Every project has its own scale.

When projects are outside day-to-day norms – when you find it difficult to picture what they’d look like or even how they’ll make sense – they’re like excitable children; gagging to get off track and disappear into the woods. Very deep. Very quickly.

In big projects with so many moving parts, it’s tempting to fall back on what has always worked before. That’s a good idea for a functional specialists, not for leaders.

Leaders that step into their comfort zone tend to swing entire projects in one direction and leave every other road under-explored. A product manager leader focusing on features risks abandoning finance and communications and delivery. A project management bias focused on process risks squeezing creativity out of the game. A finance background can emphasise accountability and misunderstand the wriggly magic of bringing new ideas to life.

Ever worked on project where the leader dived down his own rabbit hole? Don’t follow them into the darkness.

As a leader, the leadership role comes first, functional responsibilities are always second.

Skippy Strategy: Next time you run a multidisciplinary project – over commit to the leadership role, everything else comes second.