Project Management

How Do You Know If You're a Good Leader?

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at [email protected]. Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

A new project manager recently asked me how they would know if they were doing a good job when it came to leadership. They explained that they found it easy to determine how things were going on most of their initiatives because there was immediate data available. Work was on schedule, or it wasn’t. Tasks were being completed successfully, or there were problems. Risks were triggering, or they weren’t.

But when it came to leadership, this PM wasn’t sure whether they were doing well—and now they were getting concerned that they were trying too hard in order to compensate for the lack of data points.

It's a relatable situation. Projects are full of data that provides some indication of how different aspects of the work are going. (I could argue that a lot of that data is misleading and can provide a false view of what’s really going on, but that’s an article for another day.) Is there a data set to provide new PMs with confirmation that their newly minted leadership skills are being applied in the right way and generating successful outcomes?

The clues to leadership performance
I think that there is, but you won’t find it in a project management tool or on a status report, at least not directly. Leadership is about people; specifically for project managers, it’s about building and maintaining an environment where the …

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Denial ain't just a river in Egypt.

- Stuart Smalley