Tips for Leading Without Power

Ishankumar is a project manager in Ontario. He has worked in the high voltage utility industry for over 9 years and managed multiple projects from overhead transmission lines, U/G transmission lines and stations.

It can be difficult in a functional organization for project managers who have very little to no power, as they are still accountable for delivering the project on time, on budget and to the agreed-upon scope. Leading without power can be challenging, but in this article, I will provide some tips and tricks that I have learned over the years.

1. Understand and engage with your stakeholders. If you are new to the organization, you probably don’t know your stakeholders very well. But you must always understand that organizations run on people—and people will only give their best if there is mutual respect.

Looking at Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs—and assuming the company you work for provides physiological and safety needs—you have to focus on belonging and esteem. You can provide a sense of belonging by including everyone in team meetings and giving everyone an equal chance to speak (if you see someone not participating, you can ask them what they think).

This is essential during the planning and executing phases of the project as it instills a sense of belonging. When your stakeholders are involved in the planning of a project, they feel it’s their duty to execute the plan as their opinions were considered.

Also, always try to lead with questions rather than answers; this will increase communication, help you have much more …

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"There are two types of people in this world, good and bad. The good sleep better, but the bad seem to enjoy the waking hours much more."

- Woody Allen

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