I was managing a very stressful project that required a development discipline a bit higher than the team was used to…but necessary none the less. I tried listening to them and working with them but my graces were running a thin. I sat down with my then manager to get some advice on how I could handle the situation and he simply said “go with your gut”.
At first glance this might sound like a cop out for someone who doesn’t have an answer but it was exactly what I needed. It’s tough to be a leader when your confidence is challenged and pushed around…at least for me. After that I buckled down and went with what I knew was right for the project and we completed the project on time with glowing customers. I’m not saying that what I decided was always the right answer, but I do know that having a plan and being focused on that direction makes a huge difference between heading in the right direction and fumbling around trying to figure out the best approach for everything.
When projects are easy so are the decisions. It is during your toughest projects when the direction you lead needs to be the sharpest and most focused.