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Leadership Skills: 3 Leadership Lessons That Get You Noticed

Leadership Skills: 3 Leadership Lessons That Get You Noticed
By Martin Webster

Developing leadership skills is often a matter of trial and error. We must learn to experiment and take risks. Indeed this is how we hone our leadership skills.

Last year I learned 3 valuable lessons on leadership. They concern leadership skills borne of necessity.

Leadership Skills

Everyone faces difficulties in their job at times. Sometimes you struggle to get your message over. Sometimes your way is blocked.

What do you do?

Here’s what you do: shine. Become a beacon of good practice. Be a champion for the corporate good.

Developing leadership skills demands knowledge and experience. Read as much as you like and sooner or later you have to take risks and put what you learned into practice.

3 Lessons Learned About Leadership

A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way. – John Maxwell

  1. Have a Game Plan

    I choose my words carefully.

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Project Schedule and Cost Estimating – Part 1

Project Schedule and Cost Estimating – Part 1
By Martin Webster

There can’t be a crisis next week. My schedule is full. – Henry Kissinger

Project schedule and cost estimating are very important activities. Among other things the schedule tells the project manager how long it will take to complete the project (or any part of it.) It’s also the basis for preparing cost and resource plans. But the problem with estimating is this. When formulating plans at the beginning of a project there is usually insufficient information to estimate with any degree of accuracy. Yet the project manager will face demands to know how long the project will take and how much the project will cost. Worse still the project manager is almost certainly expected to meet publicized delivery dates regardless of their legitimacy.

What do you do? Perhaps you stick a finger in the air and hope for the best or base your estimate on past performance and experience. Read the Complete Article

5 Tips to Motivate Your Project Team

5 Tips to Motivate Your Project Team
By Martin Webster

Change introduces uncertainty, stress and anxiety in those affected by and those implementing change. Inevitably this has an impact on motivation and performance. Keeping your project team motivated is a challenge for the project manager and crucial to success. Unfortunately some managers use fear or draw from accrued goodwill to achieve results. However, this only works for a while and ultimately damages credibility. A leadership style with a people-orientation is key to motivating staff. Use the following tips to motivate your team. Review performance and your approach to motivation regularly.

  1. Clear Goal Setting – Goal-setting is linked to task performance and is the main source of intrinsic motivation – that is, motivation driven by an interest in the task. Setting specific and clear goals leads to greater output and better team performance. Therefore, set unambiguous, measurable and clear goals with a deadline for completion to avoid any misunderstanding.
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The Project Control Cycle

The Project Control Cycle
By Martin Webster

The Deming Cycle (or PDCA cycle) was introduced by Dr. W. Edwards Deming during the 1950s as a universal improvement methodology. The concept, which is founded on statistical quality control, is simple: continual1 improvement. Whilst this method has its root in manufacturing and quality control it follows basic cybernetic theory. That is, a closed signal loop where there is a circular causal feedback mechanism.

Similarly, in project management the project manager needs to create an environment where any change to the project plan is fed back as information. Typically, this is depicted as the project control cycle. The application of the project control cycle cannot and should not be understated; it is the raison d’être for the project manager.

During each stage of the project it is essential that the project manager continually forecasts and re-forecasts the three areas of project benefit viability: time, cost, and scope. Read the Complete Article

Engaging Your Project Stakeholders

Engaging Your Project Stakeholders
By Martin Webster

In this article, I will address a main reason for project failure. That is, ineffective top management involvement and/ or support. Management commitment is about motivating and leading by example. Consequently, genuine management commitment is absolutely essential for every project – if management do not support project management best practices openly and demonstrably or they are not fully committed to the proposed business change it is unlikely that their staff will take on that responsibility.

What’s more, management commitment is needed throughout the project – the plan, do, check, act cycle. Simply providing the funds for implementing a change and sitting back expecting results is not enough! However, there’s really little point writing about the perceived failings of senior management or the project executive when my target audience is the project manager. Consequently, I will focus on those activities a project manager can do to gain support from their management executives. Read the Complete Article

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