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StrategyFeb 07, 2012

Why I run from my project problems … Literally

Manish Limaye

Let’s face it.  Managing large scale implementations can be hard work.  As a program manager you’re not only expected to handle the day to day management responsibilities of the project but also required to lead the team into battle.  Throughout the endeavor your team, your sponsors and your stakeholders are looking to you for all the answers.  But what if you don’t have the answers?  Instead, what if the questions keep piling up?  It happens to all of us.  Do you ever feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders?  Wish you could lighten the load?

When I start to feel like the proverbial ‘Atlas’ (the Titan punished by Zeus and made to bear the weight of the heavens) I reach for my Mizunos.  If you’ve seen Justin’s video or had an opportunity to read some of Andrew’s blogs you may begin to notice a theme of sorts at Credera.  Running.  Just the other day an Architect on my project came back from lunch.  He looked flush and I asked him if he was okay.  His response, “Feeling great! Had a problem I couldn’t solve so I went for a run, about ½ way through I figured out the solution to my problem and another one that I hadn’t thought of yet.”  In the end project leadership is as much about perspective as it is about the typical blocking and tackling that take place during an engagement.

Running provides me with an amazing level of clarity.  Imagine if you will the weight of the world that we all carry around on a daily basis.  I like to think of it as a box.  For most of us the box is full, at times overflowing and difficult to manage.  The box is filled with issues, risks, problems, responsibilities, etc. from our personal and professional life.  If you were to place the box on the ground you might see items on top of one another making it difficult to surmise their relative importance.  In some cases important items may be completely buried and forgotten (to our detriment).  Now suppose you could dump out the box.  See everything for what it really is, and not what you perceive it to be.  Upon further inspection you begin to determine what truly is important.  You start to ease constraints and question assumptions.  In some cases you clean house discarding false truths.  Problems begin to unravel as your mind is flooded with creative ways to address the situation at hand.  When you’re done you repack the box so the important items are on top.  This ‘power of perspective’ is what takes place for me during a long run.  I finish refreshed and focused ready to meet the challenges in front of me.  You say you don’t run.  No problem.  Jump on a bike, hit the batting cages, swing a tennis racket or go to the gym.  In the end it’s not about running but finding the outlets that allow us to push through the barriers that prevent us from moving forward.

Are you looking for a fresh perspective to tackle your biggest challenges?  Let us come along side you to ease the burden and take the weight of the world off your shoulders all in the spirit of adding clarity to complexity.

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