Does your project have one leader?
I hope not.
“The first follower is what transforms a lone nut into a leader.” – Derek Sivers
A recent discussion Inside pmStudent e-Learning was about being a PM on a technical project when you have expertise.
I remember very clearly a situation where I transitioned from a technical lead to the project manager, and I had a hard time letting go of the technical reigns, even though there was another technical lead there.
It was unconscious, and people were coming to me just as they had before.
One day I came to my senses.
“Underestimated form of leadership”
There are many people who make a project run.
I view the role of the project manager as primarily facilitator, communicator, and obstacle-remover.
What about the other critical roles on a project?
Many project managers underestimate the ability of others to lead, and/or assume that it is their role to lead, and no one else.
But that’s absurd.
Technical leads, business analysts, and many other key people can and should be leaders on the project too.
Some of the best project environments I worked in had the “feel” of equality among the project team.
It wasn’t a matter of hierarchy; ideas and empowerment came from all corners of the teams.
As a project manager, don’t underestimate the individuals on your team and their ability to lead WITH you.
Movement must be public
In that same environment,everyone knew that the relationship between the leaders of the project was one of mutual respect and equality.
It wasn’t hidden and communication wasn’t funneled through the project manager because they needed to feed their micro-management addiction.
Everyone else on the team saw how the project manager trusted and worked well with the technical lead and business analyst, and so they felt comfortable stepping up to the plate themselves.
“It’s clearly about the movement, not you”
On a team like this, everyone knows it’s about the project getting done…not about the individual egos involved.
It doesn’t really matter who THE “leader” of the project is. That question doesn’t even make sense anymore. “Leadership is over-glorified.”
Once the core group of leaders gets everyone else to follow them and you build momentum toward the goal, it almost becomes self-supporting.
Now watch this. (3 minutes)
TED talks, is there anything they can’t do? 🙂
Courageous or crazy? Or maybe a bit of both?
I think anything truly courageous requires a little bit of crazy…