What Do Project Managers and Tiger Woods Have In Common?

Project Management and GolfI was in an airport last night waiting to board a flight back to SFO. I couldn’t avoid seeing or hearing the TV’s blaring out commentary on Tiger Woods. Larry King droned on…What he said, comparisons to apologies from other political leaders, the standard (or lack therefore) for sports figures. Everyone had an opinion.

What is similar about this situation to project management?  Our job is very public. Our Performance is also very public.

Dr. Kerzner, a leading voice in project management states that 90% of our job is communication. That’s a lot of talking. So our success is understanding how to successfully manage our communication with our stakeholders.
– Project Manager performance is very visible
– Project Managers have a personal brand
– People constantly evaluate whether you are consistent with your brand

First, Project Manager performance is very visible. You are the public face of the project. You are the prime voice for expressing the project’s purpose and performance. What are some tips in peforming well in this public role?
– Don’t expect private behavior to stay private.
– Share sentiments with stakeholders as if you expect it to be repeated.

Second, Project Managers have a personal brand. A brand stands for an expectation of results or services offered. Do we like Tiger have a high-end brand? To get to his rankings, you need to consistently deliver the goods and delight the audience. What can a PM do?
– Be a problem solver when things go wrong, not a blamer.
– Meet with the police,  I mean boss, when things get tough.

Third, People constantly evaluate whether you are consistent with your brand. Stakeholders sense whether you are
– Be authentic. If you say that you want to help the user – don’t be sneaky about taking short cuts that help you meet deadlines but don’t deliver promised features.
– Be consistent with your message about issues.
– Don’t surprise your stakeholders when risks materialize. They don’t like it.

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1 thought on “What Do Project Managers and Tiger Woods Have In Common?”

  1. My father summed it up nicely when he said “you’re only as good as your last project” …. whewwww, he wasen’t kidding!

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