It’s a complicated journey with many moving parts, and Trujillo takes all the challenges in stride.
“I’m at the top of my game. They give me the tough stuff,” he says, adding that being a successful project manager is about much more than keeping deliverables on schedule. “The trick is to inspire, motivate and lead teams that don’t report to you. You have to be able to work with people and lead by example with integrity, honesty and empathy. You have to have respect the team.”
In fact, for Trujillo, great project management is every bit as much about soft skills as it is about efficient planning, cost reduction, purchasing and delivery. He emphasizes both skill sets in the classes he teaches to Boeing employees in the U.S., Tokyo, China, London and elsewhere around the world.
Ever the project manager, Trujillo is managing a little project of his own: training 50 Boeing PMPs. “Being a PMP, it’s my passion to train the next generation,” he says, noting that 44 of his students have passed the rigorous PMP training — 96% of them on the first try — in the last 12 years.
“That’s what I’d like my legacy to be. I’d like to be the guy who trained an entire generation of Boeing project managers,” he says. “I think I’ll meet my goal.”
As for that fence-clinging kid who romanticized the rumble of jets that sent jackrabbits running wild — what would Trujillo say to him? “Follow your inspiration and listen to your dad. He was right. Planes are cool.
“It’s been a good career.”
*PMP is a registered mark of Project Management Institute, Inc.
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