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Project Leadership

For when managing is not enough

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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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 4 Types of Project Manager

There is more than one way to grow a company, and project managers are actually at the core of that growth. In an article for Harvard Business Review, Carsten Lund Pedersen and Thomas Ritter identify four different types of project manager that can help the business grow in different ways. They say your organization should try to retain a healthy mixture of all four of these types: Executor Expert Gambler Prophet A Reliable Quartet The …

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How to Become a More Sophisticated Project Communicator

Effective communication with a variety of different people is pivotal to success as a project manager, yet people often underestimate how complicated effective communication actually is. In a post for the PM Perspectives Blog, project leadership coach Susanne Madsen describes how communication actually occurs across four different levels, and your communication will never be at its best until you can operate comfortably across all of them: Content Procedure and structure Interactions and behavior Feelings and …

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The 7 Aspects of Project Relationship Management

As project management professionals we all have become increasingly aware of the importance of the so-called “soft skills” aspect of our profession. In recent years, skills such as time management, communication (verbal and non-verbal), emotional intelligence (EQ), facilitation, conflict resolution, and organizational management have received more and more recognition as essential aspects of successful project management. Let’s add to that list a skill I like to call “Project Relationship Management” or PRM. There are upwards …

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How the Project Manager’s Vision Can Save a Project

Research from Harvard indicates that the major qualities that people expect to see in leaders–but not necessarily in their other colleagues–include being forward-thinking and encouraging others to look towards the future. This means that you as a project manager are critically expected to understand your project from a strategic perspective. In a post at her website, project leadership coach Susanne Madsen further elaborates on this coveted attribute. Solidify and Unify the Vision In order to be …

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What Separates High-Performing Leaders from Average Ones

Is the business world conspiring against leaders? Studies have shown employee dissatisfaction with not only their jobs, but their leaders. In an article for Harvard Business Review, Todd Warner explores what people can do to combat this and continue on the path to leadership success. How Leadership Fails The days of relying on competencies are gone, and even the leader with seemingly perfect ability on paper may end up failing. Why? Because leadership is not …

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