PROJECT MANAGEMENT TIPS: DON’T FEAR THE SUPERSTAR

Every Project Team has one—that project guy or gal who routinely hits it out of the park. Maybe they know exactly how to get the best price out of your least flexible vendor, or they have an uncanny knack for spotting potential problems long before everyone else. Whatever their claim to fame, it can be tough to be on the same team as someone who seems to get all the limelight. But project managers don’t need to fear the superstar.

First, remember that they didn’t become an overachiever just to make you look bad by comparison. It’s easy to think (even subliminally) about how they’re wreaking havoc on your morale on purpose, but that sort of perspective will only make the relationship more difficult. Whatever the superstar does, chances are good it has nothing at all to do with you. Stop trying to outguess them and return your focus to the things on your plate. The more your attention is on them, the worse your own performance is bound to be.

Look for areas where the superstar’s responsibilities and yours touch. Those instances represent good opportunities to partner with your resident overachiever and share the spotlight. You may also be able to gain some insight into why they find such a high level of success in particular project areas. By keeping an open mind and being observant, your own skill is likely to expand along the way.

Realize that all the praise stakeholders and end users heap on the overachiever flows through to the rest of your Project Team, too. Rarely will those outside your project team have a granular understanding of who does what, so it’s likely they view any success as a success for the entire group. Appreciate the good vibes coming your way and let them move you forward.

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