My Weekly Blog – Leadership Perspectives

The Project Manager’s New Frontier – Strategy Execution

“You’ve got to think about big things while you’re doing small things, so that all the small things go in the right direction.”    —Alvin Toffler “Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to...

Do You Motivate or Inspire?

I was working at the PMI Region 3 meetings in Boston this week when Ron MacDonald, PMI Chapter Partner, got me into a discussion about the difference between motivation and inspiration. Interesting.  What is the role of a leader?  To inspire or to motivate?  I guess...

Do You Have a Career Plan?

Do you have a plan for your career or are you just winging it?  This post comes to you via video.  Click here to view this week's video blog post.      ...

Is Agile an ‘all or nothing’ approach to project management?

Is Agile an 'all or nothing' approach to project management?  No!  The Agile methodology has its place - at the right time for the right project in the right environment but where it is most effective is the 'nuggets' or parts that it offers all of us - regardless of...

Tools I Use to Stay Organized

Last week I wrote about staying organized, suggesting I relied on three things… Goals Process Tools I outlined the first two.  Today, I present my favourite tools. I love technology, but I’m not married to it. If it’s a manual tool that works for me, I will use it....

How Do You Stay Organized?

Business is booming. Many of us are crazy busy and staying on top of it all can be very tricky. I have a fairly busy life. I blog every week, I always have at least one new book in production, I manage the project management education Schulich Executive Education...

The PIR – Did You Get The Notes From The Last Project?

The truth is that most of us don’t see the notes from the last project. Why?  Because they don’t exist. Few organizations take the time and effort to stop what they are doing and go through a proper PIR meeting.  So, let’s go through the basics.  Maybe, after this,...

Planning is Good – But You Have to Follow Through

A solid strategic execution plan starts with these questions. Just taking the time after the initial planning phase, to go through this list, is more than most organizations will do.

Scalability and Common Sense

We are all guilty at some stage of our lives of using the wrong tool in the wrong place or using the right tool in the wrong way.

Motivating Our Project Teams is Not Easy

There are thousands of these resources working for our organizations and they are dying to be empowered with what we know for their ‘sometimes, not very expensive, not mission-critical’ projects.

What About All The Other Projects?

There are thousands of these resources working for our organizations and they are dying to be empowered with what we know for their ‘sometimes, not very expensive, not mission-critical’ projects.

Are Your Projects “Healthy”? Part 3

Two weeks ago, I introduced the idea of healthy projects.   Healthy projects: contain team members and stakeholders that are happy. have clients that are satisfied. deliver value to the “business”. provide a learning environment for everyone and everything involved,...

Are Your Projects “Healthy”? Part 2

Healthy projects contain happy team members and most of that responsibility lies on the shoulders of the team leader – most often the project manager.

Are Your Projects “Healthy”?

Do any of you put your projects through an annual physical?  Okay, maybe not the best title but you know what I mean.  As with our own physical, the best news would be that our projects have been given a clean bill of health.

The Art of Decision Making

Good decision making skills are in my top 5 list of the most important leadership qualities. If you ask a group of employees about what they look for in a good leader, you will get many answers.  Most certainly, the ability to make good decisions, will rank up there....

How do You Write an Executive Summary?

Executives summaries are the most important element of any report.   Do it right and you may hear the words “You had me after the executive summary” instead of “What report are you referring to?”

Big Initiatives Require a Sound Process

Rolling out a new idea is tricky in any organization. But you can avoid major headaches as long as you have a plan and involve your people in the process.

Are You a Micro-Manager?

Micro-management is a serious leadership issue and one that many of us need to address.  Are you one of them?

It’s Different Now

Project managers need to be offering more to our stakeholders than just a report that says we completed the work as requested.

Failure is Not Fun

The most important part of failing for any of us is learning from that failure and applying the lessons learned going forward.

Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast

Peter Drucker is famous for his line “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”.  I have a good friend, business associate and partner in a new book we are writing called “7 Elements for Strategy Execution” who loves to say “Culture eats strategy for lunch, breakfast and...

6 Reasons That Strategic Plans Fail

Numerous online sources will use the number 60% these days – the share of strategic plans that never get off the ground and of the other 40%, they suggest, at least half were not implemented successfully.

How do you encourage candor in the work space?

I wrote this blog back in April 2015 and thought it was worth another read. Tony Gareri is the CEO of Roma Moulding in the Toronto area and submitted a well-crafted article about candor to the Globe and Mail Leadership Lab in March of 2015 (https://goo.gl/SZMEhu).  He...

3 Ways to Say Thank You

When was the last time you said, ‘thank you’ unexpectedly to someone on your team? This past weekend was our Canadian Thanksgiving - a wonderful time to spend with family, eat way too much and give thanks.   This weekend always gets me thinking about our professional...

Why Should I Consider the PMI®-PBA Certification?

The challenge for today’s project managers is to be unique and be different and stand out in the crowd. This is exactly what a designation in the requirements side of our project work would do for you.

You Have to Be Different to Stand Out In The Crowd

Many people, young and old, often wonder why they’re not getting the next promotion or that new job. My question back at them is always the same: Are you standing out? Are you different than the rest of them? Are you unique? If you look the same and sound the same and...

You Will Find Your Next CSO in the PMO

Our critical strategic plans need someone in charge, someone ultimately responsible for the ‘project’ and someone who has the experience dealing with this kind of work in the past.

Five Things I Learned About Organizational Change Management [OCM]

This is a new version of a post I published in 2014 right after I hosted a gathering of senior resources from various industries for a discussion on OCM. Now I must admit that I wasn’t, by any stretch, the expert in the room. In fact, far from it. That’s why I invited...

Are You An ‘Inspirational’ Leader?

I have been blogging weekly for 4 years now and, as I look at the stats, I see one post - from 2014 – stand above all in total hits – with almost 4000 ‘reads’ since publication. It was called “Key Leadership Trait #10 – The Ability to Inspire” part of a summer series...

The Customer Isn’t the Expert

It’s always nice hear to the word’s “you are the expert – tell us what to do”.  But this is not always the case.  There are many customers out there who know the solution before you walk in the door. You arrive, they tell you what to build and how and expect you to...

Do Not Bite Off More Than You Can Chew

How many times have you said yes to something and regretted it later?  Often these are small decisions producing small pain for the wrong choice.  But what happens when it’s a big choice?  Like a project or a job?

Rookies Are a Good Thing

 All of our organizations should be hiring junior project managers as often as they can – regardless of their experience.

Give Me More Dashboards

Project managers are notoriously too detailed. We need to learn how to communicate succinctly and clearly and stop rambling on. Today I continue my summer series based on Brad Egeland’s (www.BradEgeland.com) article that appeared in www.ProjectTimes.com early July...

Rely on Experience, Not Certification

ProjectTimes is a great portal for project managers from all walks of life. When I created it in 1997, it was a cute little magazine for PMs.  Eventually, when people smarter than me got involved, it started to ramp up to what it is now. Well done...

How Do You Build a PMO?

If you treat your PMO like you should with any other project, you will be successful.

Every Strategic Plan needs a Communication Plan

A few years ago, I came across an organization that was having a real morale issue within the ranks.   It turns out that there were a number of things contributing to this issue but in the end, the most significant cause turned out to be the strategic plan. ...

Are Your Meetings Really Worth It?

(Edited from a previous posting in July, 2015) The statistics are staggering… 37 percent of employee time is spent in meetings managers attend more than 60 meetings per month 47% consider too many meetings the biggest waste of time 39% of meeting participants admitted...

Get Your Audience To Pay Attention

Whether you are a junior project manager, a senior corporate leader or a professional speaker the rules are the same. You will always run the risk of losing your audience if you don’t pay attention to these rules.

Do You Know Any Part Time Project Managers?

When we are asked to impart our wisdom on ‘part-time’ project managers, we often make the mistake of making it too complicated, too detailed and thus extremely overwhelming.

Are You Crisis Ready?

Crisis management and preparedness is critical for all of us – professionally and personally.

The Most Important Project Management Skill is Good Communications

A project manager’s primary job is to deliver information about his or her project in a timely manner, to the right people, in the right format. Keeping all stakeholders updated on important project information is critical and, in my mind, probably the number one job...

Are you Committed?

“Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes… but no plans.”

Passion Sells

If you are selling, influencing or educating, get passionate and show it. Let them know that you really believe what you are saying – through voice, your physical presence or even the written word.

Can You Sell?

If you are a leader of any sort I challenge you to look at your selling skills.

Who is Your Coach?

It doesn’t matter how good you are or where you stand in your profession – you should have a coach.

Is Delegation One of Your Strengths?

Delegation is a key management skill: project management, general management, operational management and you need to be good at it.

Always Start Your First Project Meeting On Time

You need to set an example right off the bat. Take control right at the front end and I promise you will have control, at least of the timing, of every meeting in the future. Everyone will arrive on time.

Building the PMO the Right Way – an Interview with Amy Burnet

There are so many ways to build a PMO – Project Management Office. Many are the wrong way. In this interview with Amy Burnet, past Sr. Director, Program Management Office at CIBC, we talk about the right way to approach your new PMO.

Smile!

Put your happiness to good use every day! Smile. It helps all of us around you.

Do you have a Sense of Humor?

We need to lighten up every once in a while and this is the responsibility of today’s leaders.

How Confident Are You?

Self-confidence is the fundamental basis from which leadership grows. Trying to teach leadership without first building confidence is like building a house on a foundation of sand. It may have a nice coat of paint, but it is ultimately shaky at best.

Happy New Year – Are You Ready?

At this time of the year I really appreciate the value of a good plan for the future and I certainly appreciate the opportunity to re-evaluate and re-plan for the year to come

Scale it Down

We need to take a close look at how we use the tools in our lives and whether we need to scale it down?

Are You a Micro-manager?

Micro-management is a serious leadership issue and one that many of us need to address.

Thank You

Ladies and gentleman, weather you do it by phone or in person, by letter, email, FaceTime or even a text message, it is a good time to say thank you to those around you who make you who you are.

Are You a Good Corporate Ambassador?

Corporate ambassadors are able to respond to that standard question clearly, succinctly, and in a format that does the organization proud.

Is Agile Here to Stay?

Agile was challenged to become a force within our project environments and it has certainly done that.

3 Ways to Help Your Boss Succeed

There are many things we can do to contribute to our future success like continuous learning, networking and professional strategic planning. But the one that always sticks out in my mind is helping your boss and, in fact others around you, to be successful.

Every Project Team Needs a Whale

Every project team needs a member who can add the most important element to the success of any team: compassion.   I was introduced to a very simple model for understanding the human dynamic within teams by Troy McClain (themcclaincompanies.com). I met Troy about...

What is the Core Element of a Leadership Position?

I read a great interview recently in the Globe and Mail Report on Business by Brenda Bouw with David Garofalo, CEO of Vancouver-based Goldcorp Inc.   The questions ranged from where and how did you grow up to what are your priorities as a leader?   Here is the part...

Four Reasons Why Project Managers Make Great Leaders

Organizations, if they have not already done so, are waking up and realizing that they need to find their future leaders quickly. The project management team is a great place to start looking.

What Are The First 5 Steps You Take at the Start of a Project?

Every successful project manager needs a plan - a plan that will kick in the moment they are assigned to a project and runs through to completion.   Within the first few years of all of our project management careers we are introduced to many project management tools...

It’s Time to Take a Leap

By taking a leap outside the normal, we challenge ourselves to do things differently, think differently and work differently.

Things Good Leaders Do – They are Contrarian by Nature

Smart business people, and great leaders “are contrarian by nature. They believe that the source of opportunity lies not in copying what others are doing, but rather charting a course that no one else is on. They are ‘180-degree thinkers.’

6 Leadership Tips From an NHL Executive

The Globe and Mail carried a great article on July 18, 2016, entitled “You need to be humble, you need to allow others to lead”. This article was written by Geoff Molson, President, CEO of CH Group Limited Partnership, owner of the Montreal Canadiens, Bell Center and...

Things Good Leaders Do – They Are “Mindless” About Execution

I continue my summer review my friend, Roy Osing’s, article from The Globe and Mail on June 3, 2016 entitled “10 Things Smart Business People Do”.   Smart business people, or leaders, are “mindless” about execution.  Roy writes, ‘They are comfortable with loosening up...

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