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
“The Hospitality Leadership Sessions have been invaluable. Dedicated time getting to know one another while developing life-long leadership skills is a true gift. We’ve been able to gain different perspectives and viewpoints along the way through each of the sessions. The laughter alone is good for the soul.” – Jodi Krefetz, Director, Food Services
Your book is going to help people survive the corporate zoo that is project management!
In a 3 hour workshop you helped to change people’s attitude about our challenge from something with too many obstacles to starting to see the big prize and plan the first baby steps, in short a transformative experience.
Kimberly’s ‘Leading From Any Chair’ workshop is the single most powerful class I’ve attended, and the highest rated class I’ve participated in. Her teachings have fundamentally changed me as a leader, a coach, and a team member.
This book unabashedly puts forward a new, unambiguous, non-shrinking, and ultimately empowering view of what we all as project managers should commit to be and do every day in our project roles.
You provided me so many gifts yesterday. I feel like a large weight has fallen from my back. I’m smiling and feel better about having some direction, thank to you!
Thank you so much for the insightful, inspiring, and useful talk this morning. You have a real talent!
We had awesome event with you last Friday! I am still amazed from your workSHOCK. It was absolutely above all expectations! I would like to thank you personally and on behalf of all employees for a great time and all the useful insights. I am sure we will meet again soon, since I will promote for another workSHOCK asap! I did a short survey about how everyone understood and experienced it and they all love it. They all confirmed that it is great and useful to have activities that burst our organ… Read more
You rocked the house with your presentation this morning on effective communication styles! Because of your energetic yet sensible and practical approach, some very conservative people in the room showed a new side of themselves. This is a tribute to your energizing delivery about how to better communicate and more effectively lead. My hat is off to you!
Kimberly is a physicist by training, is active in SDForum and other technical organizations, authored the “Scrappy” Project Management books, is a skilled and engaging facilitator, and is also funny and refreshingly entertaining.