Have you had the pleasure of participating in a “fire drill” project? You know the kind, the ones that are rushed into being with such a flourish as to miss many (heck, most) of the components that make a successful project. I only mention this because I’m in the middle of such a project (again), and continue to marvel at how often it happens to any size company.
That is not to say that fire drill projects are always a mess, or always a failure, or don’t meet there objectives within budget or timeframe. Often, their outcomes are successful, mostly due to the determination and diligence of the core project team – almost always because they take ownership of their tasks, and even the project itself.
It’s this concept of ownership that interests me quite often. People who could otherwise be mere desk driving time punchers, believe in the project, product, process, or other outcome that the project is driving towards. It’s these people who make or break a project or a company. It’s not that they are indispensable – everyone is – but, they bring such a combination of work ethic and pride to what they do. They bring leadership and peer or team encouragement that is worth much more than their salary alone.
These are the people that make startups work, that can drive a simple idea to success through tireless ours of focused work and attention. It’s also these people I wish had more time to work on their own ideas and agendas, but that’s another post. Folks like these are the ones you want to have on your project, especially when one of the three key factors of your project has been removed from your control (namely time, money, resources). If you’re having to deal with a project that you can’t control all three components, you need to have more of the other two – mostly the best chance for success is to have one or two of those passionate leaders that will take ownership in the outcome of the project and work as hard as you are to that end.
For those working on their personal brand, one of the best things you want as part of your word of mouth marketing about yourself is that you see things through to completion. No matter if it’s through hard work or buy-in on the project, you want to be one of those passionate advocates for the projects you work on.
As for those fire drill projects – they can be as fun as they are frustrating, just make sure to bring a fire extinguisher.
Photo credit: EgjishG