Is there an end to engagement?
One of the gifts that a project manager brings to an organisation is a mindset of finiteness: that is, her work – the project – will end. There is a discipline to this thinking; she plans and works towards an end state, rather than in some kind of endless repeating cycle of the next job to do.
However, this gift can also become a curse when it comes to relationships. The project manager can think of relationships with her stakeholders as for a season, for the duration of the project, and perhaps shortly afterwards.
My experience is otherwise, particularly where the project manager is employed within a client organisation, moving from one project to the next. Often they reunite with the same people, sometimes when these same people are in new roles, with new levels of power and influence. We need to continually be cultivating important relationships.
Are you ABLE?
Are you continuing to invest in relationships from project to project? Are you building on these relationships with trust and honour, or do you abandon people when they are no longer of use to your current project? At the end of your project, or shortly thereafter, do you drop them like a brick? To paraphrase Brutus, in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar:
The good that men do dies shortly after their project ends;
their neglect comes to haunt them later.
By evil, we can merely mean neglect of a relationship, of the interests of the other person when our transaction is done.
Or, as Paul, the Apostle once wrote:
Whatever one sows, that will he also reap.
In a research study we conducted a few years ago, we observed that all high-performing project managers are high-performing influencers; they are always engaging, always depositing into the relational bank account of key relationships. They were fully ABLE.
For more about the research findings, in particular, the seven key behaviours that are relevant to us all, you can download a free eBook here.