My Weekly Blog – Leadership Perspectives

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Do You Have a 20 Second Elevator Speech?

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...

Candor is the Key to Business Success

Today I want to talk about an article that was sent to me by a good friend awhile back which dissected the word ‘candor’ as it relates to business success.  I thought it was brilliant.  So as I try to post original thoughts in this blog every week, sometimes I have to...

5 Things I Learned About OCM

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 Steps to Better Time Management for All Leaders

I had a friend in my life a while back who was heading up a very large corporation in Winnipeg and living in Toronto. Every Monday he would hop in the car and drive to Pearson International, fly to Winnipeg and live and work there for the week.  Each Friday afternoon...

What Kind of Leader Do You Want?

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 Practicing ‘Good Meetings’?

Do people leave your meetings saying “That was a really valuable use of my time” or “What a great meeting!”?  Or do you hear “What a waste of time” as they are walking out the door?   It is so easy to bash meetings: a waste of time, poorly organized, a lousy...

Leaders Need a Sense of Humor (Humour)

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...

Strategic Portfolio Management – An Interview with LeRoy Ward

    My long time friend, project management and portfolio management consultant, LeRoy Ward, shares his governance model for strategic portfolio management.  Leroy has spent the past 15 years specializing in portfolio management and strategic management....

Our Job is to Inspire

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...

Be Aware of Your Personal Limitations

I attended the retirement party for Dave Toycen, CEO, World Vision Canada, this past Friday.  Dave is an amazing man who, over 28 years with World Vision, has contributed so much to the health and welfare of children around the world.   As expected, he delivered...

10 Reasons Leaders Should Be Givers

I attended a retirement celebration in honour of David Toycen, CEO, World Vision Canada this past Friday.  It was a fitting event for an amazing leader who gave and gave for the children of the world.  And then this falls on my desk this morning. 10 Reasons Leaders...

Can Project Managers Make Great Leaders?

Welcome to my new 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...

Listen… Please!

Listen... Please!  Communication skills are one of the most important attributes for managers and leaders at all levels. But when we think of communicating we quickly think of oral and written skills. The third leg often gets forgotten or maybe strategically left out:...

You Need a Plan B

Welcome to my new 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...

What Does a Project Management Office Look Like?

Someone recently asked me about a one day seminar on building a Project Management Office (PMO).  I told them that there could be no greater waste of time than to get an individual to stand in front of them for one day to tell them how to build the PMO.  And if they...

Great Leaders Know How to Inspire

Welcome to my new 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...

Listen, Wait, Listen Some More and Then Act

Yesterday I spoke to a past PMI President from Europe, as part of a research project for a new speech I will be doing for PMI Regional Leadership Meetings.   When asked for any advice he would give to future PMI chapter leaders he said “Listen, wait, listen some...

Your Professional Strategic Plan

Welcome to my new 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...

When Was The Last Time You Wrote a Letter?

When Was The Last Time You Wrote a Letter? I mean a real letter using a pen, paper, envelope and stamp? I don’t mean a letter saved in Word and attached to an email message. A lot of my presentations these days include the art of communicating in a business...

How Are You at Saying “I am Sorry”?

I’m sorry.  There, I said it.  I made a mistake and I am sorry.  All should be fine now. As leaders, we make mistakes.  Everyone does.  But when we are in the spotlight, our response to making a mistake is critical: to our current position and our future as a...

What is Good Leadership? An Interview With Catherine Daw

Catherine Daw is a long time friend and colleague who specializes in leadership business transformation, strategy implementation, operational excellence and project execution. We spent a half hour talking about what it takes to be a great leader. What is Leadership?...

Are You Project Managing More Than You Are Managing Your Project?

One of the most common mistakes a new project manager makes is that they spend more time ‘project managing’ than they do ‘managing their projects’.   Whether we are newcomers to the project management business or experienced pros, we need to remind ourselves that...

Are You Able To Change Your Leadership Style?

Mark was a very effective leader. Typically assigned to projects that are mission-critical and tight on time and budget, he wasn’t the easiest person to work for but he certainly got the job done.   The company loved him. Most employees didn’t.   Eventually, the...

My Top 3 Tips for Great Presentations

After the great response to last year’s post 3 Tools to Conquer Your Fear of Presenting I thought I would continue on the presentation line this week.  “3 Tools” was about conquering your fear of presenting . This week we address my three tips for great presentations....

When Was the Last Time You Did an Office ‘WalkAbout’?

If you are a manager at any level, a leader, or even a coordinator of a group of people, you should be doing what is sometimes referred to as a regular ‘walkabout’.  What is this?  A walkabout is time spent walking among, and connecting with, your team or employees....

It’s Time to Get Out and Network With Your Peers

Learning from each other, expanding our relationships both personally and professionally, gaining connections for the future are all awesome reasons to get out of the office to network with our peers.

Are You an Organization Ambassador?

This holiday season please remember that you are an ‘Organization Ambassador’.   These are the words I used just yesterday in front of an audience of rising stars and senior partners at a major Canadian consulting firm. My task was to address the audience about...

3 Tools to Conquer Your Fear of Presenting

The fear of presenting holds many people back in their careers.   It is said that less than 20% of the working population is comfortable presenting in public. That’s a shame. So many positions that are waiting for us out there require great presentation skills....

What is a Sponsor Charter?

The relationship between the project sponsor and the project manager or project leader is extremely important and yet we spend so little time making sure we get it right.   We have all heard of the Project Charter.  We take the necessary time up front to be sure...

Five Things I Learned Today About Organizational Change Management [OCM]

This morning I hosted a gathering of senior resources from local banks, insurance companies, retail organizations and others that we call the Enterprise Project Management Office Executive Forum held at the Schulich Executive Education Centre, York University in...

Project Management Really is a Global Movement

This sounds basic and maybe even obvious but it took a trip this past weekend to the Project Management Institute’s (PMI) Region 8 Leadership Conference for me to really get this.   I traveled to London, UK on Friday to sponsor this event and promote my...

Do You Take the Necessary Time to Prepare?

I’m often accused of moving too fast and not preparing properly. Of course I always argue that this is not the case.  My latest trip to speak for a PMI chapter reinforced the fact that I have to stop and prepare better than I currently do.   Twice during this...

Do You Make the First 5 Minutes Count?

The first 5 minutes of initial meetings should have been spent getting to know each other, regardless of the different levels of seniority or potential time constraints.

Have you said ‘thanks’ or ‘well done’ lately?

When was the last time you approached an employee, team member or peer and said ‘thanks for a job well done’ or ‘you make a great contribution to the team – we really appreciate you’?

Are You Prepared to Change the Plan – Move to Plan B?

Plan B is not the ultimate goal. Plan A is. But life does not always work out like we hoped.  Sometimes we need to throw in the towel, close the project, move to a new city, change jobs, change universities, change the plan  – move to 'Plan B'.   Today I am...

How Do You Handle The Rough Times?

Life doesn’t always go as planned. In business, we need to be ready for the unexpected, the rough times and the disasters.   I am talking about anything from a short term power failure that lasts a few hours to a market crash. I am talking about a short term...

Can You Sell?

Potential leaders who know how to sell will have the leading edge to the next senior leadership position.

Are You an Explorer?

This world needs explorers who are willing to take risks and willing to fail. Are you one of them?

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