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Common threads between running a business and running projects

I am both a business manager and a project manager. Many of the lessons that I have learned from running projects are directly applicable to running a business also. In particular, there are three key areas of focus that apply to both.

1. Finding and recruiting talent.

As a project manager or business leader, one of your core roles is to make sure that you recruit the talent required to deliver on your business or project objectives. The success of a business, or project, is directly related to how well you identify the skills required to achieve your overall goals. Once the skills have been identified, you then need to recruit the talent in the form of a unified team that are not just capable of but also focused upon delivering the key goals.

2. Developing a culture.

Another key role of the business or project leader, is to define and develop the culture of the company or project. Culture can act as both a pulling, and binding force for your company/team. A pull force in that it will attract a set of people who de facto sign on to your values and are ready to operate in a way that will help the business to be successful. A unifying force in that there is a set of values that all the team share.
In addition to helping with team formation, it also helps with performance in that the culture allows for clearer decision-making and greater autonomy with respect to that decision-making by asking the simple question – “Is this in line with our culture as a company/team?”

3. Setting strategic direction.

As a project or business leader, you are on point to ensure that the strategic direction is clearly articulated. It is a fundamental to a successful outcome in the future.

I believe that the skills acquired as a project manager have much broader application than just on running typical projects. I also believe that they are skills that all people should develop to some level. What do you think?

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