Projects can either be a good breeding ground for staff to grow or they can ‘find’ people out when you need to see how they cope with stress. Every project will have a stressful moment on it and it may last hours, days, weeks or unfortunately months
I have seen people shrink and disappear into corners and not heard from again until the project is implemented and I have seen others step up, grow tall and power through until the end.
The message I try and give to all on projects is that they will have those days when everything seems to fall apart and the mountains you face unconquerable. You look up and question why you have come so far and have no path to your goal. Those are the times when great project leads make decisions – decisions not about business or technology but about the project team direction and its ability to resolve and move forward. Sometimes it maybe to tell everyone to go home for the day, it may be to convene a small team and brain storm, it may mean escalating to higher powers. But without fail things become clearer the next day, the clouds lift, a path appears and the team takes a deep long breath and can see its goal again.
Always my advice to project teams is accept that some days will seem bad but rest assured the next day will be better and clearer.
It takes a calm demeanor, an ability to share that calmness on the team and to bring the best out of them as a collective group – an ability to inspire.