Project Manager Olympian Wins Gold Medal Due to People Skills
As we approach closer to the 2012 Summer Olympics hosted in London, I think about all the attributes these amazing athletes have developed to be the best in their category of sport.Â The level of determination, work ethic and raw talent, with a bit of luck and timing will mean the difference between a Gold Medallist Olympian and those that are knocked out of the top spots.Â Although not all Olympians are medal winners, all of them have a common attribute that has led them there in the first place.Â They all have that extra “something” that cannot be taught and that makes them great in their respective sports.
In the spirit of the Olympic Games, recently Sir John Armitt CBE FREng, chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), was awarded the Royal Academy of Engineering Major Projects Award this week.Â Like the fellow Olympians he serves, Mr. Armitt has been recognized for being at the top of his game for not only possessing the incredible ability to methodically manage the massive infrastructure projects for the Olympics, but for his extra “something” in effectively navigating and managing the complex politics and stakeholders that just cannot be taught in textbooks.
For seasoned project managers, project management methodology and best practices eventually come natural. Where the real difference lies between a good project manager and a great project manager is in the soft factors each leader possesses in confronting and effectively addressing the unpredictable challenges posed by the political dynamics and stakeholders that can quickly change the course of events derailing, and in some cases, stopping a project’s progress in its tracks.Â The reality is stakeholder management is more of an art than a science and the fact is there are very few “Michelangelo’s” that have inhabited this world.