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Project Leadership

For when managing is not enough

3 Leadership Techniques for Success

Great leadership is not a single set of best practices. Great leadership is more like, well, a game like Pokémon—where there are hundreds of unique and specialized techniques to play out in hundreds of different occasions. So it is always useful to read up on new techniques to expand your repertoire. In a post for Project Management Tips, Elizabeth Harrin shares three such tips: Share the project goals. Manage by walking around. Shield the team …

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How to Become a Better Coach to Your Team Members

When you make an honest-to-goodness effort to help your team members improve, they notice, and they appreciate it. Or at the very least, they appreciate it when you actually do a good job of it. Toward that end, in a post at her website, project leadership coach Susanne Madsen discusses a few potent tips for becoming a better coach. Coaching for Specific Effect First of all, it is important to understand the difference between giving …

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Managing Globally Distributed Project Teams

I started managing projects that included team members or customers outside the US in the mid-‘90s. In the beginning, it was one other country. Then two, and so on. These days, working with globally distributed project teams is my norm. A typical project will include people spread across five to 30 countries, three to five continents, and from three to seven time zones. As you would expect, it’s very different from managing a few folks …

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Our Favorite Method to Watch Our Projects Fail

All want to succeed The reality of projects is that some projects do fail. That is unfortunate. Of course, projects can fail for multiple reasons. Each project is unique and has its own context. Whole books can be written on the topic. It is an interesting topic. Failures can be the best mentor in life. Organizations do sincerely want to complete their projects successfully. After all, they are the one approving these projects. They invest …

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How to Give Actionable and Effective Feedback

Everyone wants to give effective feedback to their team, but making sure it sticks takes some work. It’s easy to rattle off someone’s flaws and tell them to fix it. There needs to be a tactful approach to providing feedback that can get your point across while keeping your team members’ spirits up. In a post at her blog, Susanne Madsen gives some guidelines on how to give constructive, specific, and well-meaning feedback: Use self-directed …

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Four Tips to Enter the Project Sponsor Role

Project sponsors have the power, and they need to be able to find the right amount of involvement in the project to use that power responsibly. Be too involved and you’re micromanaging things within the project manager’s domain, but being too uninvolved will leave your project manager out to dry. In a post for the PM Perspectives Blog, Susanne Madsen gives some tips on how to get started as a project sponsor: Take ownership of …

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10 Things New Project Managers Should Know

One of the big ideas behind mentoring, knowledge management, and lessons learned (among other similar principles) is that we want to save others from making the same mistakes that we already have made. But often, people end up making those same mistakes anyway. So in a post at A Girl’s Guide to Project Management, rather than give warnings, Elizabeth Harrin just shares 10 good-to-knows about project management: Manage scope. Learn the vocabulary. Review success continually. …

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Convert Good Project Management into Great Project Leadership

For the project management office (PMO) to be successful in the long term, it needs to be constantly improving the skills of its project managers. Particularly, managers need to be developing their comprehensive leadership skills. In a post for the PM Perspectives Blog, Rebecca Leitch highlights the need for a greater emphasis on soft skills in developing managers. Such skills are not as easy to objectively measure or train for, but they are too important …

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The Other Half of Project Kickoff You’ve Forgotten

For most, the project kickoff is just a one-and-done event where the project manager articulates the goals and context of a new project for the team. However, the kickoff can and should be more than that. As project leadership coach Susanne Madsen explains in a post at her website, the kickoff can also be used to define the team identity. Taking this extra step will greatly improve the odds of project success. Strong Team, Strong …

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The Dark Side of Resilience

We always want to celebrate people who bounce back from hardships. Resilience is a quality people never get scolded for having. But sometimes—maybe they should? In an article for Harvard Business Review, Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic and Derek Lusk discuss how excessive resilience can actually be a detriment to business. Self-Assured of Nothing One way resilience can work against you is when it comes to unrealistic goals. An overly resilient person might work toward an overly ambitious …

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