Month: April 2020

What’s your natural leadership style?

As we, project managers, reinvent ourselves during these unusual times, we may want to stop and ponder over our strengths. We may do this by self-reflection, by talking to people whose advice we trust or by taking a test. It can replenish our inner resources and serve as an anchor in times of turbulence. We may find out that being ourselves is the greatest anti-dot to adversity.

I am a reader of “Pshychologies”, so their test on leadership style came right on time:

Here is my result: Collaborator

Collaborators may not think of themselves as natural leaders, but their ability to bring people together and get them involved is a form of leadership that creates momentum and makes things happen. Collaborators believe in the power of listening and learning from others. They see the best in people and are natural networkers, even though they may not see themselves this way. When faced with a new project or challenge, their instinct is to think, ‘Who would be good for this?’ They are the opposite of a micromanager and feel relaxed about people doing things their own way, as long as it gets the desired result. With a developed sense of empathy, they can see everyone’s point of view, and they don’t like conflict, so there are times when they may struggle to make decisions. Successful collaborators will always find themselves at the centre of things, which means they are often aware of what is going on long before most people. Add to this a motivation to create the best possible outcomes for others, and a collaborator will always be an influential member of any team or friendship group.

What’s your natural leadership style?

Project/change management: five main take aways

As we navigate change during these times of moving targets, many among us turn to some of the change management tools for inspiration.

From my interaction with my fellow colleagues over the past month, many projects managers adopt the change management mode in full or in part.

While the process is multi-faceted and our learning is specific to projects we currently manage, I noticed five main common take-aways:

1. The success of change management will depend on how prepared you were. You’ll be grateful if you have no delays, backlog and no red signals on the critical paths.

2. Change management will rely on the same project’s resources, or even less resources. Donors and sponsor will not give to on-going projects any additional funds. You might find yourself finding creating ways of doing change management with no or very little funds. You might want to join forces with other projects to share the costs.

3. For internal projects, depending on the organisation’s policy and the labour legislation of the country where the project is located, the project manager might face the challenge of team’s downsizing and, consequently, the reallocation of roles and responsibilities.

4. As a project manager, you’ll be now more than ever grateful for the communication trainings you took and tips you learned along your path. The success of the change management depends vitally on timely, clear, empathic and honest communication so that everyone feels that we all in this together.

5. You’ll learn that acceptance of change will happen differently. If before we tended to engage in endless discussions and find excuses to introducing (or not) change, acceptance will happen quicker. This in turn, places much of the responsibility on those who lead the change management.

The five habits of warmhearted project managers in times of adversity

This global crisis reverberates on many if not all aspects of our lives. Projects are not immune to that. For many project managers, as any other professions, it will became a test of resilience.

Over years, I noticed that a certain magic balance between a cool head and a warm heart transforms good project managers into great leaders at any level, regardless of the team’s size and type of business. While my fellow colleagues offer seamingly endless manifestations of professional warmth in these times of adversity, I noticed five most common habits of project managers who practice it:

1. Warmhearted project managers do a well-being check first and a delivery status check after. They know or are eager to learn how are everyone’s families.

2. They give praise in public and keep the rest in private. Be it online or in the office.

3. They will “discriminate” in favour of the most vulnerable, be it in the team or among other stakeholders. They will produce that report for a team member who as a single mother has to take care of three little kids while teleworking.

4. When frustration goes up or anger boils up, they will not turn their cheek. They will simply wait until tomorrow. They will pick up the phone and talk it through.

5. They are kind to themselves and to others. They know what to say and when to say it. The also know the value of “silence is gold”. Especially in times of adversity.