Is there a deadline we’re likely to miss? What am I doing besides observing it?

As leaders we see lots of projects being worked on – and lots of deadlines. Are we paying close enough attention to know that one of our projects is slipping? What are we doing when we see or sense that a project is falling behind schedule and will likely miss the deadline? What is our reaction – do we intervene and push them to speed up or do we jump in and take charge personally? Or do we decide this is a good time for the team to learn about failure. If we intervene too soon, then they will lose the opportunity to resolve the situation themselves – or to fail and learn from it. If we wait too long, their failure could have a significant impact on our organization and on the team that failed. Unless maybe, this is a project that isn’t that significant and if they fail, it will serve as a painful education for the team, but the organization will still be in good shape. Whatever the outcome is, we don’t want to just observe a project falling behind schedule – we need to be thoughtful about what the different impacts are and consciously make a choice.

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