It happened to me about 10 years ago.
Almost as an accident.
I was given a challenge to lead a team as a technical lead as well as a project manager; lead a team that was distributed across 3 timezones and 4 locations, creating a product that was a game-changer in Healthcare Logistics industry.
And I accepted. Without knowing what I was getting into. 🙂
And boy, what a ride it was. Next one year taught me more than previous 5 years combined. It was hard but as they say, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. At the end of that project I had discovered three things –
1. That, I had a flair for managing in general. Well I did suck at few things but I could improve on them with some effort. I liked leading people by example, I liked being responsible for creating something that touched people’s lives. I liked providing transparency and setting calculated expectations with customers and delivering them. The fact that I came from technical background made the job a tad easier. I failed, several times, but I kept at it.
2. That, if I really wanted to make a broader impact on larger group of people – customer, team, organization, and end users – I had to balance both technical and managerial responsibilities.
3. That, we generally tend to underestimate our capabilities. Unless we make up our mind to go out there and try what we want to do, one of two things will happen. Either we stay where we are, or we get pushed by situations and are forced to act. And then discover what we are made of. So it made sense to just do what we wanted to do.
From then onwards I’ve got opportunities to lead and manage teams on 8 different projects which created products that are serving millions of people today. In the process forged meaningful friendship with many people, mentored many bright young engineers who wanted to be project managers and worked with several entrepreneurs.
Here is a nice video explaining the motivation for getting into project management profession.
What is/has been your motivation to become a Project Manager?
[Image courtesy productlabs.pl]