Tag Archives: Leadership

eBook Review: Leadership and the project manager

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Art Petty writes at Management Excellence. A few months ago, he published the ebook Leadership and The Project Manager: Developing the Skills that Fuel High Performance.

While there is a lot of talk about leadership and project management, Art takes an original approach. Instead of telling anecdotes to illustrate his point, he uses questions. For example, to illustrate what leadership maturity means, he lists the following questions:

  • Does the PM understand the true role of a leader?
  • Can the PM lead effectively without formal authority?
  • Is the PM capable of inspiring and motivating others and leading across silos?
  • Does the PM understand her role in creating a high performance culture?
  • Read the Complete Post

PMBOK 4th edition: the human at the center

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I recently had the chance to sit it on a very informative presentation about the changes to the PMI’s Project Management Body of Knowledge 4th edition, aka the PMBOK. It’s important to stay up-to-date on profesionnal best practices, and there’s been a lot of discussion on the new PMBOK.

I’ll spare you the details of the new processes and the deleted processes in the system. I’ll spare you the details of the new flowcharts.

Here’s what stuck my about the changes in the new PMBOK: it put more emphasis on the human side of project management. Managing stakeholders is more important. Read the Complete Post

Can leadership be learned?

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Leadership is much more than a skill. While we may learn to tailor how we communicate with others to influence them to follow us, can we really learn a personality trait?

What is leadership?

Leadership can be seen in two ways:

  • As the “process of social
    influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others
    in the accomplishment of a common task”.
  • As “creating a way for
    people to contribute to making something extraordinary happen.”

While learning to influence others is a skill that can be learned, it feels a lot like manipulation to me. Leaders that use manipulation consciously to get people to do what they want seem dishonest to me. Read the Complete Post

Project managers are not alone

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A project should not be composed a leader on top and everybody else below. Actually, that's a very good way to fail. Your team is there for the project, and so are you. Why not work together?

You need to work together.

Be with your team. Spend time with them. Take the time to explain what's going on in the project.  Listen.

When problems arise (they always arise), your team's unique perspective may be the key to solving it. Budget problems? Maybe one of your developers knows a less-expensive tool that does the job just as well. Schedule problem? Read the Complete Post

Suggested reading: the first 100 days

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Neal argues that when being assigned on an existing project, it can be a challenge to get up to speed and build good relationships with your project team. I completely agree with the 3 Ls of communications management: Listen, Learn, Lead.

There’s a reason why Lead is last

You can’t lead effectively if you’re ignorant. Ignorant of your project, ignorant of your team. Once you’ve built a good understanding of the project and the people, then you can choose a leadership style that fits the situation. Read the Complete Post