Project Management

The Leadership Lifestyle

Every project is an opportunity to display and improve your leadership, in good times and bad. When pilot Chesley Sullenberger knew US Airways Flight 1549 was going down, his decision to land the plane in the Hudson River was a heck of a way to maintain control of a sticky situation. Dave Wakeman writes a post for PMI about how you can employ such leadership in your projects.

Three Paradigms for Leadership

  1. Build adaptability into your routine.
  2. Accept mistakes—and their part in innovation.
  3. View integrity as a way of life.

You know full well that project specifications can change like the wind. But instead of worrying about the project slipping away from you, get proactive. Take a timeout at the end of the day to reflect on what has changed and understand the direction in which the project must now go.

As for the second item, Wakeman realizes that for some organizations, mistakes mean punishment. That can make it challenging and risky for you to attempt anything new or different in your work process. Wakeman suggests working around this by going to your sponsor, explaining that you have a new idea you would like to try, and outlining all of the positive and negative ramifications that could stem from your efforts.

This suggestion also plays into his final point—speaking up is a big part of leadership. When the organization gets too focused on pushing deliverables out the door and loses sight of the big picture, it is your duty as a leader to express your concerns and make suggestions about getting back on course. As long as you keep your wits and your guts about you, you can push positive change in the organization. You can read Wakeman’s blog post here: http://blogs.pmi.org/blog/voices_on_project_management/2014/05/the-leadership-lifestyle.html

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