“If” for Project Managers

An adaptation of Kipling’s “If” with focus on the challenges faced by Project Managers. I love Kipling’s original and have it framed on my home office wall. Putting my interpretation on Kipling’s work is fun and helps me share some real world insight at the same time.

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“If” for Project Managers by Kevin Pannell, PMP

If you can remain calm when risks become issues
and your sponsor is looking to you to resolve them,
If you can believe in yourself when others blame you,
But have contingencies in place to address that blame;
If you can stay dynamic when
the timeline slips,
Or escalate when needed, but don’t burn the bridges,
Or deflect frustration, but not get frustrated yourself,

Do take some credit, but share the wins across the team:
If you can strategize but not make one strategy your master;
If you can manage tasks and not only be task driven;
If you can prepare for project failure or cancellation
And accept both of these hardships and move on;
If you can abide by the report you’ve just given
Warped into a different message than what was said,
Or accept many weeks’ worth of planning be scuttled,

And take ownership and leadership to re-plan again:
If you can put all your resources towards a big bang go live
And stake your reputation on one implementation at a time,
And fail, but learn and continue to try
And do not complain to your team but rather lift them up;
If you can push through the early mornings and late nights
Long after the coffee has no effect,
And stay dedicated to your people when you are emotionally exhausted
Except the Drive that says to them: “We can!”

If you can present to boardrooms full of people,
Or walk with the C-suite but also the boots on the ground,
If neither vendors nor coworkers can hurt you,
If you can earn respect and help your team, but not become a crutch;
If you can optimize your meetings when together as a team,
If you can streamline resources to complete their work,
Yours is leadership and all that comes with it,
And which is more you’ll be a Project Manager, my friend!

Stay safe, wash your hands and Godspeed,

Kevin

Kevin Pannell, PMP, Creator & Host, ‘People, Process, Progress’ podcast
– Build the foundation at https://peopleprocessprogress.com/build-the-foundation
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