I’ve learned a lot from my personal project management hero, Tom Peters. He has been a thought leader in management and in project leadership. The lessons he has taught us over four decades resonate more today than ever. Peters despised “mediocre success” and fiercely believed that we need to “fail forward”. He presented a view of project managers as masters of an exciting domain. He stressed the need for project managers to think big and be bold – and not be shackled by traditional corporate “group-think”. He said that project leaders thrive on change and are responsible for building their own personal brands. He famously stated: “We are here to live life out loud”. In 2020, as we collectively face economic uncertainty and upheaval, the wisdom of Peters informs us that the road to the future is always paved with change; we must embrace it and face it head-on. One way to do this is to question the status quo, and not let the canvas of our projects and our lives be limited by pre-existing notions merely because this is what we’ve always been taught or what the “prevailing” practice has been. Winning the future together will require us to think critically about our roles as leaders and about the responsibilities we have as project managers.
The COVID Crisis reminds us that the future must be about collaboration, cooperation and a determination to enable our teams and organizations to deliver their best. In this way, we will meet the challenges of creative destruction bravely and with compassion and clarity.