positive leadership

Positive leadership in project management

Positive leadership in project management

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positive leadershipIn this podcast, Elise Stevens speaks with experienced project and program manager Kate Morris about the art of positive leadership.

Kate is passionate about encouraging her peers to understand their own skillset and builds high performing teams based on the complementary strengths they share.

Kate has been an active volunteer with PMI in Australia, having served on the PMI Sydney Chapter board, and is the conference convener of the PMI Australia Conference 2017 which will be held in Sydney from May 28-30.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Level Up – Lifting the Game of Success” and will focus on the latest topics and trends across business thinking, leadership, technical project delivery and academic research with speakers including PMI Board chair Mark Dickson, Head of R&D at Atlassian Dominic Price and Red Balloon founder Naomi Simson.

Points raised in this podcast:

  • Positive leadership involves looking at the people you’re working with and understanding the strengths they bring to the table, then finding ways to make them shine.
  • Often project managers are dealing with people above their pay grade, but don’t have the structure of a HR department to monitor their performance. Those who use positive leadership to inspire their teams, almost like a cheerleader, will find they are more likely to get what they need from them.
  • The art of project management is leading with influence.
  • More and more people working at low levels within projects are finding they now have decision-making responsibilities. This makes it crucial they have leaders to look up to.
  • Gone are the days of “commander control” in project management. Dinosaurs of the industry may be very good at delivering the project, but often leave people disgruntled and upset. Rather than simply sticking to the business case, which may have been written 18 months ago, there are usually other ways to work with stakeholders and get the right outcome.
  • Project managers should ask their team to do a skills assessment of themselves and their colleagues to find out what they each do best. Then people can be tailored to projects depending on their particular skillset.
  • If people focus on the things they’re not particularly good at they may get better, but they won’t enjoy it. Positive leadership gives people the opportunity to do what they best, rather than working on the skills they don’t have.
  • Project managers looking to become more well-rounded professionals should check out the PMI Talent Triangle and take a look at Gallup Strengths for personal insight.
  • As Colin Ellis said, projects are a people business. Positive leadership puts people first.

You can connect with Kate Morris on LinkedIn.

Register for the PMI Australia Conference 2017 here.

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