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Are you a Jedi or a Sith Lord Project Manager?

Vader reading up on Project ManagementAre you a Jedi or Sith Project Manager?

Yes, I know… love it or hate it, Star Wars has made it into the world of Project Management…. and this blog is not about who has a big lightsaber?

Confession Time – I’m a massive Star Wars fan (Love the films but the fan stuff stops at getting dressed up for conferences!), and a couple of years ago I came across the Jedi code, which goes:

There is no emotion; there is peace.

There is no ignorance; there is knowledge.

There is no passion; there is serenity.

There is no chaos; there is harmony.

There is no death; there is the Force.

 This got me into thinking… do the best Project Managers (PM’s) apply similar values like in the Jedi code?

Should a Project Manager show emotion? Some of the best PM’s approach challenging and conflicting situations without emotion and tend to draw on the facts and options to resolve the situations.

No Ignorance; there is knowledge – PM’s are always better equipped when they know the truth and the facts about the challenges their projects encounter… sometimes paying attention to detail has to be a strength that the PM can draw on.

No Passion; there is serenity – showing passion can be inspiring, however Projects can be a very challenging environment where conflict can happen on many levels and on a regular basis. Being perceived as calm, peaceful and untroubled will help everyone else around you to keep their cool and address the issues in a professional manner.

No Chaos; there is harmony – Projects can be seen as organized chaos (oxymoron alert!), yet with a great emphasis on collaborative planning and teamwork, the harmony will come through and help everyone involved in the project will start to enjoy being involved – and to coin a famous phrase ‘a happy worker is a more productive worker’.

Finally – No Death; there is the Force – ok, a bit extreme, I’ve not seen anyone die on a project! (Not physically, maybe mentally), I guess we could take this one along the lines of after the Project has finished, what is the legacy? Should the better PM’s make sure that whatever the project delivers is truly embedded and being used…..avoiding launch and leave culture?

Putting the Star Wars theme to one side, some of the best project managers I’ve worked with have displayed some of these personality traits, and operating in a world of uncertainty whilst working alongside some strong personalities, following some of these values helps the better PM’s be perceived as great leaders, maintaining control, and keeping them away from the dark side and avoiding being seen as a Sith Lord.

May the Force be with you…. always

(May the 4th – international Star Wars day)


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