A Key Skill You Should Make Every Hiring Manager In The CIVDIV Aware Of

The how-to manual of project management, the PMBOK® Guide, identifies effective team building as one of the primary responsibilities of a project manager.

However, I would argue that since project management is a subset of management in general, and organizing resources (human and all others) is one of the four primary functions of management, this skill can be applied more generally to the entire CIVDIV.

This simple realization provides a powerful talking point for transitioning military Members and transitioned military Veterans and Retirees. MVRs have spent their entire careers learning formally to do this, doing it, and constantly assessing and being assessed on how well they do it; as measured by their teams’ successes.

The trick then is conveying this capability to interviewers. The remainder of this article describes how.

  1. Leader Books. Leaders are taught to journal information about those in their charge. This helps us describe the whole person. We seek out engagement, and we listen actively, and we record what we learn for use.
  2. Counseling. We counsel and mentor team members individually, but always in the context of the team. This helps us develop both the individual and the team.
  3. OJT. We train all team members on fundamentals tasks and procedures constantly, iteratively, every year, throughout the year.
  4. Performance. We identify clear standards, then hold people to them, and demonstrate performance of them in our own performance. We walk the talk.
  5. Delegation. Related to number 4 is delegation. To reinforce training and enhance performance, we delegate to our team members consistently, providing them opportunities to perform, fail and succeed, and grow.
  6. Identity. We provide a team identity, and connect the members to it. We provide its narrative, and describe its unique position within the organization. The member feels connected and loyal to something larger than themselves.
  7. Motivation: We consistently conduct team-building exercises, identifying standards, providing intra-exercise feedback, and providing opportunities for learning and application. This feedback motivates performance at the point of execution.

MVRs know how to build and sustain high-performing teams capable of delivering demanding missions, often in austere (and dark) environments. Strong, cohesive, independent, aware, dedicated members’ execution drives HPT performance. As an MVR, you have this highly valued skill; this capability really. You can multiply the effectiveness of your teams, thus your projects and operations, and the overall performance of your organization. Make sure you work it into their interviews consistently so hiring managers know to value you for it.

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Eric Wright is a two-service, two-era Military Veteran; Co-Founder and CEO of Vets2PM; an experienced, credentialed project manager and mentor; and an entertaining instructor/public speaker on project management, PMI’s PMP and CAPM exams, and on project manager development. He helps Military Veterans become Project Managers through inspiration, training, preparation, and presentation to the PM hiring community.

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