Project Practitioners > Where Is The Love?

Where Is The Love?

By Chris Cook, PMP

READ TIME: 5 minutes

 

One of my all-time favorite movies is Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. This film is chock full of timeless one-liners. In one scene, the weatherman, Brick Tamland, comes into Ron’s office. At one point, Brick starts to love everything in the room. He loves the lamp, the carpet, the windows, and so on.

 

He was a special kind of person who loved everything. He was happy to be part of the team and found no issues with anything. Love was everywhere.

 

This characteristic is rare for an observant individual. There is always something that could be tweaked or modified to be made better. Loving everything displays a lack of awareness. You can appreciate everything and be happy with your role, but something should irk you.

 

Whether it is the commute, the temperature of the office, the person who takes too long of a lunch, or the meetings that never seem to end, something should stand out as needing change. The love of the game starts to dissipate. We need to rekindle those feelings again.

 

Here is how to rekindle the love for your profession/project:

 

 

  1. Speak Up

No one can read minds. If you want something, ask for it. The worse they can say is no.

 

At my current position, I mentioned remote work and a salary number during the interview. Both were denied at the time. Fast forward six months and both wants are met. Just planting the seed early on can eventually sprout into something you seek.

 

If I had kept that want to myself, I might still be dreading the commute into work and continuing to search for a better position.

 

Asking for help is more difficult than it sounds. People would much rather fret about an issue internally than reach out to someone who is bored an office door away. Throw some ideas out there. Some will stick, and you will be much happier for it regaining this new lease on work life.

 

  1. Appreciate Those Around You

After years of working with the same people, you can get used to their abilities and sometimes abuse those abilities. No matter who you are, knowing you are appreciated and the hard work you do is recognized goes a long way.

 

How many fires do project managers put out on the daily? You would probably fill a large moving van with the number of issues you solve. People come to expect that. They come to you in a tight bind, hand their problem off to you, and expect you to solve it.

 

You solve the problem. The person(s) who needed your help respond to the email with another problem. No thank you. No words of encouragement. Just an expectation that you will always bail them out.

 

Show appreciation for those that go the extra mile or always seem to bail you out. That person you rely on can leave as easily as they were hired. One way to instill that devotion is to show them appreciation. A simple ‘thank you’ face-to-face can go a long way. Give them an afternoon off on a whim. Take them out to lunch just because. There are many simple ways of fostering that positive working relationship.

 

  1. Be Honest

Too many times people are focusing on covering their ass rather than the truth. The coverup is always worse than the crime. Be forthright and objective.

 

News flash: people make mistakes. Do not blame the subcontractor or the vendor for not ordering materials when you could have easily done it yourself. Do not blame your assistant for messing up the schedule when you should be approving it.

 

It becomes very easy to start passing the buck and creating enemies. No one wants to work for someone where a follow-up email to a phone conversation is necessary every single time because a game of he said/she said will break out at any moment.

 

Being honest with your team shows vulnerability and brings forth humanity to your leadership. People can relate to mistakes and knockdowns. It is how you answer those knockdowns that makes you a strong leader.

 

  1. Relish the Silence

People are often focused on everything they have to do without allowing themselves to breathe and take a break. What’s next? Who cares? Take this time to sit in silence. Reflect on your thoughts. Last week, I wrote about not reacting so much. This silence will help with that.

 

Take a moment to think about where this project or team is headed. Is it what you had envisioned? If not, what can you do differently? Take a minute or two to look in the mirror. You may be the cause. Why are you doing what you do? Is it about the money or the love of the game? Are you chasing the dragon? When one want gets met, there are infinite more waiting to be acknowledged.

 

It is easy to move from one problem to the next and not think about anything else. There is always another email to send, a phone call to make, a work order to create, or a sale to finalize. When you move that focus inward, those are the answers you are after. Maybe the time has come for a breakup, and you need to move careers or professions. The silence allows you to analyze without distraction.

 

 

Takeaways

Valentines’ Day is right around the corner and what better subject to talk about than love. Love of the game in this case. Speaking up allows your wants and needs to be met. Maybe moving to another project would suffice or adding to your team would make a difference. The only way someone will know for sure is if you speak up.

 

Show appreciation for those who you can rely on. Every time you come to them with an issue, you know it will be taken care of. To expect that causes people to question whether you notice or not. You may notice, but if you do not say anything, the others do not know. ‘I appreciate the hard work you put in’ goes a long way.

 

Being honest and objective lets your team know there are no favorites. There is a vulnerability in being honest and admitting a mistake. Perfection is a fallacy. If you represent perfection, people will try to poke holes at all times. Rather than supporting your vision, they want it to fall because that will be a blemish on your record.

 

Lastly, relish the silence. Do not avoid your thoughts. Deep dive them. Your true wants and needs are within those silent times when you can think without distraction.

 

Remember, we want to rekindle that love of the game. If your job asked you to be its Valentine, would you accept?

 

https://www.crcpress.com/The-Entrepreneurial-Project-Manager/Cook/p/book/9781498782357



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