If you are reading this it means that you're struggling to mature as a project manager. You watch others get their certifications. You see more junior project managers getting the promotions. Your peers are getting the salary increases. Why not you?
Just because you have practiced project management for a long time does not mean that you are getting better. Perhaps you have this gnawing feeling deep down inside that you aren't putting in the effort to mature as a project manager.
And it's frustrating because you are capable of more...way more!
We must not allow our excuses to hold us hostage. Examine them closely.
Furthermore, let's up our game, serve others, and reach our greatest potential.
"He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else." —Benjamin Franklin
Mature as a Project Manager: Overcoming our Excuses
1. I am too busy. Study 30 minutes a day. On Sunday afternoons, plan your week. Schedule 30 minutes to 1 hour each day to improve your project management skills.
2. I can't afford it. Let your boss know that you want to improve your skills and knowledge. See if he or she has suggestions for courses or books. If your company does not provide training, you must find a way to make this happen. For instance, start saving and look for economical and effective training courses.
3. My projects will suffer. Find time in the day when you can focus on improving your skills that will minimize the adverse impacts to your projects. Change your habits. For example, turn off the TV and get to bed earlier. Develop a productive morning routine.
4. I have a spouse and kids. My kids are now adult children, but I remember taking project management courses when my children were growing up. I made sure to schedule time for the ones I loved most too.
"Simply doing an activity is no guarantee that you’ll do it well, much less get better at it. In a significant number of cases, people get worse at their jobs over time." —Geoff Colvin
5. I'm too tired. Motion affects emotion. Run. Walk. Exercise. When we exercise, we have more energy to perform at our highest levels. Our study time is more efficient. And be sure to get plenty of sleep too.
6. I'm not motivated. You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Put yourself in the presence of motivated project managers. Engage with other project managers at PMI Chapter meetings and symposiums.
7. I hate studying. Form a study group. Read and discuss a book with fellow project managers. Find ways to be more social in your studies. You will find it more interesting and engaging. Teach others what you learn.
8. It's too hard. Start easy. If you need to, start studying 5 to 10 minutes per day. Starting small and progressing gradually beats this excuse every time. In terms of changing our habits, starting small and increasing our time can be the trick. Find study materials and classes that are fitting to your current level of experience and knowledge.
9. I have my PMP. That's great! I do too. But it does not guarantee that we will be great project managers. Yes, get the certifications. At the same time, seek to mature and grow as a project manager.
Think about it. Doctor A has practiced medicine for 20 years and has not keep up with the latest medical practices. Doctor B has 10 years experience and continually seeks to learn and adopt the latest practices.
Which would you prefer to see if you had a serious illness? Give me the Doctor B every day.
Are you like Doctor A or B? Project managers become increasingly competent and valuable through both experience and education.
Review this list of excuses and pick two or three things that you plan ways to mature as a project manager in the next month. Make it tangible and make it fun. Your best days are ahead!