Our property is speckled with White Pines. I love them. They are majestic and gnarly with battle scars from the elements over the decades. They stand strong and tall and slightly less symmetrical than the other pines.  When spring and summer arrive, they gradually fade into the forest as the deciduous trees bud and begin to show off their new foliage.

A good program manager has similar characteristics to a white pine – not necessarily tall, but strong and impressive. I love a seasoned program manager, the ones who have the battle scars and stories to share. They are the ones who have led large, complex programs through all kinds of weather, unreasonable budgets and time frames, business sponsors, unexpected team dynamics and unidentified risks. They have learned when to stand strong and when to fade into the background and let their teams shine.

Really good program managers are hard to find and important to keep. It is tough to be the kind of program manager that can balance driving a large program to completion while mentoring, guiding and growing the project managers that work for them and standing alone to take the heat when bad news has to be delivered or support your Project Managers.

When interviewing be sure to bring out those battle scars and stories that tell the complexity of what you delivered and also what kind of leader you are. Think of when you had to stand tall like the majestic white pine and when it was time to fade into the background after a successful project launch! Share your stories here if you choose.

Happy Almost-Summer Everyone!  …Jeanine