Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Breakthough Moment

I get asked often what it is that I do and why do I do it.  Being a project manager for a living is very tough to explain.  The easiest way to state it is that when companies want to improve, change, or try something new, they look to project manager's to make it happen.  That is the easiest part.  The harder part is trying to explain why I do what I do.  It means regular travel, long hours, and often work that goes unnoticed or unappreciated.  Maybe I just like to torture myself!

In reality, I love the challenge.  I love being a part of the creative process and watching great minds come together to accomplish something that has never been done before.  Most of all, I love the breakthrough moment.  It is a rare moment that happens only once or maybe twice on a project.  It is the moment that means everything is going wrong, stress is high, and failure is imminent.  Then, the team comes together and finds a solution, or a "breakthrough" and the project gains momentum.  Being a part of that moment is like being the star on the playing field making it happen for their team.  It is like solving the great mystery or finding something sentimental to you that you thought you lost forever.  It is an incredible feeling.

I remember having those feelings even when things did not go the way they were supposed to.  I remember working on a project that was absolutely doomed from the start.  However, the team and I were being great optimists and putting a tremendous amount of effort in to the project.  While the work was being completed, it was hard, depressing, and at times demoralizing.  Yet there were two distinct breakthrough moments on the project.  When they occurred, the entire team grew closer.  From time to time, I will hear from some of those team members and there is a bond between us that is very difficult to explain.  The only thing to say is that we went to the ends of the earth and back.....together.

Did you have a breakthrough moment?  If so, share!

Change is in you!


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