Just do as you’re told

14f0591a327bee47978df4c3f00cdfa4I’ll start this blog with a disclaimer: I’m really not a bitter guy (Blink). Maybe I am, but just enough to have some balance in my life so I can become a Happy Project Manager, bad vibes are good sometimes. Venting off is good also, as long as you don’t do it in an email. You can vent off in a blog that maybe nobody will read (Blink again). Your PM life won’t ever be perfect or as you thought it would be when you started thinking about being a PM.

I had a manager once, he said “I want thinking people, not lemmings”. Then I recalled that sweet PC game of the 90s, but that’s another story.

I totally agreed with this guy, I like to assume I’m working with intelligent, proactive, creative and inventive people in the team; and I like to think as myself as one of them. But then again, are you supposed to have good ideas or execute them? Maybe you’re just supposed to execute ideas, either they are good or not. Bummer, that will be most of the cases. Unless you are a creative Director of some sorts like Don Draper, which in that case, what the hell are you doing reading this blog?

Bad news, PMs are not supposed to be creative, that’s someone else’s job. You have to execute and make sure others execute regardless of how good the idea is. Maybe sometimes I have very good ideas, but then I realized good ideas are like jokes, there will be people that will simply won’t get them. Why? Well, there’s no such formula to create a good joke, there are many variables at stake. You could have a great joke, but your audience might be a total let down. Then you can have a terrible joke, but your drunk audience will cheer up and laugh out loud. You might be just a really funny guy, and you create jokes on the fly and people will laugh for hours. Maybe you´re trying too much to be funny and you’re not. Maybe you are not funny, you have a terrible joke, but you are the boss and people will laugh loudly, for sure. Do you know any funny PM’s? I don’t.

-Make a proposal, share your ideas, how do you want to do this?

-Yes Sir, I have a very good idea, we could …

-Yes, it’s good, but not that good. In fact, it sucks. Just do as you’re told

You see?  Looks like your joke was not that good, because it really did not satisfy the ultimate purpose, which was to make your sponsor/boss/customer/spouse laugh. I know,  you were very sure it was good and made sense to you, you even told the joke to other people before and some of them even laughed. I’m sure you were laughing to yourself like an idiot and eager to tell the joke, thinking “this is a good joke”. But no, it was not funny. Just do as you’re told.