Project Management

Essential Power Skills (Part 1): A New Take on Collaborative Leadership

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.

I believe that project managers (at least the successful ones) have always been good at applying the concept of collaborative leadership. They’ve recognized that success requires everyone to feel engaged in the process; that decisions have to be made by those with the greatest expertise, not just a certain job title; and that working together to find solutions will always result in better outcomes than having just one person making those decisions.

But the problem with something that is generally handled well—such as collaborative leadership by project managers, one of the main focuses of the new report Pulse of the Profession® 2023: Power Skills, Redefining Project Success—is that there is a tendency to think that it doesn’t need much attention. The thinking is that “we’re already pretty good at that, so let’s focus our development on other areas that may need a bit more improvement.” That approach is okay when the discipline in question is fairly stable, and over the past few years you could argue that there hasn’t been a lot of evolution of the concept of collaborative leadership. But I think that’s now changing.

As project managers have begun to assume more business-focused roles, they have needed to show not just collaborative leadership with their teams, but also collaborative leadership with other …

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