Learning how to best weather the weather can help you become a Project Management Professional (PMP)
Michelle LaBrosse, CCPM, PMP, PMI-ACP, RYT
I recently played in a golf scramble in one of these community events where you are paired with a total stranger. My golf buddy for the morning was an engineer from FEMA. We were discussing the safest places to be and she said, “Alaska – as those folks are used to handling everything.”
Seeing that I live in Alaska part of the year (rarely seems to be the nicest part either) – I get what she is talking about. The above picture is of my neighbors. They have evolved to weather the weather by bulking up on salmon and then hibernating. We humans have to create more intricate plans.
It’s standard for us to put up canned goods in the summer for surviving a long winter. We make sure to have at least eight cords of wood in the wood shed by October. I take special care of my plow truck in the summer making sure it can keep mine and my neighbors drive ways cleared in the winter. Last year, I started on a research project to create a year round food production system and am perfecting growing micro greens indoors. A barge arrives in port every week delivering the necessities of life. But much of what we get is overly processed foods or fresh food near the end of it’s shelf life. What happens if that barge can’t show up? Think risk management here – something a good project manager does. Something many of us do in Alaska.
I’ve lived in the northern climates most of my life – so this being prepared for winter is not all that foreign to me. I’ve joked for a long time that people who have to live by their organization skills like we do in the far north, are just better project managers. I wonder if there is any truth to this?
But it got me thinking, more on the serious side of things – what is it about learning how to weather the weather that can help people become better project managers? We do see this at Cheetah Learning when we are helping people become PMP certified. Cheetah students quickly learn how to reduce their stress and bounce back from things not always going their way. We’ve learned after sixteen years of doing accelerated PMP Exam Prep – developing more coping mechanisms to life’s challenges helps people do better on the PMP exam. They take this back to their life where they have greater resilience when things don’t work out like they expected. Regardless of what is going on, they stay calm and keep their heads about them. They become better at weathering the weather.
How do you do when things get tough? It’s easy to be nice, to handle things in the right order, to keep all the balls in the air when everything is calm and going well. Quite another when disaster strikes. This is how you can really tell the measure of a person. How do you cope with life when there is a bit of “weather?” When the unexpected and unimagined happens? Do you start barking orders at everyone within air shot – expecting others to jump to and fix whatever you feel needs to be fixed? Do you run and hide – become missing in action? Or do you instead prefer to take a more measured approach, evaluate the situation, figure out your response options, and evaluate the suitability of your contingency plans? If you prefer the latter – you are more suited to become a Project Management Professional – PMP (especially with Cheetah’s Accelerated PMP Exam Prep). If you are more likely to do either of the first two – and you aren’t ready to become a PMP with Cheetah, consider a move to remote Alaska to learn how to weather the weather.