Step into the Bright Lights

"They say the neon lights are bright on Broadway. They say there´s always magic in the air." — Song "On Broadway"

How will team members react when the project is so important that the bright lights are shining on them?

There are projects that are so important to an organization, and even beyond the organization, that most people know about it. They know how vital it is and many are counting on the project to be catalyst for the organization to grow to excellence. These projects are often complex and expensive.

With these projects team members are thrust not just into great pressure, but into the bright lights where success or failure will be very public.

The exceptional team member cherishes these opportunities. It amplifies the need for each of the characteristics of the spokes around the wheel. The exceptional team member will be a catalyst for the whole team to bring out the best performance when it is absolutely necessary.

It is important to know that this exceptional behavior is especially required in the early stages of a project. This is NOT like a basketball game hinging on a great player making the last shot with no time on the clock. If the project is going to be that successful it must start with a strong foundation, it must start with a strong team.

Here are four examples of an exceptional team member stepping strongly into the bright lights.

  • Embrace the goals. Work hard to understand the goals, the value behind the goals and why they are important to the business. Once they understand the emphasis and the priorities, even if cloudy, they are in motion to figure out how to bring about success.
  • Turn over every rock. Push the rest of the team to consider design approach after design approach, pushing them to "turn over every rock" looking for ways to improve the projects value and speed. They will push to determine a smart approach that includes a straight line to the best value augmenting speed by finding the leverage points for maximum acceleration.
  • Take managed risks. If a project is that important, being risk adverse is dangerous to the big goals. Ignoring risks is even more dangerous. Think hard about the risks and ensure there are mitigations to lower the likelihood and impact of a risk coming true. Have a contingency plan if it does come true.
  • Find joy in the thrill of the challenge. Leadership of projects comes from many places. When a team has an exceptional team member with mad good skills and a great attitude, they take a team to new heights. The team member finds the challenge a joyful thrill and brings the other team members with them.

When the opportunity of the bright light project comes, step into it.

Yours in the calm pursuit of excellence,
ALAN WILLETT