Defining the Empowered Leader
By Timothy F Bednarz
Leaders lead and managers manage. There is a definite difference between the two: managers direct while leaders motivate and inspire their employees. In the business world there are managers who are not leaders and leaders who are not managers.
Ideally, managers should be leaders, capable of motivating, empowering, securely guiding, and supporting their team to reach greater heights of achievement in whatever task is assigned to them.
An empowered leader is identified by specific characteristics and criteria. The primary goal is to build a highly effective workplace within the organization; the leader’s actions must be consistent to support that end. Positive leadership behavior is the differentiating factor that makes someone highly effective and indispensable to his or her staff and company.
The principles and actions of empowered leadership put the leader’s focus directly on the needs of their team of subordinates to facilitate the accomplishment of specific goals. Read the Complete Article
Why Should A Project Manager Motivate The Team?
By Michelle Symonds
Much has been written about the importance of “soft skills” for a project manager (or any manager for that matter) in developing a team that can work collaboratively and deliver successful projects. These soft skills include motivating the team but recently there has been the suggestion that people hate being motivated so should we assumed that all project managers are motivating their team and what does that really mean?
One of the skills that an experienced project manager will often cite as essential is that of being self-motivated – so there is an implicit assumption that project managers are self-motivated but the project team members are not; that they need to be motivated by the project manager.
Yet it is practically impossible to teach a grown adult to be self-motivated – to want to do a good job for their own self-satisfaction and sense of achievement – so what is the benefit of attempting to motivate staff? Read the Complete Article
The Seven Phases of Performance Management
By Keith Mathis – PM Expert Live
How many managers complain that their employees are not living up to their full potential? I would wager that at some point in their career, 100% of mangers have experienced this problem. There seems to always be those handful of employees who are content to slack off and let everyone else carry the extra weight. How can we improve the performance of our organization? Let’s look at seven phases of performance management.
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- Performance planning
The most important thing to remember about performance planning is that it’s not a quick fix! It takes time to learn skills and apply them. It requires detailed analysis and a correct diagnosis. A joint effort must be made by workers and management. You have to consistently hold people accountable. Teamwork is essential to make this happen. Allow employees to give ideas on issues and problems.
Getting the Most Out of Your Resources When Managing Projects
By Cora Systems
Organizations depend significantly on their resources as they are the backbone to the successful implementation of projects and therefore it is important that every member of the team performs to their optimal level.
Simply gathering a group of individuals together and setting them to work on a project doesn’t guarantee success, as they may not work effectively as a team. Creating an effective team that works well together is not something that just happens; it takes a lot of hard work, dedication and sometimes a bit of luck to achieve.
So how can a project manager get the most out of their project team?
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- Motivate: Self esteem is what fuels people’s motivation levels. Individuals with high self esteem will have a power of enthusiasm around them to complete tasks and ultimately feel good about themselves, others however who suffer from lower self esteem won’t get the same satisfaction.
Areas To Focus On To Boost Employee Engagement
By Mike Krutza
It often gets frustrating to improve employee engagement as studies show. According to a research in 2011, only 31 % of employees are really engaged. Leadership behavior among the contributing factors of this result. A leader cannot expect total employee engagement if he himself is not engaged, after all.
Areas Leaders Should Focus On For Employee Engagement
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- Leaders – People who are in charge – Leaders are accountable for the level of engagement of employees. The leadership of the company determines whether employees will be willing or not to engage themselves to their work. Leaders are the ones who are responsible for creating the atmosphere of engagement in the workplace. This can be done by providing motivators and drivers of employee engagement. Those in the leadership should think that employee engagement as a valuable company asset rests in their hands.
Setting Stretch Goals… and Avoiding SNAP Goals
By James Grinnell
Take a quick gander at some popular leadership books and you’ll come across exhortations to set sky-high goals and then step back and watch your direct reports move heaven and earth to attain them. There has been ample research at both the individual and organizational levels demonstrating the positive correlation between goal difficulty and performance. Having said such, setting stretch goals is more complicated than ratcheting up expectations past the point of plausibility.
The underlying rationale of stretch goals is that people have an innate desire to be challenged and that they will redouble their efforts when they are presented with a seemingly unattainable target. Such goals jolt the status quo mindset and cause people to rethink how they get things done (i.e., they promote creative problem solving). Relatedly, stretch goals can generate passion and enthusiasm to the extent that that give individuals a glimpse into a desired future state. Read the Complete Article
Putting Purpose Into Your Organization’s Efforts
By Ben Snyder, CEO of Systemation
It’s no secret that individuals and teams produce better results when they are motivated. Managers, coaches, and parents often seek far and wide to find a source of motivation for those they desire better results from. Motivation can come in the form of a benefit or purpose. Benefits are usually finite and have a shorter life span; whereas, purpose can exist a lifetime.
In companies, providing a sense of purpose is the best motivator. The purpose can come from what a product or service provides to customers and the benefit derived from it. Purpose can also come from the positive change or end result a project will produce when completed. These are great motivators to employees and drive them to be the best they can be.
However, even these items aren’t a guarantee when it comes to providing employees a sense of purpose. Read the Complete Article
Beyond Project Plans
By Jim Highsmith
The Agile community has long advocated self-organizing teams. However, the emphasis has been on how teams perform work, make technical decisions and the like. Most teams are still operating in the same traditional way when it comes to measuring project performance and the application of controls. If empowerment truly focuses on decentralized decisions and authority, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate how we empower teams from a financial and performance perspective. In too many cases we are still binding them to fixed plans.
My inspiration for this blog comes from meeting Bjarte Bogsnes (Vice President Performance Management Development, Statoil, and author of Implementing Beyond Budgeting) recently in Australia at a ThoughtWorks Live event. After talking with Bjarte, I’ve been re-reading his book, which discusses how he helped eliminate budgets in several large companies. One of the insights he gained was thinking about the question, “What do we really use budgets for?” The equivalent question in project terms could be, “What do we use project plans for?” The most obvious answer to that question has three components (you may think of others):
- Co-ordination with other activities
- Financial controls
The insight that Bjarte and others had was that they were using a single number for multiple purposes and that the single number was causing significant problems. Read the Complete Article
4 Ways to Motivate Your Project Team
By Jennifer Whitt
So it’s time to kick off that big project, and keep our team motivated. I’ll never forget Sue, one of my managers a long time ago, and how she kept us motivated. We had been working on a project for months on end, with many long days and nights. Sue came in one evening with pizza, and worked with us through the night to keep her team motivated. It reminds me of my father who was a coach. Before a ball game, one of his big things was to motivate the team before, during and after the game whether they won or lost. It was important to keep the team motivated for the next game. The lessons I learned from Sue and my dad’s examples are things that I try to bring to my own teams today. There are times, of course, when I as project manager forget about my team, and I have to be reminded how important it is to keep them and myself motivated and engaged. Read the Complete Article
Leading Through Persuasion
By James Grinnell
“There is only one way under high Heaven to get anybody to do anything. Did you ever stop to think of that? Yes, just one way. And that is by making the other person want to do it. Remember, there is no other way.” – Dale Carnegie
As the world of business migrates toward the coaching/servant-oriented mindset, a new approach to leadership will be called for. No longer will the “demand and command” approach prove effective. Leaders will increasingly have to use their skills of persuasion to influence their direct reports.
The Harvard Business Press publication Persuading People defines persuasion as the “… process that enables you to change or reinforce others’ attitudes, opinions, or behaviors… Persuasion is a matter not only of making a rational case but also presenting information in a way that appeals to fundamental human emotions. It’s about positioning an idea, approach, or solution in a way that appeals to the people affected by it.”
Persuasion is a process that requires those being influenced to reappraise their attitudes, values, and beliefs. Read the Complete Article