Tag Archives: Business

Out of Control Team Member – What would you do?

Greetings Leaders!

I was teaching class last night and we had a very lively discussion about Resource Management. Here was the scenario..

  1. A Project Manager and a Line Manager meet to discuss getting a team resource for the project.
  2. The Project Manager doesn’t like the team member that the Line Manager is going to give him.
  3. The PM and LM get into a disagreement as this engineer has spouted off in front of the customer on past projects, causing a LOT of trouble.
  4. The upcoming project demands a lot of customer interaction.
  5. The Line Manager basically says too bad. He agrees to attend the PM’s meetings to ensure the engineer stays in line, but during the first few meetings, the LM is a no show.
  6. The engineer ends up calling the customer inept in a meeting, and the customer threatens to reevaluate the contract.

What could you have done as the PM to prevent this from happening?

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Five Ways to Set Yourself Apart as a Project Manager

Greetings Leaders!

Are you struggling to break out as a Project Manager at your organization? Well, you’re not alone. If we think about the 80/20 rule, only 20% of the Project Managers out there are going to rise above the others. After teaching project managers, consulting at many organizations and just reflecting on my career, I’ve come up with five things you need to do to get that next promotion.

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Evaluating Your Organization’s Project Management Effectiveness (PME)

Greetings Leaders!

As a project management expert, I often get to see first hand how an organization measures their effectiveness in project management. I find it intriguing that so many of them, don’t really understand what they are trying to measure. They just look at their list of projects and if they all get done, then they are successful. If they don’t they are not successful. Many don’t measure it at all. Measuring project management effectiveness (PME) is important, but overlooked by many. What about your organization?

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How To Get More Out of Your Project Managers and Your Team

Greetings Leaders!

Statistically speaking, the 80/20 rule seems to apply to almost every situation. When it comes to your staff, it means that 20% of the people do 80% of the work. What would happen if we could somehow raise the level of performance of the 80%, just a bit? Or better yet, how can we move the bell curve to the right so that 40% of the people do 80% of the work? By moving the bell curve to the right, if the original 20% stay productive, and you increase the productivity of 25% of the rest of your staff, the amount of work that got done would have to go up. So, how do we go about accomplishing this?

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Five Steps To Developing Great Leaders

Greetings Leaders!

I often wonder why some companies have great leaders, and others don’t. Any company worth mentioning has a leadership program, yet not all companies have great leaders. Why is that? Here are five steps you can take to ensure you and your organization are developing great leaders.

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5 Tips To Reinvent Yourself – For Those Out of Work

Greetings Leaders!

Last night I volunteered at a Career Coaching event at Bayside of Granite Bay. The event supported the Career Coaching program for those in transition, and there were 50+ job seekers there. For those in the Sacramento-Roseville-Rocklin area, I highly recommend it. They’ve successfully helped over 200 people find their next career. Although affiliated with the church, this is a non-evangelical event. Meaning you can walk in the door without getting preached to. The point is to help people in need get back on their feet.

I’ve done this before both at the church and other groups, and am always struck by the high caliber people who are for whatever reason unemployed. If you find yourself in this predicament, take heart, it is only temporary. Having said that – I do also come across those who I know will struggle to find their next job. If you’ve been unemployed for over 6 months, here are 5 things you need to consider.

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Accountability – Path of the Honorable Leader

Greetings Leaders!

This is the 15th posting in the series The Path of the Honorable Leader.

Accountability. Holding others and self to be responsible for one’s actions. The Honorable Leader knows that there are no excuses. That whatever we do, we are responsible for the results. If we can take credit for the good, we should also be willing to take credit for the not so good, or sometimes, the bad. To hold people accountable means to love them enough to hold them responsible for their actions. Much like we teach our children the to be responsible for what they do, the Honorable Leader knows that this is something we should continue doing as adults. By holding others accountable, we build the framework for growth. That a lack of accountability leads to reckless actions, pain, setbacks, and a life of mediocrity.

Holding others accountable is hard. To tell someone they missed the mark, while encouraging them to do better, takes time and energy. It puts the leader in a vulnerable position as he must sometimes buck against the headwind. His may be the lone voice that calls for reasonableness and accountability. Too often, leaders fail to hold others accountable. That in their quest for power, prestige and profits, they sacrifice accountability. The Honorable Leader knows better. Accountability is a cornerstone for long term growth. Accountability, while sometimes painful, is the only way to sustained progress.

As an Honorable Leader, hold others, and yourself, accountable for your actions.

All the best!
All the time!

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Stakeholder Management – Key To Your Success

Greetings Leaders!

I’m the middle of teaching a project management class and we just finished up a section on Stakeholder Management. The discussion was lively, the group insightful, and as is often the case when I teach, I learned a few things myself. What I found interesting was the passion this particular group of students had about managing stakeholders. Most of the students are experienced project managers and they had a lot of insight into this vital but often overlooked area of project management. The two questions that got the discussion going were:

  1. Would you consider yourself (as a project manager) successful if you met the requirements, the timeline and the budget… but your customers were not satisfied with the product?
  2. Would you consider yourself successful if your project was delivered later than originally planned, over the original budget, but your stakeholders were happy?

Of course there are many situations that would influence your answer. But in general, and the class agreed, managing stakeholder and customer expectations were the keys to measuring project success.

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Leaders Can’t Afford to be Transparent

Greetings Leaders!

As my wife and I raised our children we had many debates about what and when to tell them certain things about life. When do we tell them about Santa Clause? When was the best time to explain the birds and the bees? When was it ok to let them go see a PG-13 movie that contained heavy references to sex, alcohol or drugs? (I threw in the last one, because while this was a no-brainer for us, we just saw several families with very young children at the movies watching “Just Go With It.”) While we all have different answers to these questions, it is obvious that we don’t tell our kids everything, until they are ready.

I believe in honesty and integrity, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re obligated as leaders to tell people everything we know, all the time. There seems to be a growing movement out there that seems to believe that leaders are obligated to be completely transparent. As a leader… don’t fall into this trap.

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5 Leadership Tips To Save a Troubled Project

Greetings Leaders!

I’ve been hired to salvage troubled projects before. Sometimes I was successful, other times… well, not so much. Trouble projects are not hard to identify. In fact, it’s relatively easy. They’re chronically late, over budget, have poor quality, and the team is often in disarray. If you’ve been a project manager for any length of time, you will certainly have managed a troubled project. Saving a troubled project is not rocket science, but it is one of the more difficult things to do.

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