6 Surprising Reasons Younger Managers Perform Best

This article is a must read for anyone ever doubted of their skills, knowledge and expertise, because of their age. As a young professional myself I feel like I’m constantly running into this issue. At age 22 I was managing a team of 10 as an assistant manager of a retail bank and every day I had to prove myself and my abilities to successfully operate a branch. The article discusses six reasons why younger managers perform better than their more experienced, older counterparts. Many assume that a veteran leader would be more effective at their role, but the data presented in a Harvard Business Review proves the contrary.

  1. Welcome change: The author found that younger leaders embrace change and are successful at marketing their new ideas.

My 2 cents: This past summer I was unfortunate to be a part of an exhausting project (mostly frustrating due to its poor execution) and I wasn’t afraid to make recommendations and suggestions. The management team was very much opposed to implementing any new ideas, because they are very much stuck in what seems like the Stone Age of Project Management. A younger leader might have been more optimistic about innovative proposals and encouraged creativity.

  1. Inspiring Behavior: Older colleagues more often lead with a “push” rather than a “pull” approach. Younger managers know how to engage their employees and inspire greater effort and excitement about production.

My 2 cents: Back in my retail banking days I had the privilege to work for a younger, vibrant manager. I enjoyed her management style as the incorporated contests and games to motivate the team to not only meet, but exceed our sales goals. She wasn’t afraid to try new methods to stimulate production and as a results she was always ranked amongst the highest performing production managers.

  1. Receptive to Feedback: younger managers are more open minded to receiving feedback as opposed to their older counterparts. They asked more frequently for performance advice and expected more detailed response.

My 2 cents: I can definitely relate to that statement although I’m not managing employees. I am the youngest in my department and I recall how much longer my annual review meeting took as compared to my co-workers. I probably annoyed my director with my multiple questions, but “you are doing awesome” wasn’t going to cut it for me. I wanted to know details as to where I stack up amongst my peers and what I needed to do to get to that next level.

To read the remaining 3 reasons – continuous improvement, results focused and elevate goals please refer to the article http://www.forbes.com/sites/joefolkman/2015/10/01/6-surprising-reasons-younger-managers-perform-best/print/

Have you experienced working for either a younger or older manager where the discussed characteristics were apparent? Which management style did you find more effective and/or you preferred?

Reference: Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/joefolkman/2015/10/01/6-surprising-reasons-younger-managers-perform-best/

10 Golden Rules of Project Risk Management

If you are planning to ever lead a project this article is an absolute MUST read! It provides the 10 golden rules for the application of risk management in every project. Based on the author’s personal experiences of over 15 years, the article discusses how to deliver on time, on budget, meeting sponsors’ quality demands.

Rule 1: Make risk management part of your project

Risk management tools should not only be part of daily operations, but also included during meetings or staff training.

My 2 cents…It would be almost ignorant to not include risk management in a project. You would simply be setting the project up for failure.

Rule 2: Identify risks early in your project

The author points out two main sources to identify risk: people (offering personal experiences and expertise) and paper (project plan, business cases).

My 2 cents…Identifying the risks either through human capital or documents is the first step. Dealing with them timely and properly is the real challenge during a project with multiple phases.

Rule 3: Communicate about risks

Communication should be a component in every task carried out during the project. By having a dialogue as these arise, the team will have a chance to discuss and handle.

My 2 cents…Communication! Communication! Communication! It is absolutely critical to communicate risks with all stakeholders as they arise to help prevent disasters later on during the project. If you are not sure of the whole impact of a risk, bring it up during a meeting. There is nothing worse than foreseeing an issue, not addressing it to later be faced with irreversible consequences.

Rule 4: Consider both threats and opportunities

Many project teams group opportunities under the risk category when in fact these might be ways to help improve the project. Overloaded with work and pressured to meet deadlines, projects with decent pay-offs are bypassed.

My 2 cents…Once on a project, the marketing director asked me to write my own SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats for those without a marketing background). I thought she was crazy and undermining my skills since I was fresh out of college. The project ended up being one of the best ones I was a part of because my knowledge and experience were used in the correct phases or milestone tasks.

Rule 5: Clarify Ownership Issues

Someone needs to be held responsible for certain tasks and be prepared to deal with them and take ownership. Simply writing down a list of the potential issues isn’t enough especially when money is at stake and someone will have to empty their wallet?

My 2 cents…Clarifying ownership is critical for the success of a project. If team members are not held responsible for individual tasks or risks, the project will be doomed for failure as fingers will be pointed left and right.

To read the remaining five rules, please refer to the article https://www.projectsmart.co.uk/10-golden-rules-of-project-risk-management.php

Which one of the rules do you find most important for the success of the project and can you think of any in addition to his list?

Thank you for reading my blog!