role

What about your role? Why are you here?

I think whether you’re having setbacks or not, the role of a leader is to always display a winning attitude – Colin Powell

H

ave you ever wondered, what is your purpose and why you are here? I am referring to your role in your company.
 
I am sure when you applied for your current role, you thoroughly memorized the Job Description, understood all the requirements and explained to the hiring manager exactly how and why you are such a perfect fit for that role. You aced the interview, impressed your manager and snagged the job! Great, good for you…. you did it champ!
 
So now that the excitement of the new job has transitioned to an everyday routine, some time has passed and you have settled in. Your previous experiences and your skills have prepared you for this position. You have learned the ropes and developed a rapport with your team. You have demonstrated value and delivered results.
 
Phew… that was a lot. You have persevered and proved that you are a good team leader.
Now what? Well, what more you might ask. After all you are doing exactly what they were looking for. You were in fact, the right fit and you delivered as promised. True, and where you are is by all accounts quite good. But if you want to differentiate yourself from the others and want to move from good to great, you need to stretch beyond your job description.   
 
It’s time not only to question the value you add to your team, but also to reflect on how you fit into the grander plan, your company. The first step to understand any plan is to understand the goal. After All, how can you plan for a journey if you don’t know the destination? You can understand your company’s dream destination by looking at their Vision and Goals, both of which you will find in their website.
 
Vision is the ideal image of what an organization wants to be, goals are the tangible, measurable steps to achieve that. You need to understand both to truly make an impact. The objective for any growing organization is to realize its vision. And developing this vision into a reality takes more than just a great strategy. It requires 

  • Educating all the teams and groups of this vision
  • Motivating them to work towards the common objective
  • Implementing processes to ensure alignment with business priorities
  • Measuring progress and course correction when necessary

This is best achieved by implementing and driving the organization in both a top-down and a ground-up approach. And while senior leadership drives the top down approach, by educating the business units of this vision, and motivating and inspiring them to achieve the business objectives, it is the Program Managers who can drive this ground up.
 
The fact is, a great strategy is only great if it is implemented and carried out correctly and that’s where the Program managers come in. As a program manager, if you have a clear picture of the direction the organization wants to take, and you in turn can help the project teams navigate towards the common goal and get aligned with greater strategy. So, go for it, grow from good to great and here are 6 ways to make that happen:

  1. Gain a clear understanding of your business’s vision and goals and strategy.
  2. Translate that understanding into simple actionable plans to your teams. 
  3. Champion communication and engagement through all cross-functional teams.
  4. Create priorities, and emphasize on a commitment from each team member.
  5. Follow risk mitigation planning and measure progress.
  6. Use team’s feedback as input for planning on future planning.

Be relentless and get aligned with the greater goals. Ponder on how you can help realize your company’s vision and know you are more than your job description, you are indispensable!
 

Saahithi Madiraju
Saahithi is a Program Manager and a Techie. Experienced in managing complex projects in various industries such as Finance, E-commerce, Web Design and Health Care. Passionate about leading global cross functional teams on innovative projects and initiatives. She loves board games and hanging out with her husband and toddler.

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