My Weekly Blog – Leadership Perspectives

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...

Things Good Leaders Do – Avoid the Perfect Solution

Smart business people, or leaders, don’t look for perfection, suggests Roy. “The quest for the perfect solution (which doesn’t exist in any event) only takes valuable time away from execution. They understand that success is a function of doing lots of imperfect stuff fast.”

Take an Interest in Other People’s Lives

I love to ask questions – about anything and everything and especially about what people are doing, have done and are going to do? Work, fun, adventure, family… anything. It’s certainly better than talking about the weather.

The Best Leadership Training is Parenthood

This topic has been written about so many times but I figured after three years of blogging every week, it was time I piped in with my list of the seven things that parenting teaches us about leadership.

I Only Read the First Three Sentences!

We don’t read everything we are asked to read. Most often, we just skim. We skim to pick up the idea, the theme or the key points. We skim to find the parts that are of most interest to us at that time.

How Quick Are You to React?

How fast are you at reacting? When was the last time you hit and regretted it within seconds? When was the last time you snapped at an individual at work (or at home) without considering the repercussions?

4 Tips for Conducting Your Next Post-Mortem Review?

I was facilitating a one-day workshop last week in the Hudson Valley area on how to run and manage a post-mortem meeting at the end of a project.  The first thing we discussed was the name ‘post-mortem’.  We all agreed that the name needed some work.   If you look it...

4 Tips to Better Understand Your Audience

I had an important meeting last week with an individual with whom I work very closely. Everything was not right. Some feathers had been ruffled and we needed to talk it out. There was a day when I would simply stew until the meeting and try to get it all out on the...

How Many Volunteer Hours Have You Clocked Over the Past Year?

To some, volunteering is all about giving back – to the benefit of those being served. To others, it is used for personal benefit- to learn, connect with new people and maybe a lead to employment. It doesn’t matter why you are doing it. The fact that you are out there, lending your time and expertise, is what does.

Communicating Up to Senior Management

Welcome to my Weekly 1 Minute Video Series. This series of video posting is designed to stimulate ideas, thought and discussion around topics somehow related to: project management * project leadership * organizational leadership * personal leadership   Today's 1...

Are You Willing to Fail?

Taking risks is the key to innovation and taking risks means that you need to be willing to fail.

Are You An Anointed One?

If we rely on these institutions to select well, teach well and graduate well are we getting the leadership product we need?

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?”

Are Your Projects an Awesome Experience for the Team?

Project managers, project leaders and managers of all types should be able to put themselves in the position of their team members and think about their response to the question “What makes an awesome project team?”

How Confident Are You?

Welcome to my Weekly 1 Minute Video Series. This series of video posting is designed to stimulate ideas, thought and discussion around topics somehow related to: project management * project leadership * organizational leadership * personal leadership   Today's 1...

Are You Working on Your Soft-Skills?

Welcome to my Weekly 1 Minute Video Series. This series of video posting is designed to stimulate ideas, thought and discussion around topics somehow related to: project management * project leadership * organizational leadership * personal leadership Today's 1 minute...

# 3 Reason Projects Fail – Egos!

These are all contributing factors to project failure. Big egos have a very tough time giving up the reins. They fear that no one can do it all as well as themselves. Big egos need to step aside for the sake of the success of projects.

Why Do Projects Fail? – Part 2

Some project managers will think that they can avoid change. Some will mistakenly think that their projects won’t experience change. They are all wrong. Things change. We all know that.

Are You Small ‘a’ Agile

Welcome to my Weekly 1 Minute Video Series. This series of video posting is designed to stimulate ideas, thought and discussion around topics somehow related to: project management * project leadership * organizational leadership * personal leadership Today's 1 minute...

Why Do Projects Fail? – Part 1

I joined the PMI in 1995. When we talked about project failure back then no one mentioned lousy requirements.

I wish I had..

About a year ago I wrote in this space about the importance of having a plan – a strategic plan: a personal or professional strategic plan that addresses our future. Where are we today, where do we want to be in a year’s time and most importantly, how are we going to get there?

Who Are You Going to Call This Week?

Every one of us have people in our lives who will find this next week to be extra difficult. A family member who has just lost a job and will find the financial burden a little trying this week, a fellow employee who is in the middle of cancer treatment, our next-door neighbor who is suffering from a debilitating heart ailment, our new friend across the road who just lost her mother.

3 Tips for Better Presentations

Welcome to my Weekly 1 Minute Video Series. This series of video posting is designed to stimulate ideas, thought and discussion around topics somehow related to: project management * project leadership * organizational leadership * personal leadership Today's 1 minute...

4 Steps to Making ‘Plan A’ a Reality

The truth is that if you just dream, it will not come true. You need to make it happen. Without a vision, a plan and a sound execution strategy the dreams will always be dreams.

How Do I Build a PMO?

Welcome to my Weekly 1 Minute Video Series. This series of video posting is designed to stimulate ideas, thought and discussion around topics somehow related to: project management * project leadership * organizational leadership * personal leadership Today's 1 minute...

Who Should Make the Decision?

Another key part of decision making process is the question of whether or not you are the right person to make the decision or is someone better positioned to make the call? A good leader will look at his or her strengths and areas of responsibility and decide who will make the call.

3 Steps to Good Judgement and Decision Making

Great leaders should know how to use good judgement and make good decisions. This is an attribute that seems to be often overlooked as a key ingredient to leadership success.

Three Ways to Say Thank You

This holiday is all about family and friends. But today I want to use this opportunity to think about saying thank you to another group of people in our lives: our professional connections.

4 Reasons I Should Care About My Organization’s Strategic Plan

Strategic planning used to be the domain of our senior leaders and board of directors. As I said in my previous post on Strategy Execution, this is one of the reasons that many strategic plans collect dust on the shelves. It was never communicated to the organization.

5 Reasons Strategic Plans Fail

The strategic plan is probably the most important tool that any leader has at their disposal. The strategic plan drives everything within, and a well-run organization should be able to connect everything it does back to that plan.

Are You Doing a Performance Review on Your Projects?

Why are you waiting until the end of the project to do a post-mortem? Why are you looking at lessons learned only at the end of the project? Are you spending time with your project resources to review performance and plan ahead? Honestly, are you even taking the time to do a post mortem review of that project?

How Do I Connect to the Right People?

The way to find the right people or right person is build a network of friends and professional contacts now – not when it’s too late. Then, when the need arises, we are not starting from scratch. The network is in place. The right people are part of our circle and the rest is easy.

Why Do We Need Business Analysts?

These folks (business analysts) are really struggling: for recognition, for job security, for a well defined career path and for a recognized set of defined core competencies.

Stop That Project!

After so many years of watching our projects stumble to completion only to realize that we should have cancelled long ago, we seem to be getting to a point where we have the knowledge, the power and the nerve to say “Stop. No more.”

Look for the Big Picture

Welcome to my Weekly 1 Minute Video Series. This series of video posting is designed to stimulate ideas, thought and discussion around topics somehow related to: project management * project leadership * organizational leadership * personal leadership Today's 1 minute...

We Did It!

I was watching the last few holes of the Tour Championship golf tournament yesterday as Jordan Spieth not only won the competition but also the overall FedEx Championship (and a $10 million bonus!). It was quite something to watch.

Encourage Them to Stop Winging It! But Stop Making It So Complicated.

Many people manage projects of some type and most of those are not professionally trained project managers. When it comes to making something happen, they just wing it: meetings, events, conferences, new businesses, small software projects, office relocations, house moves, weddings, parties, family vacations… you get my drift.

Communicating is a Science

Great communicators are well recognized in every organization. So are the poor ones. Which one are you?

What Are You Doing to Serve Others?

Now more than ever, our leaders – political and otherwise – are being asked to step up and help – to extend a hand and resources to the growing throng of refugees escaping war torn Syria and surrounding countries.

Make it Personal

Great leaders understand that we all have lives outside the organization and a healthy employee is one with a balanced life.

4 Steps to Becoming More Resilient

I recently heard a popular leader referred to as ‘tough as nails”. She is famous for being in difficult situations and finding a way out – gracefully and unscathed.

4 Things My Wife has Learned about Leadership at the PanAm Games

In case you didn’t know it, the Pan Am games are in full swing now in Toronto. I know this very well because my wife, Karen, is a volunteer at the Games.  As I’ve watched her come and go from her commitments these past two weeks I’ve learned a lot, not only about her,...

Is It Time To Clean Up Your Meetings?

Is it time to clean up your meetings? Mismanaged, poorly run, disorganized meetings can cost an organization $ ‘000’s a year. They can waste days of employees’ time. They can demoralize the team and they can create conflict needlessly.   Too often we find ourselves...

Prepare Today for Leadership Tomorrow

Welcome to my Weekly 1 Minute Video Series. This series of video posting is designed to stimulate ideas, thought and discussion around topics somehow related to: project management * project leadership * organizational leadership * personal leadership Today's 1 minute...

Check Your Ego!

We often hear the words “check your ego at the door”.  Originally, I was thinking that this should be the title to this blog post. But leaders shouldn’t check their egos at the door. They can’t. Instead they should learn how to manage their egos.   Many people will...

Do Your Presentations Open With a POP?

You have 2 minutes to catch my attention. If you fail, you have lost not just me, but most of your audience.   Many years ago, as a sales representative with Symantec, I was taught that every presentation should POP open. We called it the UPOP.  (Origin: Xerox Sales...

Are you Committed?

Welcome to my Weekly 1 Minute Video Series. This series of video posting is designed to stimulate ideas, thought and discussion around topics somehow related to: project management * project leadership * organizational leadership * personal leadership Today's 1 minute...

Do You Have a Small Project Approval Process?

As I have been working through and delivering my new strategic planning and execution workshop, one of the key benefits to strategic planning that keeps raising its head is what I will call “Small Project Portfolio Control”.   A solid strategy will help keep those pet...

Do you Have a Vision for Your Future?

Welcome to my Weekly 1 Minute Video Series. This series of video posting is designed to stimulate ideas, thought and discussion around topics somehow related to: project management * project leadership * organizational leadership * personal leadership Today's 1 minute...

Strategy Execution – Does Your Organization’s Culture Support It?

Last week I started my series on Strategy Execution in support of my workshop this Thursday at the CPA Ontario Leadership Conference in Toronto (http://goo.gl/EMCRfN).   I quoted Rob MacLellan, current Chair of YellowPages and Wind Mobile, when asked for the keys to...

3 Tips for Better Presentations

Welcome to my Weekly 1 Minute Video Series. This series of video posting is designed to stimulate ideas, thought and discussion around topics somehow related to: project management * project leadership * organizational leadership * personal leadership Today's 1 minute...

The Key to Strategic Planning is Execution Planning

  “(Strategy) execution is the great unaddressed issue in the business world today. Its absence is the single biggest obstacle to success and the cause of most of the disappointments that are mistakenly attributed to other causes.” ― Ram Charan, author of What the CEO...

Do You Have a Life Plan?

Welcome to my Weekly 1 Minute Video Series. This series of video posting is designed to stimulate ideas, thought and discussion around topics somehow related to: project management * project leadership * organizational leadership * personal leadership Today's 1 minute...

An Interview with Me – David Barrett

My friend Tony Higgins, at BluePrint Software, interviewed me awhile back and was able to cover a lot of ground.  During a very busy few weeks for me, I thought I would take this opportunity to present this interview.   Click here to download or listen to the...

Are You Good at Delegation?

Welcome to my Weekly 1 Minute Video Series. This series of video posting is designed to stimulate ideas, thought and discussion around topics somehow related to: project management * project leadership * organizational leadership * personal leadership Today's 1 minute...

Are You Agile?

Anyone in the project management or business analysis space knows that the word ‘Agile’ is a unique methodology or process that is becoming popular these days with a certain type of project. Note the word begins with a capitol ‘A’.   This blog post is not on Agile. ...

Are You Honest and Ethical?

Welcome to my Weekly 1 Minute Video Series. This series of video posting is designed to stimulate ideas, thought and discussion around topics somehow related to: project management * project leadership * organizational leadership * personal leadership Today's 1 minute...

6 Things You Can Do to Prepare for Leadership – Part 2

Last week I wrote part one of ‘6 Things You Can Do to Prepare for Leadership”.   I mentioned that the first 6 were for immediate action.   I also suggested that there was another 6 that addressed parts of the plan that can’t happen overnight.   This week we look at...

Are You Communicating Throughout the Project?

Welcome to my Weekly 1 Minute Video Series. This series of video posting is designed to stimulate ideas, thought and discussion around topics somehow related to: project management * project leadership * organizational leadership * personal leadership Today's 1 minute...

6 Things You Can Do Today to Prepare for Leadership Tomorrow

Many of us are in what I call a pre-leadership position.  We are in a role where we are managing people and making mid-level decisions on projects and initiatives that are important to the health and success of our organizations.  Generally, we are looking forward to...

Can you Talk CxO Language?

Welcome to my Weekly 1 Minute Video Series. This series of video posting is designed to stimulate ideas, thought and discussion around topics somehow related to: project management * project leadership * organizational leadership * personal leadership Today's 1 minute...

Are you Emotionally Fit to Lead?

Forbes.com recently published an article called “5 Ways To Transform Yourself Into A Leader” in which it suggested that leaders need emotional fitness.  How true.   We look up to our leaders for all types of inspiration and guidance.  We need our leaders to hold...

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