Project Management

5 Tips for Leading During Hard Times: Do You Have What It Takes?

Michael R. Wood is a Business Process Improvement & IT Strategist Independent Consultant. He is creator of the business process-improvement methodology called HELIX and founder of The Natural Intelligence Group, a strategy, process improvement and technology consulting company. He is also a CPA, has served as an Adjunct Professor in Pepperdine's Management MBA program, an Associate Professor at California Lutheran University, and on the boards of numerous professional organizations. Mr. Wood is a sought after presenter of HELIX workshops and seminars in both the U.S. and Europe.

Do you have the skills, behaviors and traits that a project manager needs to master in order to demonstrate and provide effective project leadership? If so, do those capabilities translate to managing projects in hard times (like COVID-19 hard times)?

To answer that question, assess how well you…

1. Create Stability, Unity and Alignment
When crisis strikes, there is often ensuing chaos and rumors as people try to connect the dots of what is happening while dealing with their newfound fear, uncertainty and doubt. Some people retreat from the crisis and disengage, while others grapple with it head on.

It is incumbent that leaders wrap their arms around the impact the crisis is having on their teams and stakeholders to create an air of stability. The leader needs to focus on unifying people. Get them all rowing in the same direction (so to speak), and thus bring the team members into alignment with each other so that they can move forward.

2. Build Trust
Perhaps the two best ways to build trust with constituents is:

  1. To walk the talk
  2. Extend their trust to others

Being consistent in words and actions, even if people don’t agree with either, demonstrates that you are a person that performs as advertised and that helps people trust that person’s intentions. Nothing breaks down trust more than broken promises, perceptions of deceptions and …


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"Experience is a comb which nature gives to men when they are bald."

- Chinese Proverb

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