A study published by Expert Choice shows that when it comes to finding the top project managers in the world (the ones who really have to make sure execution is flawless and manage $100 million+ budgets effectively), senior executives are looking for one quality above all others: the ability to overcome obstacles. To be a disruptive force in your organization, you too must possess this trait. More than math, finance, data analysis and even communication skills, you need the ability to overcome. You will need it:
- In your day-to-day work to show your peers, managers and customers that you are a rock star
- When you discover a problem to solve for your company and need to create a solution
- When you bring your solution to those empowered to help you move it forward and you must defeat anti-change forces working against you
- When it comes time to implement change, you will likely be a part of the implementation and will need to help develop resolutions and workarounds for unforeseen problems
The two key ingredients to getting past obstacles are critical thinking and passion. Here is how to develop them:
Critical Thinking: Critical thinking is the science behind problem solving, giving you the ability to see resolutions where others do not. To develop your critical thinking power:
- Get in there – Get involved in process improvements as a team member or run one of your own. Every one of these develops you tremendously.
- Consume information – Read and read a lot. Mix it up between trade journals, books and other stuff that may be totally unrelated to your job.
- Discuss – Find someone who is passionate about something and argue with them about it.
Passion: Overcoming obstacles is tough, and most people can’t do it. This is because of the energy it takes to persevere. To keep your energy up, you have to have passion for what you’re doing. If you are one of the lucky few, you are already passionate about your job or the field you are in. If you aren’t quite there yet, you can still be passionate for your cause – remember you are making your company or customer better and making yourself more valuable to the market in the process.
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