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You as the executive are key to your team’s project success. Not the technology you choose. Or the exact skills of the team. But you. I’ve worked with a lot of different executives. Here’s what successful project leaders do:

  1. Know why the pain is worth it.
    Critical Projects get done.
    Nice Projects get pushed off.
    If you have a project that’s going to take real work, you have to do it. Or it most likely won’t get done.
  2. Pick a priority and stick with it.
    You keep the lights on. And then you want to improve. But you can’t improve everything at the same time. Teams that switch focus among different projects are teams that never deliver.
  3. Know that better this month is more useful than perfect never.
    Project scopes always expand. There’s always one more thing that would make whatever we’re building better. But delivering everything that everyone wants is the road to perdition. You need to say no. To push to get something working sooner. Because better today is worth a lot more than perfect tomorrow.
  4. Demand the details
    It’s not your job to manage every detail. but you need to make sure you have someone doing that for you. If you sit in on your teams status meetings, you can see whether this is happening. Teams without the details down are teams that don’t get anything done.
  5. Balance progress and people’s security
    Change makes people insecure. You need to reassure your team that you’re there to support them. While demanding that things move forward.

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