PM’s Journal

Yes and No

Remember this film 🎥 called „Yes Man” with Jim Carrey? Funny comedy about saying “Yes!” to everything and everyone!

I am a full supporter of saying “ Yes!” to almost all the opportunities that present themselves. Any chance has to be taken. “Yes!” to new experience, learning, new change or exciting challenge, new colleague or friend😀.

But at the same time I insist on importance of saying “No!”. Know when to walk away!

This is a vital skill to know when to use those 2 short but powerful words.

Say “No” to things which are not important for you, walk away from things which consume your energy and don’t give anything in return and especially use the “Stop button”⛔️ when your personal boundaries are crossed.

Same at work and in projects. You have to know when to say “No!” to your customer, to your employer or to your colleague. Actually this “No” might be the best choice you’ll ever make.

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Participant Or Spectator?

Management is an interesting thing. Stuff gets done only when you and your team members are actively involved, make decisions and define or adjust direction.

I don’t know if it has something to do with corporate world or if it is a human factor, but often when I join a conference call, or a meeting, somehow only a few people get actively engaged into actual discussion. Majority just listens, multitasks or silently agrees (?) to whatever is decided by those “active participants”.🤦‍♀️

You watch closely and wonder 💭 in your mind: isn’t it great that those “activists” care to participate, get involved, make an impact? Or do they want to show they have at least something to say? Those in “silent mode”… Are they shy? Do they even listen? Do they care? Do they understand? Do they agree and have nothing to add?🤔

If you are one of those spectators, keep in mind that whatever is discussed, whatever is decided without your active participation, later might have have to be executed by you or impact you directly. So you’ d better make sure that if there is anything during those conference calls or meetings, which impacts you, your way of work, or the team you manage ( literally anything related to you), you must damn make sure you are an active participant and you are not just a spectator.

Ask questions. Clarify. Go into details to understand the full picture. Ask for some time to think things over and follow up. Request additional clarification. Don’t be shy. Be a participant, not merely an observer👆.

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Keep Experimenting

There is no single approach in project management which fits each team, each solution and each customer. So you need to be flexible and try many different options.😉

Your project is your “kingdom”. Keep experimenting and be creative to see what works and what does not. Enhance what works best, get rid of what does not. Check if there is a way to add even more value, if there is a way to do even better. Be a continuous learner and enable yourself and your team to get the best results ever🤗.

2

As Long As You Are Getting Paid?

Often I hear comments like “Ana, are you getting paid for that?” or “Why do you keep doing that for free?” or “If you do a 3 men job, are you getting a triple payment?”

I say – it is not always about the money. Of course, being fairly paid is important and we must not do a great job free of charge. But there is so much more to it. I truly, deeply, unconditionally believe that money will come. I never did anything only because it was paid well. Everything I do is because I love what I do ❤.

What is most important is experience. This is the most valuable thing you can get on the job. So, if someone offers me an opportunity, I ask myself “What experience will it give me?”. If I believe that this knowledge is valuable and I can learn from it – I will do it, even if it means to sit over time, dedicate my private time or do a 3 men job😋.

Imagine this situation. You are working as a Project Manager. Your boss comes and offers you a job of a Program Manager. Your salary will stay the same. What will be your answer?

Before you answer, think about it for a moment. You can make investments from your side, accept the challenge, learn a great bunch of awesome stuff. Even if the pay is the same. Later you can ask for some bonus, but even if you are not granted – now you have this experience, you can offer your services for a better price somewhere else. Because you can, and your value has increased😎.

2

If You Ever Get Angry

Never ever allow yourself to get overwhelmed with feelings and act upon them. This is the worst thing which can ever happen to you. Especially – making a permanent decision on temporary emotion😱.

We both can agree that in management world the most tricky and demanding part is to deal with people. Not everyone is predictable. Not everyone is an open book. And not everyone is straightforward. Some people (your customers, your employees or colleagues) will drive you mad from time to time. And this is OK. Most important is how you are going to react to that. One moment of allowing yourself to dive into emotions, may even cost you your career👆.

Acknowledge the emotions and go shoot some bottles in the garden😀. Now, get back with clean head and delete that angry email, which you were about to send.

2

Keep Your Word

In Business and in personal life it makes a great deal to keep your word. It contributes a lot to our image of reliability, integrity and professionalism.

There are so many situations when people say they will reach back to us, they will send us an email with details or that they will provide us feedback. But they never do. Such type of behavior impacts our perception of them as professionals, especially in the long run.

This is why, we should be very careful with our own commitments and words in general. If we can not stick to our promises, let’s simply not give those promises. But if we have already committed, we must do everything in our power to make it happen!

What about you? Do you keep your promises and follow up on things as you said you would?

4

About Goodreads

Are you still reading books? If yes, then I have something useful to share with you today:)

I hope at least some of you have heard about Goodreads, an application where you can search through the huge database of the books. It welcomes you with an exciting new quote each time you login into it, allows you to browse through different genres of books, add them to your bookshelves, categorize them, rate them, read and write reviews and see what you friends are reading and recommend.

This is amazing, isn’t it? You can plan the whole year with the books you want to read if you like. The app and your “friends” give amazing insights about books which you might want to read too. If not for the app, you might never hear about such books! You can see how I am using it if you search my name in the app, maybe you will be inspired to use it too, or at least you will find some cool book titles and will want to read them.

Hope to see you among my friends in Goodreads soon!

3

Only If You Care

What I am going to write today might sound a little bit like an already known fact, like nothing new or too obvious, but I will still write it. As a reminder to future self. Because thanks to that and only to that I was, I still am and I hope I will keep being able to move forward in my life, try more, do more, keep doing what I like and moving to the next higher step, leaving behind everything what is dragging me down.

You can only succeed if you care. Deeply, truly and unconditionally care about yourself, your career, your future, your development, your relationships and family.

Nothing will happen by itself. Never happened and never will. You have to take charge of what is happening to you and start finally doing something about it. Start building the new ladder. Brick by brick, 1 step back- two forward.

I would never be where I am now if I let people and situations define who I am, tell me what I should and should not do, what jobs I am able to perform and what not, if I ever let others define me and my future and my abilities.

If you care, sky is the limit. Your sky, your limit:)

5

Assumptions

Let us stop making assumptions. Assumptions about people, about their behavior, and situations. They rarely serve us well. What is more, in the majority of cases they turn out to be wrong.

When someone behaves in a certain way which we can not explain, or doesn’t perform well and forgets about certain commitments, we often tend to jump to unfavorable conclusions. And what strikes me, the majority of us don’t even bother to find out why people behave this way. Maybe something is going on in their lives? Maybe they interpreted something in their own way, or perhaps they are shy to clarify or maybe. Oh maybe this is who they are and it is time to part your way with them.

Assumptions take courage to be clarified. It shall work both ways – be brave to share what you feel and why, and be brave to conduct open conversations and find out how to improve things, how to work on the relationships, and how to turn a situation into a win-win solution.

Let’s gather facts, let’s talk to a people 1×1 and then, knowing the whole picture and verifying our assumption, then and only then let’s drive to opinions and conclusions and define the next steps.

1

Execution is Worth Millions

To make Business you need 2 components: idea and execution. Your idea is worth nothing unless it is executed.

Some of us generate brilliant ideas, but they never get anywhere beyond the idea itself. Idea lives a very short life, gets forgotten and sinks into oblivion.

There are people, though, who are not very creative in generating ideas, but they are excellent executors. That is where many ideas get stolen, probably. But execution is where magic happens:)

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