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Martin Scorsese: Leadership Lessons for Project Managers

Mention the name Scorsese and the mind naturally goes to some of the greatest gangster/suspense thriller movies in the history of American Cinema. But Regis Hadiaris (the post’s author) sees something else as well. Hadiaris sees Scorsese’s expertise in creating films as 7 lessons for project managers. One of the interesting points he makes is how Scorsese determines when to say “no” and when to say “yes”:  

The distance between “order taker” and “revolutionary” at work might seem far, but in reality it’s not.  It really comes down to how you approach every interaction with your boss.  Your goal as someone who leads projects is to find objective methods to assess any situation.  Arguments of opinion are your enemy.  So, use external research, quantitive insights and qualitative input to drive when to say “no,” and when to say “yes.”

The lesson centers around Scorsese’s uncanny ability to determine what factors are going to affect his next projects: are the resources available for filming, will his bosses like his efforts, and how much can other stakeholders affect his vision — and how can he evolve it once that happens?

About Richard Wood

Richard Wood has been the publisher of CAI's Accelerating IT Success newsletter since its inception in 2011. A Marketing Major at Cal Poly Pomona he has been working with Computer Aid since 2001. He can be reached at

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