The difference between doing what you want and doing what you know you should do…

This topic is one I have dealt with my entire life.

Bamboo forest

In a past life I managed projects. I was good at it and I enjoyed large parts of it. I liked the investigative part, where I talked with people about what they wanted the project to accomplish. I enjoyed the design part, where I helped the technical squads understand the goals in order to fulfill them as best they were able. And I enjoyed the day to day, hands on, managing of installations because I got to see something I’d spent so much time with come to life.

I did not enjoy some of the extraordinarily complex tools that some people used. One of them was a very powerful tool called “something something” Project…I’ll leave you to guess the “something something”. Many much less successful project managers were experts with this tool. They could track, resource and time control every minuscule task to the hour, if they desired. The difference between us was that my projects came in on time and in budget, with a happy project team to the end, while their projects were wrought with unhappy team members that felt micro-managed and not listened to.

The truth is, there is a margin of both things that obviously need to be accomplished. However, ultimately I learned that, unless people really think about it or are pushed into it, they will do what they like to do (fiddle with a software program) way before they do what needs to be done (go out and work with people to get the job done).

Bamboo forest with people.jpg

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