The software project has been going on for six months. It has been established that the requirements are unclear and that some of the features cannot be achieved. The workers already know at this stage that the project will be long. Sound familiar?

This is a moment when a strong Finnish leader feels betrayed and makes different interpretations and demands about the agreement – just to show that they are right. So, hide your head in the sand.

What happens next?  There are two scenarios that are the most common: The first one: the team of creators and the supplier curl up in their shells to wait for a miracle that never comes. The second: the project leaders and owners do let the cat out of the bag, but at that point the project has already passed the point of no return, and nothing will be done about it. Let’s wait for a happy outcome and just keep on waiting.

Leaders that can show humility stand out from the crowd. They have both satisfied customers and suppliers.

The end result of both scenarios is common and similar. The product or software is adopted even though it is defective, poorly tested and very delayed. And the fault lies with a couple of leaders that will hastily get the boot. The go-to sacrificial lamb is the project manager because their face starts to get more and more unpleasant as the project advances. That sod is sometimes on the supplier’s side!

There is a simple solution to the situation: let’s let the cat out of the bag and examine, without emotions, how to get to the finish line. Leaders are required to be humble and willing to succeed. And unfortunately, leaders rarely possess these qualities.

Leaders that can show humility stand out from the crowd. They have both satisfied customers and suppliers. They are known for their good track record and often also for better productivity.

If you want to succeed in a big project as a leader – be humble.

By Juha Heikkinen