Stop, Collaborate, and Listen

Once leaders make a decision, they most likely want to charge ahead and get it done. And project managers are the perfect lieutenants to lead this charge. However, they will set themselves (and the company) up for failure if they don’t take the time to gather all relevant information.

Most project managers I know (including myself) are driven individuals who take no prisoners when working to complete a project. They’ll make detailed schedules, enlist the help of others, and work diligently to achieve their goal. However, most will fail if they refuse to use their most valuable tools: their ears.

The most important thing a project manager can do is listen. Listen to their stakeholders, listen to their teammates, listen to everyone involved in and impacted by the project. It does no one any good to get to the end of a project and realize that the deliverable doesn’t meet anyone’s needs. Good project managers know to take a step back, breathe, and listen to everyone around them. What if all they hear is silence? Then project managers need to ask questions. How can they deliver success for everyone if their deliverable is undefined? Diligent project managers will push as hard to scope a project as they will to execute.

Does this mean that project managers need to incorporate all feedback into their plans and deliverable? No, but they need to be savvy enough to know what’s most important, who makes that decision, and how to negotiate to achieve the desired results.

Does this mean that only experienced, older project managers are up to the task? On the contrary – some of the best project managers I’ve worked with have been young, eager to learn, and willing to accept advice and feedback. I’ve also worked with excellent experienced project managers who have the patience and drive to get things done with minimal oversight. Project managers not only need to be a good fit for the project, they need to be a good fit for the company as well. Project managers are a valuable resource to implement change that can push a company’s performance from good to great.

Does your company have change that needs to be implemented but lacks internal capacity and/or resources? Would your company benefit from a consultation to unlock its full potential? Contact Beck Insights ( and we'll work together to determine the right solution for your business.