A client is currently interviewing potential project management partners. This is a big decision. She intends to delegate all project management tasks. She is expecting meticulous reporting and financial oversight, and a strong representation of her company’s brand. She has no interest in micromanaging.
There aren’t many options, due to the size of her projects. Her projects are a bit too large for solopreneur project managers, but a bit too small for most of the larger management firms. She’s narrowed her choices to three vendors.
One of her minority partners is leaning towards the least expensive option. She has a lot of hesitation because this vendor does not seem to be detail-oriented. In their initial meeting, he stated that he tracks everything old-school, using pen and paper. He has a lot of experience but hasn’t embraced some technologies & processes that newer firms employ to manage & run projects. This vendor doesn’t align with how my client runs her business.
Another vendor is more expensive up-front, but has an outstanding system and developed infrastructure for managing projects. As my client continues to grow, this company could keep pace with her growth. My client definitely prefers this option.
We were discussing the conversation she needs to have with her partner. I reminded her that all business decisions tie back to one thing: core values. When we are evaluating anyone that will have any connection to our business (employee, partner, customer, vendor), we need to scrutinize if they can negatively impact our brand in any way. How do they align with our core value system, which is our organizational moral compass?
Seth Godin says that “we get the culture we deserve.” Every day we must wrestle with which corners we cut, and what type of culture we build.
Every decision we make is tied to our culture, and the culture we select will drive all of our choices going forward.
As the leader, we need to say, “we’re doing it this way because this is the way it will get us where we need to go.”
So, when you are faced with indecision, ask yourself these two questions:
- How does this option align with our core value system?
- How does this option align with the culture I am building?
Remember, we get the culture we deserve.
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