Railing against reality

Just because you want reality to bend to your wishes, doesn’t make it so. You can fight reality all you want and you’ll lose every time. Just like you can’t make a baby in three months despite working hard (putting in overtime and working nights and weekends), having the best intentions, and having an optimistic frame of mind (thinking positive thoughts, visualizing success), similarly, you can’t deliver on unrealistic expectations that are absolutely divorced from reality. Challenges are good, ridiculous demands aren’t! Executive fiat and management by fear only gets reluctant compliance not people’s enthusiasm, innovation, and best effort.

As a Program Manager, your first order of business should be in resetting management expectations otherwise your teams will very likely become disheartened and demoralized. Help stakeholders and executives realize that there is more than thinking in binary oppositions of “all” and “none” — give-and-take on scope and depth of functionality is a good viable alternative.

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