Leading in Trouble Times

As a project manager in numerous projects, I had to face a lot “odd” situations! There were times I had to “improvise” a lot, in order to find suitable solutions and win-win strategies, even though I was not the direct responsibility for the solutions of the problems occurred in the projects!

Leading in Trouble Times

I had to direct the consortium to one solution versus the other, to find more ways to do a thing, to organize supportive actions to enhance an activity, and many other things to help the accomplishment of the tasks at hand!

I was not leading, per se, but most of the times, I was proactive towards the goals of the project I was working in!

Why had the Projects Succeed or Failed?

Most projects are a study in operational ambiguity and require a great deal of “improvisations” just to follow the required procedures in a normal and trouble free way!

The truth is that most projects are not implemented in the way they are scheduled and need much out-of-the-box thinking to be completed on time and on the budget!

The reasons are many:

  • Wrongly estimated project’s goals and objective
  • Misinterpretation of the project’s scope
  • Wrong time or budget estimation
  • False expectancy
  • Wrong assumptions
  • Poorly selected associates
  • Problems in the assembly line
  • False estimation of technology capabilities
  • Wrong operations
  • Wrong tools and infrastructure
  • Not enough dedicated resources
  • Not qualified personnel in working groups
  • Uneven contribution or work allocation
  • Quality problems
  • Unexpected events

to mention only a few! Very rarely a project runs as smooth as it is designed and very few times you expected to manage in a trouble-free environment.

Leadership in a project or elsewhere is not an operation or a status! It is a condition under which you assume direct responsibility for the output.

Especially so, in troubled times where you need to assume the initiative for making what’s possible to change the current situation toward a more favorable outcome for everyone involved.

In trouble times is imperative to be more accountable to make things better!

A Test in Leadership

Leading along to communication is an exercise in a discipline which directed mostly to your outside environment aiming at its transformation!

As a personal condition, it is starting at any given moment when you start to realize a particular problem concerning many people, which needs to be fixed!

The personal vision towards its solution, the process towards the solution, the means to be used and the ways to be employed are the trademarks of the leadership!

A Personal Bet

It is a personal bet to change or “repair” any given “wrong” situation with sole resources yourself, your personal ideas, your vision and your dreams! As a condition, it has some particular, and sometimes, unique characteristics:

  • A widespread problem which concerns a small or large number of people,
  • An original and most of the times authentic mindset trained to provide a unified vision, an out-of-the-box approach and integrated solutions in small, medium or large scale,
  • An action-based approach and a tendency for serving other people
  • A person can organize and leverage effectively people, resources, activities, and tasks toward the desired outcome,
  • A personal inclination or a strong motivation to better the environment and the society around you,
  • A realization that there is another solution to the given “problematic” situation,
  • A desire to take a look at the problem from various different angles and research thoroughly its implications and the possible ways for its solution,
  • A personal interest for its transformation towards a more favorable situation,
  • A unique proposition aiming to an alternative future situation,
  • An expanded communication with many involved parties,
  • Networking and communication with various parties can provide parts of the intended solution, and last but not least,
  • Various initiatives aiming to fuel the required transformation!

The coordination and employment of all these characteristics are able to ignite the many facets of leadership developing chained reactions towards the transformation of a situation.

What is it for Me!

Why such situation should concern you, though! There are many things need to change in today’s society and economy, so why you should bother with one more?

The problem is, that if you are affected by a given situation, it is your problem and you are responsible for its solution. If a situation has negative effects for you, you need to find ways to change it!

Second, you should know that there are not “magical solutions“, and that, most of the times, no good solution comes from people outside the problem. You are experiencing the problem and you are responsible for its solution. It is essential to take the initiative to employ some ways to solve the given problem. Most so, if the problem concerns much larger target groups, affected by the consequence of the situation.

Third, if you have lived within the conditions developed by the problematic situation god chance are that you have already had thought one or more ways for a remedy of the problem.

Fourth, may be the only one you can take the responsibility for its solution.

Leadership is not a matter of position or status. It is a matter of initiative.

And this initiative belongs to you!

Question: Have you ever being in the position to lead in troubled times? How did you manage it? What personal traits and business resources did you use? If you have a similar experience, please, share your comments and views, here!

    Takis Athanassiou is an IT Consultant, Blogger, Trainer & Writer, active in the areas of leadership, business consulting, e-Learning and social media. He aims at the development of people, business and assets! You can check out his blog, add him in Google+ and follow him on Twitter.

    Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.