Many years ago, before I met my wonderful wife, I was dumped by a great girl I thought for sure I’d marry one day.
I had been dumped before, but this time had been different. I asked myself “why did this great girl leave me?” And after the frustration and sadness that follow a heart being broken, I came to a realization:
I was left because I was not ready to be a husband. There was a perfect girl for me out there somewhere, and I was not up to the job of being the guy she deserved.
To get Mrs. Right, I had to be Mr. Right. I had to be what I was looking for.
That day I learned a valuable lesson:
This lessons applies to project management beautifully.
Picture a perfect team. They are competent, hard-working, have great values, communicate well, get the job done on time, within scope and budget. Now picture this team picturing their perfect leader. Are you that leader? I ask you to ponder this because that leader is what that perfect team you’d love to work with needs.
Here are some ideas to get you on a path to become the best leader you can be.
To become the leader
Know thyself and find your strengths
As you invest time and effort into becoming a better leader, my first advice is that you focus on what you are already good at. We are all born with an unfair advantage over the general population in some area of expertise. In my case, I am naturally good at making conversation and asking questions, so an interview-based audio podcast was a natural path for me to take.
- What is it that you can do better than most people?
- What are your strengths?
- How can you focus so you are even better at them?
Dream and make a plan
You know that dreaded job interview question “where do you see yourself in 5 years?” I’m asking you to ask yourself that question.
Where would you like to work in say, 5 years?
What kind of projects would you like to be involved in?
Treat this journey from where you are to where you want to be as a project. Create deliverables, come up with a plan, set up a milestone chart.
- Do you need to pursue a certification to get there? Make sure it’s part of the plan.
- Do you need contacts at the company of your dreams? Start networking now.
- Dream, create a plan, and start being intentional about your career path to become a great leader.
One of the best secrets I have learned when it comes to goals and bettering myself is this:
Sometimes knowing that there are people out there who knows of your plan is the best motivation to keep it. Find a group of like-minded individuals and share your plan with them. Share with them ideas of what types of projects you’d like to lead in the future, and tell them you are working towards that goal.
Start moving forward
Once you have found your strengths and what you should focus on, created a basic plan, and have told people about it, I recommend you start moving forward.
Becoming a better leader is a lifelong journey. However, the most important element is to learn by doing it. Lead. Wherever you are, find opportunities to lead. The world is plagued by conformity and cookie-cutter attitudes and behaviours. The world is thirsty for leaders, and you don’t need to ask permission to start leading.
Find leadership opportunities at work, at your church, local community, your PMI chapter, etc. But always remember that you have a plan and you are going somewhere.
After my heart-breaking experience, I started taking steps towards growing up and becoming a better man. And I’m happy to say that not much later I found the girl that just a year later would become my wife. I’m now happily married and a father of 3 beautiful kids.
Am I the leader my family deserve? Am I the leader my projects need? Maybe, maybe not. But I am certainly aware of the fact that it is my responsibility to get better, and that I need to work on it every day.
What will you do today to become a better leader?
Discover PM for the Masses
Cesar Abeid has a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering., and a certified Project Management Professional. He hosts the podcast PM for the Masses, an interesting podcast covering various topics related to project management. The podcast is usually published weekly and already has a list of unique and very interesting guests. There is also a PM for the Masses google+ community. You are invited to subscribe to the Podcast and join the Google+ Community.