If you are absolutely dependent on your paycheck to survive, do yourself a favor, don’t be a project leader! In most of the scrappy high-tech organizations that I have worked in, the role of a project leader cannot be successfully filled by anyone who can’t put their job on the line in the pursuit of doing The Right Thing. From the project kick-off, where the project leader may not even be involved, to the attempted premature launch of a less-than-ready-to-ship product, projects run a higgily-piggily route. This real-world path rarely resembles the neat, tidy, well-defined process described in the PMBOK®.
In order to deliver results in the challenging circumstances typical of many business environments, project leaders must be absolutely committed to the success of their projects and leading their team to that success. Frequently they must execute this feat without any explicit support, sometimes with active resistance, and occasionally in the absence of any evidence that the project is indeed possible. This calls for leadership in the face of fearsome challenges. Continue reading
In spite of much rhetoric on the subject, and the holy grail of the triple constraint, you cannot measure your entire worth as a project leader, or the success of your project, purely by whether they are on-time, on-budget, and feature-complete. In fact, to do so could create a negative spiral that further undermines your chances of success.
Marcus Buckingham, of First Break All the Rules fame, argues in The One Thing You Need to Know that people and teams do not perform at their best when they are realistic. Great managers get the best performance from people when they build their self-assurance to the point of helping them to become unrealistically optimistic. And great leaders achieve the best from their organizations when they rally people to a better future and get them to be unrealistically optimistic about the prospects that things will get better.
Optimism is a Strategy
Unrealistic optimism and high self-esteem are key factors in individual and team success. However the project management environment isn’t exactly brimming with unbridled optimism and positive reinforcement. Quite the opposite. Continue reading
Kimberly helped me create an actionable list that was pure gold. Taking the time to work with Kimberly forced me to articulate the challenges I face and talk through possibilities.
All the advice you gave me during our last meeting is paying off. Who could believe having a white board would do wonders – – just as you said. . . . this afternoon my manager said “You’re so organized and such a good communicator.
In one hour Kimberly uncovered true essentials of professional development and networking skills that now shine like diamonds in my head.
Kimberly is dynamic and focused, and an incredible professional in all her activities. She is talented, creative, articulate, and has super people skills. I give her my highest endorsement.
Kimberly is a force of nature and a truly unique talent in a sea of consultants that promise change but never quite achieve it. I’ve worked with her both for my own company and together with other clients and I’ve experienced first hand how she uses her talents as a brain scientist, entertainer, empathetic listener, and engineer to get ideas to become reality and groups to become teams. With just 1 visioning session with her 5 years ago, she changed my mindset and put my company onto an entir… Read more
Kimberly is one of those people who’s enthusiasm is infectious. You can’t help being motivated by her, even if it’s via email. Her wit, experience, and business savvy make her someone I am honored to be associated with. I am a guest blogger on the University of California Santa Cruz Extension PM website, and Kimberly is our fearless leader and motivational cheerleader. She keeps us going strong with her creativity and pizazz.
It was simply MAGICAL. Kimberly’s super-unique workshop transformed my team. Now my team is super energetic and already started making positive changes. Thanks Kimberly!
I was fortunate to have Kimberly and her team facilitate a very engaging and productive session with my team of Technical Program Managers in Aug 2019. The intent was to energize and motivate the team to feel empowered and make changes to deliver better results. Kimberly spent an afternoon (many felt it was too short) delivering very compelling and thought provoking messages though interactive exercises that kept the group of ~60 people on their feet. Everyone left with a great deal of positi… Read more
Kimberly took me to the next level in taking on a leadership role. She encouraged me to success.
I cannot tell you how grateful I am to have an experienced professional like you at my side to launch the Consulting Special Interest Group tomorrow. The agenda looks great and I am convinced that we are well prepared for a productive and successful meeting tomorrow.