There are some interesting concepts in a recent presentation that I found and would like to speak to on how to lead not manage.
It specifically talks about the behaviours of a Manager and Leader.
I really like some of the points raised, specifically
“Leaders focus on people” whilst “Managers focus on systems and structure”. I have found this so true. How is this relevant to you as a PM? Do you focus on the people in your project team and not how it is operating, who is reporting to who, for instance?
“Leaders challenge the status quo” whilst “Managers accept the status quo.” Are you willing to challenge the status quo when things aren’t the way that they should be? Will you challenge what you are being told, when you’re gut is telling you that it doesn’t feel right?
“Leaders inspire trust” whilst “Managers rely on control.” This relates strongly to my last post on gaining and rebuilding trust within your teams. If you do that you will be the leader and inspire your team, not only to trust you but also to deliver.
The concepts on Slide 5 are interesting. “Drop or delegate some of your delivery activities” If you spend your time managing and controlling through meetings and reporting what might it be like to let go of this way of thinking and let the team function in a more trusted and autonomous way? If you focus on the people and what they need to be happy delivering their tasks, rather than managing them how much more effective might the delivery be?
Slide 7 suggests that you “Identify and get to know potential allies and blockers.” This is a brilliant suggestion. I have found that developing relationships with my blockers has been one of the best things that I have done to drive my project in a way that I could never have imagined. If my blockers are highlighting for me all of the risks and places that my project might come unstuck, I can spend more time highlighting these to the team and ensuring that I am leading in a way that has everyone on the same page and aware, fully aware. This means a stronger level of overall team trust, and less potential for damage to our delivery.
I love Slide 8 because it says “Speak the language of your business, not your profession.” Your business are your customer and ultimately the people that need to be happy with the level of service that you provide. They are where the money for your project is coming from. You therefore need to be in tune with their needs and speaking to them in a way that they understand. You need to show that you are focused on their needs, not yours.
On Slide 10 the concept here that stands out for me is “Don’t confuse being ‘in’ meetings with influence” A leader influences and they don’t need to spend all day in a continuous stream of meetings to do that. If they are listening to the businesses needs and delivering clear messages to their delivery team on these so that everyone is on the same page, they will influence strong and positive outcomes. Meetings are out, real influence is in.
“Leadership takes you beyond the …’but‘.” Slide 11 talks about how to go about this. The key here for me is in the statement that “it’s taking people beyond what they are comfortable with.” Good leaders are able to do this through a combination of trust and influence. They will provide the clarify for the team to see why they are suggesting what they are suggesting as a way forward. They will show that they have and are listening to the ‘buts’ and still moving the team forward in a way that addresses the fears.
Consider implementing some of these changes to become the leader that you want to be. Don’t get stuck in the managing space just because it’s a part of your job title.
Source: This was from a Slide Share Presentation by …