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7 Lead-Off Mistakes to Avoid as a First Time Manager

7 Lead-Off Mistakes to Avoid as a First Time Manager
By Art Petty

Establishing yourself as a credible and positive leader is important and challenging. Here are some all-too-common missteps of first-time (and even some hapless, experienced) managers. Avoid them in good health!

  1. Leading-off with, “Things are going to change around here.” Too many managers enter into a new role assuming everything is broken and that they’ve been elevated to right the wrongs and inanities of the prior regime. Unless your boss has suggested that your function isn’t functioning at all, you need to show some respect for the work of the group, the team members and yes, the prior manager. You won’t win any hearts or minds by suggesting that everyone else was incapable of functioning without you around.
  2. Leading-off with some variation of, “I’m the New Sheriff in Town.” I’ve lost track of the number of times a new manager has compensated for his insecurities by overplaying the “I’m in charge” card.

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The Alchemy of Great Leadership

The Alchemy of Great Leadership
By Art Petty

Alchemy, according to Malouin in the Encyclopedia of Diderot, is the chemistry of the subtlest kind which allows one to observe extraordinary chemical operations at a more rapid pace-ones that require a long time for nature to produce.

Newsflash, there are no shortcuts to great leadership. Much like the failure to change nature’s principles in search of longevity or turning lead into gold, one’s ability lead develops slowly over time and with much strain.

10 Lessons Learned in Search of Success as a Leader

  1. You’re always an apprentice. If you think you’ve mastered this, you’re failing. Approach each day eager to learn another lesson, and you will. Approach each day assuming you’ve got this role licked, and you’ll get clobbered when you least expect it.
  2. Great leaders require great missions. It’s the humdrum of the mundane of the status quo that squashes the spirits of leaders and the people around them.

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Leading the Project? Define Your Charter to Support High Performance

Leading the Project? Define Your Charter to Support High Performance
By Art Petty

Effective leadership is a critical success factor for projects of all shapes and sizes.

And breathing is good for living.

It’s hard to argue with either of these statements, nonetheless, too many project managers deeply skilled in the mechanics of their vocation fall short on learning and practicing the soft-skills critical for high performance team development. When project fail…and too many do, there’s a safe bet that people-related issues are key contributors to the initiative’s demise.

Great project managers define their role beyond the project mechanics liberally. Working with team members at the front-end of the project to define the role and accountabilities of the project leader is a great practice that improves the odds of team success. The development of a Project Leader’s Charter is a simple, powerful technique that helps everyone involved gain a clear, consistent and comprehensive view of the leader’s role. Read the Complete Article

4 Big Benefits of Coaching Your Teams

4 Big Benefits of Coaching Your Teams
By Art Petty

“I have no question that when you have a team, the possibility exists that it will generate magic, producing something extraordinary… But don’t count on it.” -J. Richard Hackman

The operative phrase in the late Dr. Hackman’s quote is, “But don’t count on it.”

Too often and with the best of intentions, we assemble a team of our best and brightest to tackle an important issue and then assuming our job is done and the task is in the hands of these capable people, we step away and wait for the results. And all too often, instead of something magical from our teams, what we get back looks and feels a lot like flailing heading towards failing.

Effective leaders understand the importance of coaching to team success, and they either remain involved in this capacity or, better yet, they ensure that a responsible and objective third party is placed in this role. Read the Complete Article

Art of Managing – Balancing the Need for Speed and Performance

Art of Managing – Balancing the Need for Speed and Performance
By Art Petty

With few exceptions that I’ve encountered, most senior leaders lose sleep over how fast their organizations and employees are moving. Their minds and mantras are: faster to change, faster to improve, faster to add new capabilities, faster to explore and develop competence in new markets and with new customer groups.

Given the nature of business in this world today…exponential change, time compression and a seriously heightened risk of disruption in many industries and sectors, perhaps the battle cry for more speed from the top is understandable.

However, at the same time senior leaders are looking for ways for their firms and teams to move faster, most employee groups and their managers are bogged down slogging through the reality of getting stuff done. Their focus is on daily performance and often, they are struggling with too many projects chasing too few people, less than ideal staffing levels overall and dissonance around priorities. Read the Complete Article

Learning to Lead in the Project-focused World

Learning to Lead in the Project-focused World
By Art Petty

The rise of “the project” as an important means of competing and creating value has profound implications for those in leadership roles. Unfortunately, in many cases, the evolution in leadership practices has not kept pace with the needs of project teams or the needs of organizations struggling to develop competence at executing on projects.

Our traditional models of leadership emphasize the development of skills and practices that focus on individuals and teams generally operating under the umbrella of a single functional leader. However, firms moving towards a project-focused culture tend to start by overlaying a matrix form project management structure on top of the traditional functional orientation. This new and non-traditional environment offers a host of new problems and challenges for leaders used to being masters of their own domains.

As a sidebar, while the project management discipline is well established and the role of the formal project manager is growing in importance and popularity, both my own anecdotal evidence and the many reports and studies on project performance indicate that we’ve not yet cracked the code on managing projects for success. Read the Complete Article

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3 – Abdulla Alkuwaiti 288 – Katy Whitton
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