Given IT has played a significant role in business since the 1960s, it seems almost inconceivable that CIOs are still alignment challenged. Perhaps the challenge isn’t so much getting aligned but staying aligned given the pace and nature of change companies must cope with and adapt to in today’s global economies.
The leader and their leadership style is characterized by whether they work from the top down or the bottom up. Examining the pros and cons of these two disparate methods can help you determine what kind of leader you need to be in order to make the maximum positive impact on your organization.
Project managers must also be leaders within their organizations — after all, a major part of your role is to make sure that the right things are being done in the right way to maximize the chances of the enterprise achieving its goals. And to do this, you can’t blindly follow what you know is wrong.
To achieve business leadership, we need to have competitive advantage direction from people dedicated to the principles of cost leadership. While it may not get quite the hype that cost reduction efforts do at an organization, it has the potential to meet crucial company goals.
This is the first in a five-part series of articles regarding agile frameworks based on values, principles and practices. Scrum espouses five values: courage, openness, respect, commitment and focus. In this series, each article will explore one of these values–on which a deeper discussion of principles and practices assembles.
Thousands of project managers gathered in San Diego in September to share best practices, network and improve their skills. In a few short days, there was much to learn. In this article, some attendees share some of the benefits they gained through meeting others and sharpening their skills.
The sponsor and project manager should form a powerful leadership team that creates a positive environment. In reality, that often fails to occur–and the fault frequently lies with a “broken” relationship. Get some help in maximizing these roles.
While leadership is a process, it is a conditional, flexible and ambiguous one. Being an effective leader as a project manager is determined in part by our comfort level with ambiguity and our uncertainty, and our willingness to adopt and adapt given the situations that we face.
Despite our culture’s obsession with innovation and change, much career advancement fundamentally comes down to timeless strategies and skills. Use these strategies and examples to build your career development…
The purpose of this article is to bring forward one of the very well-known leadership practices called Servant Leadership. We’ll explore its prominence in today’s project management world and how it can benefit emerging project leaders in managing teams, projects and organizations.
Just getting your feet wet in the project management pool? The most important studying this practitioner has done is of those around him. Learning from others is a vital tool in a prospective PM’s toolkit.
What is your management technique? The benefit of positive leadership in project management is that it helps build strong connections between managers and their teams, thereby improving member performance, spurring creative and inventive solutions, and ultimately leading to greater project success.
Project managers face an awkward and interesting leadership challenge. What do we do in these situations? What strategies are available, and what resources can we draw on in order to navigate our way to success? And what do we need to know about ourselves, our teams and our organizations if we are to genuinely lead effectively?
Since agile project management is closer to leadership best practice than traditional project management, it is useful to search leadership techniques for additional approaches that could also assist on agile projects.
You know that strong leadership skills can help you in your career, but just how does someone develop them before becoming a leader? It is possible to develop leadership skills that will help you at all leadership levels, and you can start now.
Stop the insanity! These three tactics are designed to help you solve today’s leadership problems and distinguish yourself as an effective leader–just when your workforce needs as many as it can get.
Can meetings ever be productive? Most people would say there’s not a chance. The only way to make it a possibility is with superior leadership skills. You’ve got that. Here’s how to make it work.
Good leaders must not only be prepared for everything that might go wrong, they must come alive when faced with a predicament, large or small. A retired NASA astronaut shares five lessons on leadership.
What can you do to assess and enhance communication skills that you will need to be a successful collaborative leader? Let’s consider a few questions; think honestly about how you would answer these…
We now look to PMOs to take more of an active role within the entire lifecycle. For that expanded role to be successful, the PMO needs to be more than simply the guide and controller for project execution; it needs to be accepted into a leadership role within the organization–partners with business units and accepted experts on portfolio execution.
It’s time for a refresher course in project leadership, so get ready to know your principles and march to the head of the class. Try applying these six basic principles and see how they will make you a more effective leader.
That leadership takes work isn’t going to go away. And that’s what makes it a choice. It’s not that leaders are born, or that they are made. It’s that they choose to step up and make a difference, and that they persist in the actions and behaviors that result in that difference being possible.
Whether a project manager has a lot of experience or none at all leading teams, there are some basic guidelines they can follow in order to lead people successfully. A trip back to high school shows us three key roles the PM must play.
While most consulting firms find early success because of the strength of their thought leadership, over time many of them tend to under-invest in it. As a consequence, they find themselves vulnerable to new entrants nibbling around the edges of their core business–and see their growth slow down.
This fourth installment of articles scrutinizing agile frameworks based on values, principles and practices focuses on commitment (following the entries on courage, focus and openness). A stated value of the Scrum framework, commitment is everything in agile.
There’s nothing wrong with a PM feeling frustrated while leading–as long as they protect the team. Anyone can lead, but not everyone can lead in stressful times–and that’s when true leaders shine. Let’s take a cue from two unlikely sources…
Project managers are sometimes viewed as mechanics assigned to fix a problem, rather than leaders who implement an organization’s strategy. But 21st Century PMs must exhibit a wide range of leadership skills to guide cross-functional teams that deliver value through major initiatives. And to succeeed, they overcome these six “sins” of leadership.
The concept of leadership can be very complicated, but for one PM it can be boiled down to a few core principles: care, understanding, service and protection. Keeping a close monitor of these behaviors can help you become a better leader of projects, programs and teams–and inspire many in the process.
It’s vital to never forget the significance of stakeholder management. This chapter from Project Management: Influence and Leadership Building Rapport in Teams presents a discussion about stakeholder management and the notion that stakeholders differ in their perceptions, and also offers strategies for influence.
The leadership you demonstrate each and every day shapes your career, but many of us need a little reminder from time to time. Here are 12 quotes that may help you through your day, your project or your profession.
The project management profession has evolved significantly since its early years, and one aspect that has become increasingly relevant is how people skills are viewed. This article examines how people skills enable project managers to thrive and overviews the most important “soft skill”–leadership. It provides eight basic ideas that can help any project professional kick start his or her development process and concludes by defining a good leader.
How a project team collaborates varies by project, and it can be a challenge to manage different personalities to achieve effective collaboration. Here are six tips to assist a project manager develop an effective collaboration leadership style.
Much of the ScrumMaster’s role has been focused on the individual effort of leading a single team through the successful completion of a Scrum project. At some point, a person who has successfully established themselves in an organization will be looked on to take on more responsibilities. What would these responsibilities be? What kind of career roadmap would be best suited for a person who is an established ScrumMaster?
Today’s leaders need to understand people like never before. Leadership Intelligence refers to the ability to grow, learn and master new ways to lead people. There are three tenets to consider when boosting it: self-awareness, executive brain function, and response agility.
If you’ve been paying attention, you know that the success of CRM depends on changing the culture of your organization. The only way to do that is through effective leadership–no easy accomplishment. Figure out what it means to be a leader, and then choose the style that works for you and your team.
This is the second in a five-part series of articles regarding agile frameworks based on values, principles and practices. Scrum espouses five values: courage, openness, respect, commitment and focus. In this series, each article will explore one of these values–on which a deeper discussion of principles and practices assembles.
You might call the Agile Project Leadership Network the “anti-organization” organization. When the nonprofit group was born nearly two years ago, its dozen or so founders didn’t want to create a huge, self-organizing central body. And they certainly didn’t want to launch yet another manifesto into the world of project management.
How can leaders bring organizational project management to life? We already have certifications and standards to leverage. What we need is leaders equipped with the right strategy to put these ideas into action.
When you are charged with leading a team of your peers or former peers, the right combination of resources makes all the difference. The following techniques — which incorporate personality, encouragement, engagement and feedback — should be at the core of every peer leader’s approach.
Don’t confuse being a leader with having a leader’s title. Leadership is a 24/7 mindset, not a light switch you can turn on and off based on how things are going. Demonstrate leadership in good times and bad, or you will lose credibility with those you seek to motivate and inspire.
Agile project managers exercise servant leadership, which includes guiding and steering. Here are three ways an agile PM can exercise servant leadership to guide projects to a great conclusion.
Whenever a new leader assumes responsibility, there is significant risk that individual and team performance will suffer. Organizations must take steps to mitigate some of the inevitable disruption before, during and after the leadership transition. As always, communication is key. And the new leader plays an important role in it.
Why is team ownership important? It is essential to agile team success because individuals thrive on ownership. With ownership, you have a stake in the game and push to find the best solution. The difficulty is that most corporate cultures have command-and-control leaders. Here is some help…
Following installments on the other four stated Scrum values (courage, focus, openness and commitment), this concluding entry focuses on respect. It offers techniques to scrutinize agile project management frameworks based on values, principles and practices.
Ever wonder why effective leaders almost always see themselves as stewards of something far bigger than themselves, a keeper of a sacred trust? There is a connection between leadership and stewardship that would-be leaders need to understand if they are to mature into someone who can lead people–and organizations–to success.
Although there are many tangible factors that affect the success of your projects, this article focuses on the synergy created from the elusive intangibles of trust, the art of adaptation, and the cultivation of soft skills in team leadership. Together, these three principles will help you create an environment in which people willingly perform at their highest levels.
As William Shakespeare rightly said, “Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” In this article, the author highlights expectations for project leaders–and some useful tips that can positively impact trust levels, improve performance and ease leadership.
If those who aspire to greater leadership heights spent more effort looking within for direction — and less time absorbing the regurgitated, cliché-ridden advice of external “experts” — they just might become better leaders. It starts with asking some hard questions that require your own honest answers. But there is still a role for role models.
Nothing takes the place of solid work experience. So one PM decided to reach out to her colleagues and gather their everyday thoughts and insights into what they have learned over the years in working with different leadership styles.
Is your PMO providing value, or reducing the effectiveness of your organization in its ability to deliver its projects? A PMO that is truly effective should be guiding and influencing the organization in all aspects of project management. Is yours?
Recruiting project management talent and retaining them is one of the biggest challenges for any company. Organizations need to develop and nurture leadership traits of their project managers to keep operations running smoothly–and to achieve benefits everyone can appreciate.
What sets great project managers apart from merely good ones? The ability to lead. But it’s a tough skill to master, and it takes practice to become an expert practitioner. Here we focus on some of the key behaviors needed to turn a project manager into a leader.
Knowing what to do is all about seeking information and continuously growing in knowledge. In doing this, you become a leader. Learn how the ASK process (Ask, Seek and Knock) can help you be more focused.
Employers are becoming more acutely aware of the human, legal, ethical and financial costs associated with workplace bullying. In order to directly and proactively address this issue, project managers and their organizations need to take action. Learn about sources of information and tools available to assist in this endeavor along with a selection of proactive tips.
All agile frameworks may be examined in terms of core values. This third entry in a five-part series continues to explore agile frameworks from the vantage point of values, principles and practices. Agile’s Scrum framework in particular espouses five values: courage, focus, openness, respect and commitment. This offering looks at the value of openness to bring principles and practices into better relief.
Leaders are not created from a ready-made mold. They are developed from the crucible of experience. True leaders are not merely organizational assets, they are a gift to others. Visionary leaders do not just view snapshots, they see the full picture. In short, effective leaders are discerning, observant, adaptive, and inspiring. In any project environment, project managers must take on a leadership mantle in order to survive, thrive, and overcome the challenging riddles of their projects.
Research shows that it takes both roles–leadership and followership–to get the best results. Marc and Samantha Hurwitz talked to the community about being your best in both roles, as well as bringing out the best in your teams by coaching for both leadership and followership. Participants walked away from the Leadership is Half the Story: A Fresh Look at Followership, Leadership, and Collaboration webinar with renewed insight. Here, the presenters offer answers to your questions.
Does fear matter? Hopefully, we can agree that leadership is not all about guts and glory alone. A healthy understanding of fear and ways to channel one’s own and other’s fears meaningfully can help one become a better leader.
Project leadership is as much situational as it is task-oriented. With every project being effectively different, it means leadership is about adaptation and being situationally sensitive. A case study of the U.S. Department of Defense illuminates this concept in the project management context.
When it comes to leading teams, commonsense tactics can produce uncommonly good results. Here are five recommended best practices from the author of best-seller “Hardwiring Excellence” that can boost morale and improve performance, immediately and over the long term.
Why is empathy important for leadership? Empathy may be the greatest pillar of emotional intelligence. If you don’t connect with others, you are not a leader. The purpose of this article is to drill deeper into the importance of empathy in leadership.
The style you use as the leader of the PMO will go a long way to driving how project execution occurs in your organization–and you may even drive cultural change. That’s a big job. Are you up to it?
At the turn of the century most would have agreed with the notion that the CIO was gaining ground as a true leader within organizations. Now in 2010, the pendulum may be swinging in a different direction. Is the future of the CIO in question?
Agile project management is more closely aligned to leadership best practices than traditional PM best practices. But the domain of leadership is rife with myths and misconceptions. This article explores (and slays) the five myths of leadership.
A strong project manager is one who is willing to adapt his or her style to get the best results from his or her team. This article sheds light on possible leadership style combinations that might promote team harmony and success across the team development stages, resulting in sustained leadership.
Does this even matter? Project managers are considered to be front-line professionals. But the question on whether project management is a profession by itself merits further debate. Read on to find out.
An effective leader can inspire people, marshal resources and achieve difficult goals. But before you can put effort into growing your leadership skills, you need to understand yourself—and then develop your people skills.
When things go wrong in your project, as a leader who do you blame? When the hammer is about to hit your head as a project leader, what do you do? Do you look for people on your team to sacrifice for the error—or take the blame?
Learning should never stop, but you can’t get all of your knowledge from books. In order to be a successful project manager, you have to be able to learn from other project managers. Get help forging your own path.
The best leadership is often exercised by people without positional power. Outside the official hierarchy of delegated authority, it is not about extracting things from people — it’s about service. While this type of leadership can involve explicit direction, the main role is that of a catalyst, and it takes a bit of a rebel.
After a pondering and pontificating on the topic for so long, more than ever this seasoned PM believes that leadership is still the most elusive capability plaguing CIOs today. But help is out there.
The ability to fully support and enable your team to grow, and at the same time challenge and stretch it, is a skill that can be learned and honed over time. Let’s look at how you can do this by using the concepts of yang (which pushes continous improvement and innovation) and yin (which steps back and enables the team to do so).
CIOs holds the key in establishing IT as a part of the strategic business plan, which can help drive initiated changes across the organization. However, CIOs must also focus on maximizing outcomes with results in order to dramatically change the perception and actual value of IT in the eyes of the business.
At the risk of appearing to add yet another fad to the pick-and-mix menu of leadership styles, this article looks at a fundamental leadership skill, one that all successful leaders practice–irrespective of which style they follow. And as it does not have a name, this writer is going to give this leadership skill an appropriately faddish title: Trifocal Vision.
How to Create a High Performance Customer Service Leadership Team. An organization that focuses on customer service must have good leadership. But too often people are promoted simply because of their technical expertise or tenure with the…
How to Improve Your Leadership Skills. A leader is someone with followers. Look around. Is anyone following you? If not, you are not a leader. Refer to article on “How To Build Leadership.” On the other hand, if you have followers, your…