The project manager's role in economic recovery

3) Successes and failures both impart lessons

Economic slowdowns often put managers in the position of trying new approaches, systems and procedures. Anytime you set off into unexplored territory, take detailed notes. Then, when the dust settles, you'll have a record of what worked and what didn't.

4) Contributions must be recognized

People need to see, hear, smell and taste success -- even small victories matter. A key to moving toward goals is to demonstrate that everyone's contribution matters. Communicate every success, no matter the size. Recognize people's efforts and celebrate loudly -- even if it's simply a rowdy cheer that says, "We're all in this together, and we're making progress."

5) People need hope

Hope comes from active leadership. Be a leader who can resolve conflict, come up with solutions and give people a way to participate. Hope ultimately comes from the actions of others that move each of us to see the possibilities of every challenge.

As I've watched the news in the last few weeks, I've been struck at how project management matters now more than ever. It's time to get in touch with the inner project manager in us all and do our part to rev the economic engine with our own passion and productivity.

Michelle LaBrosse, PMP, is the founder and CEO of Cheetah Learning and author of Cheetah Negotiations and Cheetah Project Management.

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