies; no trick, no profession, just natural. Tom Peters, the famous management guru, has been getting all excited about it for years. He even wants to assign a degree to women: MnML/WR: Master of non-Masculine Leadership/Women Rule.”
If you are not engaging, empowering, inspiring, purpose providing, multi-culti, social Communicator (with a MONSTROUS C) nobody will work for you, and you will suck at your PM job also.
And this is my happy view on the matter.
Things You Can Do. Now.
- Be kind. Be tolerant.
- Study, learn and practice your soft skills. It’s not everything, but it’s the best start.
- Inflate your project goal. Make it BIG. Make it Life Changing.