Stepping into the Leadership Vacuum

PMI Northern Alberta Chapter

Craig is based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and has worked with for the last six years developing the various HEADWAY processes (Project, Change and Portfolio). He has hosted a series of webinars and is a business intelligence subject matter expert.

Have you ever noticed there are some problems that no one wants to tackle? Those problems that people dance around but never really grab hold of and find a solution to? For a variety of reasons, most people simply stay on the sidelines, complain and do little—all while the problem continues to fester with no resolution in sight.

I refer to this as an example of a leadership vacuum. A problem exists and is just waiting for someone—anyone—to step forward and fill the leadership void, yet no one does. Thinking of developing your leadership skills? Consider stepping into that vacuum.

How can you tell that it actually exists? In some cases, it’s pretty obvious, but there are some possible clues to look for:

  • First (as mentioned above), lots of people are complaining about the problem but not really taking action. Everyone talks about needing to fix the problem, but it never seems to get fixed.
  • Moreover, in most cases, few if anyone has taken the time to fully understand the full scope of the problem. Instead, they are only focused on the things they can touch and feel in front of them—which dramatically limits their ability to provide real, lasting solutions.
  • Most importantly, no one is willing to take ownership of the problem. In fact, just the opposite: Everyone is pointing at each other and saying "They own it!" There will be…

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"Conventional people are roused to fury by departure from convention, largely because they regard such departure as a criticism of themselves."

- Bertrand Russell