How do you know when you’ve made it? When you’re given responsibility and don’t squander it.
In December last year I bought ProjectManager.com.au from my publisher. As the founding editor, the transaction was a natural one and, apart from a few tweaks here and there that you will see on the website in the coming weeks, not much will change in terms of our mission to assist project managers with sharing issues and solutions and generally being a great resource for our readers.
By the beginning of this year, however, I came to realise how much responsibility now lay on my shoulders to not only maintain the standards we’ve established but to also make improvements and invest in initiatives previously restricted by a lack of funding. It was all very well to have vision, but to see it through requires planning and action. To be honest I approach this position with both trepidation and honour.
I’ve interviewed dozens of project managers since I started specialising in writing about project management and one of the most interesting commonalities between their varied career paths is the transition from working in a project as a team member to working on a project as its manager. All realised they had ‘made it’ when the pointy end of decision-making came down to them and the fate of the project fell on their shoulders.
This sort of responsibility is daunting but an inevitable part of a project’s success or failure. Yes, the talent in the project team makes a difference. Yes, the whims of the project sponsor make a difference. And yes, whether the project is well-resourced makes a difference. But in the end when all of your stakeholders trust you to deliver, it can be one of the most rewarding kinds of accountability there is. When did you realise you’d ‘made it’?