What makes a good project manager? Everybody has their theories. New techniques, new fads in leadership and management spring up all the time, but it’s often best to look to the wisdom of the past to help us navigate the future. And why not look all the way back to the days of Homer?
Homer Simpson, that is.
Yes, America’s favorite patriarch has been gainfully employed at a nuclear power plant for 25 years now — and has held several other positions in that time, though generally not for longer than a week — so he must have mastered certain aspects of the business world.
When one looks at the most desirable qualities in a project manager, it doesn’t take long to see that we can learn quite a bit from Homer. After all, a good project manager demonstrates:
“Sorry, Mr. Burns, but I don’t go in for these backdoor shenanigans. Sure, I’m flattered. Maybe even a little curious. But the answer is no!”
Homer turned down a bribe from his boss, Mr. Burns, after being elected the head of his employees’ union. Granted he thought Mr. Burns was coming on to him, but he gets credit for standing fast in the face of corruption nonetheless. This level of trust is vital for anyone leading a successful team.
“I know how you feel, Bart. When I was your age, I wanted an electric football game more than anything in the world. And my parents bought it for me, and it was the happiest day of my life. Well… good night.”
Employees need to know that their supervisor appreciates and understands their feelings, as Homer clearly appreciates and understands Bart’s sadness over not getting the video game he wanted.
“It’s not easy to juggle a pregnant wife and a troubled child, but somehow I managed to fit in eight hours of TV a day.”
When a project starts to bog a manager down, it’s important not to lose sight of what matters most.
“Kids, kids, kids… you can each get me a beer.”
While Bart and Lisa argue over who gets to fetch their dad a can of Duff after yet another stellar softball performance, Homer quickly finds an amicable solution acceptable to all. Such problem solving skills are crucial, as bickering workers are not often productive workers.
“I think Smithers picked me because of my motivational skills. Everyone says they have to work a lot harder when I’m around.”
Some people simply bring out the best in others. It’s an innate quality that they have.
Someone possessing all of Homer Simpson’s remarkable qualities seems too good to be true, almost as though he couldn’t possibly be an actual person. Real people with the skills you need are out there, however, and TS2 is in the business of helping you find them. Contact TS2 and build the team you need to help your company make lots of d’oh.