We all have responsibilities in life. Our resumes are full of examples where we show the world how we have been responsible for this goal, target, budget, outcome, etc. But are we truly able to respond to those situations and people around us?
As a project manager, I have many responsibilities. I own the project, communications with sponsors and stake holders, engineering, production, marketing, administration, internal and external customers, etc. But how did I become response-able? How do I put the scaffolding in place to make everyone on the project team responsible? The bottom line is that I must put processes and procedures in place that empower and support everyone involved.
Here is a short list to help you develop your own ability to respond under many different scenarios.
- Give everyone on the team the opportunity to support the common goal: acknowledge contributions even if it is something as simple as cheering each team member on in the pursuit of their professional goals.
- Work with others: focus on the team goal of taking pleasure in contributing and meeting milestones. Make the job fun. Give structure and hands-on help as needed.
- Encourage independent thinking over just "giving orders": Ask open questions like "What do we need to do today to meet our goals for the end of the week?" Map this against critical path goals and key milestones.
- Model responsibility and accountability: the team learns responsibility from your role modeling. Follow though on promises and admit mistakes. Do your part to remove obstacles to success and shield the team from company politics. Be accountable for your own actions and those around you will mirror that behavior.
- Hold your team accountable: sharing failures or missed goals with the entire team spreads the load away from individuals and makes it possible to survive setbacks. Avoid pointing the finger of blame. Rather, see each failure as a teachable moment. Blame is simply anger looking for a target. Instead of finding fault, put your anger on hold and train yourself to find solutions.
The next time your find yourself in a position of responsibility, revisit this short list and see if you are truly "able to respond". Studies show that people who take responsibility in any given situation are the people who see themselves as willing to be different and stand out from a crowd.
Isn't that the kind of team we all want to be on?
||"Project management is my life. I love what I do!"
I will measurably enhance your project budgets and solve the biggest problems on your plate with real-world efficiency gains by empowering others and applying over 23 years of strategic and critical decision making experience.