Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Three Cups of Tea

I just finished reading the book Three Cups of Tea. I highly recommend it.

The book is a true story about an American mountaineer (Greg Mortenson) that while descending from K2, gets lost and ends up in a small village in Pakistan. The villagers take him in and help him recover from the stress of the climbing. When he sees the school children studying in the open, he vows to raise money and come back to build the village a school.

The rest of the book is about how Mortenson builds schools throughout the region.
While not a real project manager, he was successful. One of his key skills for success was his ability to communicate. Throughout the book, he is learning the local languages of the people he works with, including Balti and Urdu.

However, Mortenson's the real reason for his success was due to his ability to understand the people he was working with. Each region he worked in had different customs, languages, and problems that he took the time to understand.

I think this is the lesson project managers should know, especially in this day of global projects. Taking the time up front to get to know our team as individuals will help us down the road.

1 comment:

Ronald said...

Hi Bob,

Great post on the importance of communication. I also agree that in a global context the challenges and opportunities reach much farther.