Friday, July 01, 2016

Try Softer

Trying too hard to achieve something will usually end in disaster.  I've always had an interest in why projects fail and one of the common reasons is project managers who drive themselves and their project teams into the ground by trying to achieve the impossible.   

I once received some excellent advice from a ski coach.  He said that I should try softer rather than trying harder.  “Imagine that the handles of the ski poles are little canaries in your hands”.  Several dead canaries later I finally stopped trying so hard and it worked!  Of course I immediately got very excited at my success, crossed my skis and had a spectacular crash!  The way is not always without a sense of humor.  

Project managers who drive themselves and their team seem to think that they will be admired for their efforts, in fact they are often laughed at.  People who tell you how good they are and how hard they work are likely to be insecure.  People who try and impress you with the demands and complexities of their job are probably confused by it themselves.  

The Way  
Now consider the opposites.  People who don’t try too hard will usually achieve what they are working for because they are working within the limit of their competence.  People who admit that they are always learning from what they do are the ones with the real knowledge.  People who make things seem simple and easy to understand are the ones who really know what they are talking about.  

The Tao  
Lao Tzu tells us:  

The sage acts without motive,  
Teaches with no words of doctrine.  
The ten thousand things arise and fall,  
But he has no claim of ownership,  
Meritorious work done, then forgotten.  
Therefore it lasts forever.  


Learn Planning said...

I appreciate the author here to assemble the very useful and interesting skills categories especially the soft skills related to effective management.
Expecting more posts like this one.Thanks.

P M Blogger said...

Thanks, I've just posted two more on it (see most recent posts).