Project Management

The Dangers of Leadership on Personal Projects

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.

What happens when a member of your team gets frustrated because they can’t figure something out? They’ve been trying to find a more effective approach to complete their assigned task—but they just keep running into more problems. They know there’s a solution, but they can’t find it despite their best efforts.

As the project manager you’ll probably sit down with them and offer encouragement, suggest that they take a break from it for a little while and come back fresh, perhaps bounce it around with a colleague to get a different perspective. In short, you’ll be a supportive leader and effective PM.

But what if that team member is your husband or wife? Your brother, sister, son, daughter, father, mother, neighbor, best friend or someone else close to you? Does that change things?

In some ways, the answer is “no.” You still want that person to succeed, so you try to be the best leader that you can, supporting the individual to be able to give of their best.

But in other ways, it’s not the same. In fact, it’s very different. You simply can’t be as objective with someone you care about; you can’t coach a significant other in the same way as you would someone who is “just” a work colleague. And that becomes a potential problem when it comes to managing—and in particular leading…

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"Never look at the trombones, it only encourages them."

- Richard Strauss