This choinquecast was scripted while on a morning flight from Denver to Tampa, after we finished a three-day Academy Leadership Excellence Course in Colorado Springs. A common theme during our several days together was the desire to occupy a leadership role, but the tendency to stay in a management, or task-oriented mode most of the time. One of the more courageous in the group admitted exasperation at being in “crisis mode” every day, and how exhausting it had become over the past couple years. Most of the attendees were program or project managers, who in their hearts, really want to operate more from a leadership mindset.
This brought to mind Alan Berson and Richard Stieglitz’s terrific Leadership Conversations, which challenges readers in Chapter 1 with the question “Do I want to be a Leader” and systematically outlines comparative management and leadership styles within four conversation types. Their book seems perfectly suited for Project Management Professionals (PMPs), those thrust into relatively new leadership positions, and those ready to advance their leadership level.
Upon landing in Tampa, the next stop was the Project Management Institute, or PMI Tampa Chapter annual symposium, for an energizing three and a half hour workshop for over a hundred local professionals. By facilitating six exercises, the idea was to offer a set of leadership tools, so that everyone could leave the symposium ready to build something new and lasting, including their personal influence as leaders. The first five workshops were:
Johari Window exercise
Clarity of Intentions and Energy exercise
Conflict Scenarios role-play
The last workshop was more advanced, a set of case studies which introduced effective decision-making, including a comparison of time and development-based decision making styles. Working as teams, everyone really poured their hearts into the workshop, and learned that leaders can make decisions based on developing others, not just based on cost and schedule. It was illuminating listening to the revelations from everyone in the symposium.
What conversations do you have as a leader? Does your decision-making process focus on development of others? Great leaders focus conversations and decisions in order to develop others.