Project Management

A Second Look at Leadership Rules to Live By

PMI Palmetto Chapter

Brandon is an online maintenance coordinator in Liberty, South Carolina.

Unless you have been living under a rock, you have probably heard of The Oz Principal. It’s a great read, especially for anyone in a leadership role. One of the main topics—and since its publication, a mainstay buzz phrase—is “above the line.” In short, it means that you take accountability for your actions, and you take that same accountability for your team.

We have also heard of the “golden rule,” which states “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Be nice to people and treat them with respect, or as you would like to be treated. And I have heard this next one over and over from my parents growing up: “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

These mantras are great to live by, and if it were a perfect world, this would never be a topic of discussion. Now I want to dig in a little deeper to these three “rules to live by” and how they pertain to the real world—and especially project management.

1.That lonely line
Simply put, being “above the line” is all about accountability and not placing the blame, pointing fingers or making excuses.

Accountability is very important, especially in the world of a project manager (because it’s our project, right?). As the PM, we should have our fingers on the pulse of …


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