Positive attitudes help create successful projects

A positive attitude is not always easy when working on a major project, but leaders who remain positive will help all workers rise to achieve success.
By Zachary Wittenauer, Maverick Technologies July 5, 2017

Interpreting and understanding the scope of the project while understanding our own team members can be exciting and rewarding if the project is led in the correct way. Courtesy: Maverick Technologies

“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” These are the words of Winston Churchill; a man who is renowned for his tireless efforts as a leader.

A worker’s attitude can allow someone to achieve the success and height that they desire in life. That’s easier said than done, however. How many times have we had “that” client call or have we had to suffer the company of “that” co-worker? Keeping an attitude in check is a key to success, and is the difference between those who will rise and be leaders and those who will stay stagnant and fall short. No one wants to be on a team that suffers or even fails. We all want to reach success through a strong team led by not one leader, but all leaders. And, it is exactly attitude that reveals our true selves, our true role on a team, and true success.

Every project kicks off with people sitting around a table or calling in and discussing project scope and deliverables. During this process, emotions can be stirred up due to unanswered questions and possibly even power struggles. However, with a positive attitude, interpreting and understanding the scope of the project while understanding our own team members can be exciting and rewarding if the project is led in the correct way. For example, when “that” client is unclear on narratives or scope, work can be put on hold and this can cause disorder.

You can handle this situation positively or negatively, which will set the tone for the rest of the project. Being aware of your tone when working with a client can make the difference between a nice golf outing or having an uncomfortable chat with a manager. Keeping an open form of communication goes a long way. The client will appreciate the patience, and the project team will be able to get off on the right foot with the customer. From that, a true team can be established.

As the project progresses into development, a leader is established. The leader is someone who can withstand scrutiny by their team and is empowered by the criticism of their manager. What defines a leader is their attitude. A leader must always have a positive outlook to ensure the project advancement is constructive. If you show weakness and negativity, it can spread like a virus to the team that you have worked so hard to earn trust from.

Not only does this affect the team, but this can easily be felt by customers, and can lead to the client looking for another business to work with. On the other hand, maintaining a positive disposition will encourage the rest of the crew to follow suit. It is imperative that the leader takes responsibility and shows vision to build a bond that can produce a self-managing, high performing team. Ultimately, the customer will respond to this positive energy. Thus resulting in a stronger relationship.

When the project finally reaches its pinnacle and the site acceptance test/factory acceptance test (SAT/FAT) begins, there will be a lot of hills and valleys to be trudged through, but positive leaders march on. They lead their team through problems that arise in the final stages of the home stretch. All projects will have uncomfortable meetings due to scheduling and deadlines.

Tempers can flare, which leaves a lasting impression and can result in the loss of a client and potential work in the future. Maintaining a confident approach in these situations will help the team and client get to the end goal faster. A leader needs to redirect the team’s mindset and move their attention toward the end goal. Working through such situations as a team in a positive environment forms comradery and friendship, not only with the team, but the client, as well.

Great leaders will face great obstacles, but leaders who maintain a positive attitude will reach great success. Leaders rise bringing their team with them and all will enjoy the triumph of their accomplishments. In the words of Winston Churchill: “The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

This post was written by Zachary Wittenauer. Bruce is a control systems analyst II at Maverick Technologies, a leading automation solutions provider offering industrial automation, strategic manufacturing, and enterprise integration services for the process industries. Maverick delivers expertise and consulting in a wide variety of areas including industrial automation controls, distributed control systems, manufacturing execution systems, operational strategy, business process optimization, and more.

Maverick Technologies is a CSIA member as of 7/5/2017.