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Are You Able To Sleep Through A Storm?

chris kopp pmo professional development project management strategy Mar 25, 2021
What qualities are necessary for a Project Manager to be successful?

What qualities are necessary for a Project Manager to be successful? Leadership, organization, and being detail-oriented all come to mind. However, for a Project Manager to be truly successful, they need to be able to sleep through a storm.

I heard a story a number of years ago about a Farmer who was looking to hire someone to assist on the farm. He went through interview after interview, but just wasn’t able to find the right person. Eventually he interviewed Pete. The only skill Pete listed on his resume’ was the ability to sleep through a storm.

Intrigued, and with nothing to lose, the Farmer hired Pete. A couple of days passed and the Farmer didn’t see much of Pete. The Farmer was sure he had made the wrong decision in hiring him and was planning on sending Pete on his way the next day.

That night a terrible storm arose. The wind was howling, the rain was torrential, and the lightning illuminated the sky for miles around. To make matters worse, Pete was nowhere to be found.

Why? Because he was sleeping through the storm. Pete had spent the previous days making sure everything was taken care of so when a storm did come, he didn’t have to worry. The animals were in the barn, the fences were mended, the chickens were in their coops, and the barn doors were secure.

That’s the skill a Project Manager needs. The ability to sleep through a storm. We all know that tough times come for any project. Have we done everything we can to prepare for those stormy times? Some things this would include are:

  • Risk Mitigation Plans
  • Communication Plans
  • Contingency Plans
  • Executive Briefings and Notifications
  • Keeping a Clear Head to make on the Spot Decisions

The nature of Project Management becomes qualitative during troublesome times. If you can answer Yes to the question whether you can sleep through a storm, then you’ll be able to make it to another sunny day!