Walking into my boss’ office to tell him I was quitting was one of the hardest moments in my career. I was in tears. I loved my job. My boss was wonderful. My team was fun. The company was a great company to work for. But it was time to leave. At university I took the Myers Briggs test. I remember sitting in class, reading about the best careers for an ENTJ. There was one that stood out to me: CEO. That’s what I wanted. Over time I forgot though, distracted by different career options. In my MBA I took a project management course and discovered an entire career field just for me. I poured everything into project management. I began volunteering at the Project Management Institute, worked on finding a project management job, and in general lived and breathed project management. Life as a project manager was great, but there was still something missing.
I walked into my boss’s office and said “I Quit”. I reached my “search is over” moment. I was ready to say “I Do” to a lifelong career in Project Leadership.
When I hear teams are “doing scrum” or that an organization has “adopted agile” I like to dig deeper and understand the practices that are most impactful in delivering value. Over the years, different teams, leaders, and even coaches have interpreted and implemented dozens of methods to increase agility. This open interpretation aspect of the Agile Manifesto and Scrum Guide are intentional to allow space for each team or organization to adapt their processes and consequently skips over providing traditional structured guardrails.
….Or does it?
Dolphins can have conversations underwater, bats can see with sound, and birds breathe through hollow bones to fly. What if humans could do those things? Would it be worth evolving as a species to talk underwater or fly?
Would it be in our best interest to transform in ways suited for marine or avian life or is it better to simply evolve our existing strengths? If we take Darwin at his word, every species should evolve based on its environment, needs, and challenges, in order to thrive – not the needs, environment, and challenges of other species.
“Change management” and “sales strategies” are phrases not often used in the same sentence. They belong to two different professional worlds and it is doubtful that many change management consultants see sales techniques as important to their work. Interestingly though, when looking deeper into the concepts behind successful sales strategies, there are several important lessons that directly relate to an effective change management strategy. The following are four sales concepts that should be added to any change management consultant’s tool kit to improve their effectiveness with their clients: Continue reading
I worked for a VP who loved to empower us to get things done. The first time she said it to me, I felt my chest swell and I had confidence we could conquer the world, or at least execute the project. That confidence quickly vanished when I realized we weren’t really empowered. In order to advance the project, we were dependent on other parts of the organization – teams that we had no influence over. Sure, we could have conversations with these groups and attempt to gain buy in, but ultimately, it wouldn’t be enough because the challenges we were facing related back to the priorities that had been set for the entire organization. The conversations and decisions needed were way above our heads. That’s when I realize we had false empowerment. Continue reading
The project was struggling – over budget and behind schedule. It was a critical subproject of a larger program and delivery was critical. Senior leadership decided it was time to change the project manager, and I was brought in to lead a turnaround effort. As I was digging into the details of the project, I came to the conclusion that my predecessor wasn’t a bad project manager (thankfully he was just transferred and not let go). The project needed a different leader with a different style and set of skills. If you have projects in your portfolio that are struggling or the team is burnt out, here are some reasons it may be good to change the project manager: Continue reading
The key when we don’t see eye to eye is understanding where the other person is coming from. That’s not always easy. I found myself in a situation where someone else was assuming the worst about me and I couldn’t understand why. I’m a transparent person; so you don’t have to guess my motivations. Nevertheless, I was shaking my head in disbelief as someone accused me of things I would never do. It wasn’t until weeks later that I finally saw where they were coming from. The person had a scarcity mindset; something I have a hard time relating to since I have an abundance mindset.