The Silent Achiever

Here is a good article about the 7 Must Have Project Management skills. I really liked the way that it is laid out and I believe that these skills are Must Haves for a successful Project Manager. However, the skill No. 6 “Recognize and solve problems quickly” rang a bell. I do agree that a Project Manager should be able to see and resolve a problem quickly. However, what I think is a better skill to have is the ability to predict a particular problem or risk before it happens, work on it pro-actively and nip the problem in the bud.

The difference here is between a Hero and a Silent Achiever. Imagine two adjacent fields with dry grass and bushes on a hot summer day. On one, there is a fire caused by the extreme heat while on the other field, there isn’t. A Hero might be seen as one who goes in a helicopter, stoops low and douses the bush fire that is raging. The Silent Achiever is one who realized that the atmosphere is dry and hot, predicted the bush fire and cut the grass or sprinkled enough water on the field to ensure that the bush fire does not occur. So, for the casual observer, it seems to be Business as usual and the effort put in by the Silent Achiever is not usually noticed.

Many times, in spite of the best effort put in by the Silent Achiever to ensure that a problem does not flare up, it could still blow out of proportion and a Hero would have to rise to the occasion to solve it on time.

This goes to say that each person has his/her place and the job of one person is not superior to the other. It takes a lot of hard work to be a Hero and a lot more to be a Silent Achiever.

Most often, the Hero gets recognized as his/her effort is highly visible. To promote the right culture within an organization, do keep your eyes open and make sure to applaud the Silent Achiever as well.

(Cross posted at http://www.onedot.com.au/blogs )

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