Do you want to end up like Gary Lewin (the England football team physio)?

football pitchSo, who watched the football on Saturday night then?

I think it’s fair to say that England’s only goal of the game has, in some ways, been overshadowed slightly by the post-goal celebration.

After Sturridge knocked the ball into the net, everyone went nuts – we’d just equalised! I’m sure that more than a few pints were knocked over and cheeks were kissed across the country, but it seems the celebration was just as ferocious over in the dug out. In fact, England’s physio, Gary Lewin, celebrated so hard that he injured himself! Reports released in the few days following the game have informed us all that during the frivolities, immediately after Sturridge scored, Lewin tripped over a stray water bottle and dislocated his ankle.

Standing in the sidelines, or in the dug out, close to the action can be a dangerous place, it seems. Linesmen getting run into, camera men falling casualty to a stray ball or player and many a manager has landed themselves in hot water for their conduct at the side of the pitch.

The problem with standing that close to everything is that you can very easily get caught up and swept along. Now, don’t get me wrong, the electric atmosphere is what makes a football game so much fun, but it obviously comes with its hazards and limitations.

As project managers, we can’t see everything when we’re right down there in the detail of our projects, standing with our toes touching the sidelines – our view is limited and as a result, our perspective can end up a little limited too.

Removing ourselves, not permanently, but definitely regularly, from the pitch provides us with the chance to view our project from a different perspective.

This last week I’ve had a few days enforced viewing from the stands – I’ve been off sick with a bug. But getting back in to things today, catching up on e-mails, meeting packs etc., I’ve got a much clearer perception of how things are progressing than I had before I went off.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThat will allow me to make a few small changes to tactics and approaches to ensure we deliver the wider result we need. When was the last time you, or someone you trust, took the ‘helicopter view’ of your project?

You see, it’s only once we’ve stepped back from the pitch that we’re better positioned to see the game as whole, the big picture for our project, and possibly spot things that we’d never noticed before – maybe it’s a spot of sabotage, or it could be a different way of playing our team.

Whatever it is, it’s very hard to see it whilst you’re caught up working in your project, right on the pitch.

You don’t want to end up like Gary Lewin, now, do you?

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