Six Rowing for Eight in the Life Boat

By Mac M. Martirossian, CPA

What a glorious time to be in the business world.

I know what you are saying…..has this guy been on this planet for the last 6 months?

I have and I believe this economy gives all of us a chance to be recognized—by Making a Difference.

The downturn can be viewed as an opportunity or a threat.  In my view it is a tremendous opportunity to differentiate ourselves; whether we are an employer, an employee, a contractor, or an author for that matter.

Imagine a large life boat which requires 8 people rowing, but room for only 6.  Not only do you have to row harder to make up for the 25% reduction in rowing capacity, you have to also function in more roles on that boat. You have to become multidimensional, learn new skills and new parts of the business.  In today’s world, you can no longer expect to get paid for simply doing your job, or carry one title or shoulder one responsibility.

Here are some ways to capitalize on this opportunity as a project manager?

  • Invest in yourself. Agree on your own, or with your spouse or significant other on a budget for CSI—Continuous Self Improvement.  A downturn re-focuses us on where we are spending that ever evaporating asset called cash.  Re-direct some funds from accessories to CSI tools and it will yield dividends by bringing new dimension to your portfolio of skills.
  • Expand your brand. Does your organization see you a go to person for multiple and varied functions or as a “one trick pony”?  Said differently, there is a search for the two empty seats in the life boat; will you be recognized as one who can row harder at your station AND do the job required of a missing rower?
  • Deliver outstanding results. Is your work error free, or those it require continuous correction?  Are you maintenance free (valued greatly since there are less managers and directors to go around)?  Once you deliver outstanding results in your current position, you can leverage your wins, by asking (that’s correct—it is in bold for a reason) for more complex and diverse work.

As consumers, we are all looking forward to companies to step up and do be more customer focused, offer more value, and improve product and service offerings.  Those same expectations should be applied to our own performance in our respective stations in life.

Don’t just do your job; make a difference.


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