Project Management

Helping Project Managers to Help Themselves

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I'm all about Building Thriving Leaders™ This blog is based on over 35 years of project management and leadership successes and failures. Get practical, concise nuggets on both hard and soft skills to help you deliver projects successfully with minimal friction.

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Knowledge and Wisdom: What's the Difference?

I Just Wanna Be a PM!

The Straight A’s of Intentional Leadership

Ten Ways to Grow your Followers into Leaders

Ten Points to be a Better Up and Out Influencer

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Agile, Career Development, Communication, Decision Making, Disability Inclusion, Empowerment, Followership, Leadership, New Job, project execution, Project Management, project sponsorship, Social Media, Time Management, Upward Management, Work Life Balance, Working from Home, Writing

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I Just Wanna Be a PM!

The Scenario: 

Adam, an individual contributor, just finished project-managing another successful project at his company, Conset.

After the project ship party, Adam’s manager asked him to take on a people-leadership role.

Adam was very reluctant to take on a people-leadership role. He just wanted to keep delivering great projects as an individual contributor and didn’t feel comfortable taking on the cultivation of followers.

Adam finally relented, feeling the pressure to fit into the mold of “You must aspire to be a people-leader.”

Six months into the job, Adam was the most unhappy he’d ever been at Conset. He couldn’t spend time delivering great projects like he loved. He was mired down in management meetings, addressing people issues, and trying to craft the vision for his organization.

Adam’s followers grew increasingly disgruntled with Adam’s leadership style and began leaving for other jobs inside and outside of Conset.

Nine months after taking the job, Adam had had enough and left Conset; taking a project manager job at a competitor.

The Message:

Before we get any deeper into this, I want to make something painfully clear: There are leaders I would never ask to project manage a mission-critical initiative, and there are project managers I would never expect to be inspirational people leaders.

There are plenty of project managers who also aspire to be great people leaders. They can paint an inspiring vision and cultivate a high-performing organization to achieve results. They actively understand the goals of their organization’s followers while equipping them to achieve those goals. They excel as inspiring people leaders.

At the same time, I’ve worked with some outstanding project managers who can paint a very straight line between the current and future state, and effectively drive team execution to successful completion. They aren’t particularly charismatic or good at imagining a tomorrow, and they aren’t especially good people cultivators. They are simply good solid project managers.

And that’s completely OK.

All too often, leaders expect that others, particularly project managers, should aspire to be inspirational people leaders. It’s as if being “just a project manager” is somehow less important or doesn’t utilize them to their full potential. Putting (or even worse, shaming) a project manager who just wants to manage projects in an inspirational people leadership role is not only potentially damaging to delivering results, it also carries the potential to adversely impact careers. Not every inspirational people leader wants to be a project manager, and not every project manager wants to be an inspirational people leader.

Project managers and leaders share many of the same attributes, such as great communication skills, removing roadblocks, providing clarity, accepting accountability, sharing praise, and problem-solving. At the same time, I see three key areas where leaders and project managers have different but complementary skillsets, as follows:

  1. Great leaders must define vision; great PMs must execute vision – Great leaders are able to articulate what could be, thinking outside of the box and imagining a new and innovative way to solve a problem. Great project managers need to be able to understand the vision, define a clear path from current state to future vision, identify and alleviate roadblocks, and deliver the vision.
  2. Great leaders must cultivate people; great PMs must optimize for results – Great leaders are able to cultivate and grow people to their greatest potential. Great project managers need to ensure the right people are doing the right things to get the right result and adjust when team staffing issues occur.
  3. Great leaders must charismatically inspire; great PMs must intentionally execute within cost, schedule and scope – In painting the vision, great leaders know how to invoke passion and excitement to align followers and motivate them to perform. Great project managers need to complement a leader’s ability to inspire with believability through effective delivery within cost, schedule, and scope constraints.

The Consequences:  

Assigning an unequipped or unwilling project manager to a people leadership role can result in the following:

  • Visionless organization – Putting a project manager who doesn’t possess a visionary skillset could result in an organization that doesn’t keep pace with the future and doesn’t articulate a compelling “what could be.”
  • Unhappy followers – It’s only a matter of time for followers who aren’t inspired, challenged, and cultivated to become unhappy with their leader.
  • Apprehensive project manager – Having a project manager fail in a leadership role due to the project manager being neither equipped nor having the desire to lead can shake his or her confidence and impact future delivery.

The Next Steps: 

Are you a project manager who is contemplating or being asked to take on an inspirational people leadership role? Consider the following next steps:

  1. Honestly assess your visionary, people-cultivation, and charismatic inspiration skills and document skill gaps.
  2. Ask a trusted advisor to review your assessment and skill gaps.
  3. Decide if any of the skill gaps are areas where you can and want to grow.
  4. If you decide to proceed with taking on a leadership role, put a plan in place to address the skill gaps.
  5. Monitor your skill-gap plan and use your trusted advisor to help you with any needed course corrections.

Effective project managers are highly sought after and can be worth their weight in gold in driving on-time, on-budget, and within-scope delivery. If you just wanna be a PM like Adam, then don’t fall victim to thinking “you need to be a people leader.” You don’t. Just keep delivering great projects.

Posted on: September 26, 2022 12:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (18)

The Straight A’s of Intentional Leadership

The Scenario: 

Vera and Tam have just left their manager Walt’s office.

“Did you get what Walt wants us to do?” Vera asked.

“Nope, as usual. We must have asked him five times to explain what he wanted and why it was important. Just got word salad. Again.”

“And were we supposed to do something? He just kept saying ‘the team’. That could be any of several of us. Are we supposed to communicate it out to everyone else?”

Tam smirked. “Then he launches into a diatribe of how we’re supposed to do our jobs. And I’ve got no idea not only of what he wants but when he wants it by, or even how to prioritize it with the 30 other things on my to-do list.”

Vera nodded her head. “You know how it is, he blathers for a while then forgets he even asked for something. Just stay low and do nothing, this too shall pass.”

“Agreed,” Tam said as he pushed the elevator button. “Thai for lunch?”

“Yup, then it’s back to getting real work done,” Vera said as the elevator doors opened.

The Message:

You may have been in Vera or Tam’s situation; a leader who isn’t clear on what he or she expects followers to do, why it’s important, appropriate advice on how to execute, when it needs to be done, or who is expected to do it. Worse still, perhaps you recognize some of yourself in Walt; a leader who gives fuzzy direction and leaves his followers wondering what in the heck he is talking about.

Through the years I’ve made many mistakes with how I lead others; either being overly prescriptive and turning followers into errand runners or being so vague that followers couldn’t pin me down on what was needed. I’ve learned that good leadership means ensuring clarity on why, what, how, who, and when and ensuring you as the leader don’t over- or under-function in how you lead followers. To that end, I have developed a simple rule I call The Straight A’s of Intentional Leadership, as follows:

Articulate the Why
Align on the What
Advise on the How
Hold Accountable the Who
Agree on the When

Following the straight A rule helps ensure leaders and followers understand why something is important to do, what needs to be done, what constraints need to be considered during execution, who needs to do it, and when it needs to be done. Embracing the straight A rule won’t guarantee great leadership skills, but it sure as shootin’ will help the leader be a better leader and scale up into an intentional leader of leaders.

Interested? Read on for a more thorough explanation of each:

  1. Articulate the Why – Followers want to know that they are spending time on something important. Being clear and precise as to why something needs to be done, the positive impacts of doing it, and the consequences of not doing it are crucial to getting buy-in. Skipping this step or assuming the why is clear to followers will make this a tougher slog for both you and the followers, particularly if tight deadlines accompany the ask.
  2. Align on the What – Clear understanding on what the “done” needs to look like is crucial for followers to internalize what the deliverable expectations are. It’s important to be as quantitative as possible and it’s certainly within bounds to share examples if applicable. It’s important to be collaborative and not dictatorial; if followers have an opportunity to influence the deliverable, then they are more likely to own it.
  3. Advise on the How – Many leaders are in their position because they have done the job their followers are now doing. Coupled with that experience comes a desire to want followers to do things the way the leader has done it or thinks it should be done. Leaders need to throttle how directive they are with the how considering the following:
    1. More experienced followers will generally need less direction; less experienced followers will most likely need more direction.
    2. If there are policy, regulatory, or legal constraints dictating why something has to be done a certain way, then the leader needs to ensure the follower understands the constraints and adheres to them.
    3. When providing advice to a follower on the how, ensure that it’s clear you are giving advice and that the follower has the option to accept the advice on the how, providing the what and when needs are met.
  4. Hold Accountable the Who – Having singularly-named persons accountable for delivery is paramount to ensuring things get done. Putting multiple names or “the team” as the person accountable makes it more likely that things won’t get done because it’s too easy to assume someone else is working on them. If you do need to put multiple names on a deliverable, I like to bold the person primarily accountable for delivery so even if there are multiple people named to work on something, one person is accountable for the resulting deliverable.
  5. Agree on the When – Ideally, the accountable followers will set a due date for the deliverable. Many times, though, a date is coming either from above or from a customer. When that happens, the leader should provide guidance to followers:
    1. Ensure clarity on the due date expectation and the practical consequences of not hitting the due date.
    2. Provide guidance on priority relative to other priorities the followers are working to. If everything is a priority, nothing is a priority :-p.
    3. Give the followers an opportunity to assess the work involved and come back to you with what they need to meet the due date.
    4. If the due date is truly impossible to achieve, instruct followers to provide what, if anything, can be done by the due date and an alternate plan to meet the what.

The Consequences:  Ignoring the 5 A’s when leading followers can mean the following:

Missed or delayed dates – Misaligned expectations on the five A’s can lead to deliverables that are late, not done at all, or need rework to meet the need.

Follower frustration – Followers will get frustrated with a leader who doesn’t provide clarity on the five A’s. While it’s incumbent on the follower to ask questions if unclear, the leaders should be proactive in providing clarity in the first place.

Poor leader work/life balance – Deliverables missed by followers could spell late nights for the leader to make up for any expectation shortfall.

The Next Steps: 

Next time you have a deliverable needing to be done by followers:

  1. Write out an articulated why statement, including the consequences if not done.
  2. Have a picture in your mind (or better yet, a sample) of what the deliverable needs to look like.
  3. Provide any guidance on how the deliverable needs to be produced, putting particular focus on legal, regulatory, or policy factors affecting delivery.
  4. Be clear on who should own the deliverable.
  5. Communicate any date expectations and give the accountable owner an opportunity to understand the work and what can be achieved by the due date.

Want to dig deeper? See more in my book Straight A's - Five Proven Steps to Empower your Team available on Amazon. 

Posted on: September 19, 2022 12:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (22)

Intentional Decision Making

The Scenario: 

Esther walked into the conference room and saw Grace sitting there, head in hands.

“What’s wrong, Grace?”

“It’s Paul, he still hasn’t decided on authorizing me to hire SysCon. He owed me a decision last week and now we’re going to slip our code-complete date.”

Esther smirked. “Sorry about that Grace; it doesn’t surprise me. He’s a disaster at making decisions.”

“Don’t you know it. He not only doesn’t make decisions when I need them, he doesn’t even give me the courtesy of letting me know when the decision will be made. Then he blames me if something slips. I’m tired of it.”

Esther leaned over to Grace and whispered. “Grace, I haven’t told anyone yet, but I just accepted a position at Miconal this morning. They asked me if anyone else was interested in coming over. You’d be a great addition there.”

Grace perked up. “Hmm. Do you have a contact there?”

“Sure do.”

“Send it on to my personal email. Thanks Esther.” Grace smiled, packed up her things, and left the conference room.

The Message:

Grace’s frustration with Paul is something many of us have experienced. If you were a Grace, you got frustrated with a leader who couldn’t make decisions, didn’t make them in a timely manner, or acted impulsively. To put some meat on the bones, I’d like to contrast what I call intentional decision-making with reckless decision-making. Intentional decision-making means decisions are made on time, based on available information, by the right person, and with the good of the organization in focus. Reckless decision-making is the inverse; decisions not made in a timely manner (or at all), not based on available information, made by someone not authorized or informed to make the decision, or driven by some agenda not focused on the good of the organization. Intentional decision-making balances speed with decision quality, while reckless decision-making unduly emphasizes either speed or quality at the expense of the other.

Are you a reckless decision-maker who wants to be more intentional? Consider these 12 tips:

  1. Decision speed is based on need – If you see a car coming at you, split-second decision-making is imperative. You don’t take time to gather facts, consult with others, and consider alternatives. You just act. Similarly, leaders need to throttle the speed of their decision-making to the urgency of the situation. Gauge the need to make a quick decision and act accordingly.
  2. Set expectations on decision types – Followers need to know what to expect from a leader regarding what decisions they can make on their own and when to engage the leader. The leader needs to get alignment with followers on four decision types:
    1. Follower presents decision alternatives, leader decides – The follower brings a decision to the leader for the leader to make.
    2. Follower decides, leader concurs – The follower consults with the leader before making a decision.
    3. Follower decides, leader is informed – The follower makes a decision then informs the leader of the decision made.
    4. Follower decides, leader not informed – The follower makes a decision independently, the leader is not informed.
  3. Be clear not only on what decisions need to be made, but when – When a leader is faced with a decision, one of the first questions he or she needs to understand is when the decision needs to be made and what happens if it’s not made by that date. Don’t accept ASAP, TBD, or Yesterday from followers. They are either too vague or, in the “yesterday” case, impossible to achieve. Drive specificity on the need-by date.
  4. Press for consequences of not deciding by the due date Consequences of not deciding are just as important as the due date. Conducting the due diligence on the decision will likely compete for time on your schedule, so the leader needs to have a clear understanding of not only the due date but the consequences of not meeting the due date. It also forces followers to be thoughtful and quantitative about what they are asking you as a leader to do and what happens if you don’t do it by the due date.
  5. Accept that sometimes your alternatives are worse and worser – Leaders are rarely faced with perfect decision alternatives; most times there are negative implications of any alternative and the leader must evaluate which alternative offers the fewest downsides. Don’t be tempted to dismiss an alternative just because you find something wrong with it; it may be your least-worst alternative.
  6. Explain the why – Followers may not agree with the leader’s decision and may think the leader is operating without the facts or has another agenda. When the leader doesn’t reveal the rationale behind a decision, it gives followers the opportunity to create their own version of the why, which may or may not be accurate. Explaining the why behind your decisions exposes followers to your thought process and allows followers to correct any inaccurate factors that guided your decision. While followers may not be happy with a decision, you want them to at least respect its soundness.
  7. Encourage “if you were in my chair” thinking with followers – A secure leader has the courage to ask his or her followers, “If you were in my chair, what would you do?” Asking a follower what decision they would make not only demonstrates that you respect their point of view, but also exposes the leader to how a follower thinks though difficult decisions. Getting the follower’s perspective also helps the leader give the follower additional considerations they may not have thought about.
  8. Be intentional about risks and mitigations – Good sound decision-making involves an understanding of the risks with each decision alternative and the mitigating factors which need to be undertaken to ensure success. I’ve seen seasoned leaders who mentally analyze decision alternatives’ risks and mitigating factors. Then there are others who need to write (or type) them out. As a leader, it’s not only important that you clearly understand the risks and mitigating factors, but that you can also explain them to followers.
  9. Be clear on the constraints – This is particularly important when empowering a follower to make a decision. Any constraints that are present, i.e., “The decision has to cost less than $10,000,” should be well thought out and clearly articulated. It not only helps followers with decision-making, but also forces you as the leader to understand how a decision meets or doesn’t meet constraints.
  10. Don’t let decisions sit on your to-do list – Allowing outstanding decisions to stack up not only frustrates followers, but also takes up your management cycles by putting more on your to-do list. Work to getting decisions off your to-do list as quickly as you can while still being intentional rather than reckless. It’s a great feeling to cross something off your to-do list, and outstanding decisions are no exception.
  11. Articulate the why when changing your mind – One of the constants for a leader is that things will change. What may have been a good decision three months ago can suddenly be a bad decision. As a leader, it’s important for you to be open to reversing a decision that no longer is the best (or least-worst) alternative. Just be clear about the why when explaining your change.
  12. Do what you say you’ll do – If you say you’re going to make a decision by a due date, for Pete’s sake do it, or provide rationale as to why the decision can’t be made by that date with a revised due date. Just as you expect followers to do what they say, they expect you to live up to your commitments.

The Consequences:  Not being intentional about decision-making can result in the following consequences:

  • You’ll make bad decisions – This may sound like a no-duh, but it’s well worth stating. Also, making untimely decisions or not making them at all is the same as making bad decisions.
  • You’ll frustrate followers – As a leader you’re expected to make decisions that pave the way for followers to do their job. Reckless decisions hold up progress and will ultimately cause your followers to question your fitness as a leader.
  • You’ll hurt your business – Reckless decisions will most likely cost time, money, and/or quality. You also risk losing great follower talent (like Grace) who get fed up with you as a leader and decide to leave.

The Next Steps: 

  • Review the 12 tips for intentional decision-making.
  • Decide which ones you need to improve.
  • For any tips you’ve identified as needing work, put an action plan together to address those decision-making areas.
  • Use a trusted advisor who has exposure to your decision-making process to hold you accountable in your intentional decision-making
Posted on: July 22, 2022 08:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (4)

Having the Courage to Call Out Balderdash

The Scenario: 

  • Sue and Tran are talking after leaving Rob’s team meeting.
  • “Can you believe what Jim just got away with?” Sue asks.
  • “I know, Rob must be blind. Didn’t even question it.”
  • “Same thing happened last week when Pete presented that bogus plan that looked like he spent ten minutes putting together.”
  • Tran shakes his head in disgust. “I’ve only been on Rob’s team for a few months, but I’m already seeing a pattern of him either not calling out balderdash or not recognizing it. Is he afraid or just incompetent?”
  • Sue just shrugged her shoulders as the two entered the elevator.

The Message:

Dictionary.com defines the world balderdash as “senseless, stupid, or exaggerated talk or writing; nonsense.” It’s likely you’ve been in a meeting where a colleague, supplier, leader, or maybe even you, presented something that just didn’t make sense. Strong, competent leaders don’t let those skim by; they usually start out with, “help me understand . . .” then precision question the presenter to determine if it’s a communication issue or if the presenter is speaking balderdash. When it becomes evident it’s balderdash, the leader’s next actions reveal his true stripes. Some leaders shy away from confrontation altogether, others may gossip about it with a colleague, some may throw a temper tantrum, or even mentally save the event only to bring it up again in a performance appraisal. The intentional leader doesn’t do any of these; he calls it out, realigns on what needs to be done, helps with corrective action, and follows through to ensure the corrective action is taken. The intentional leader isn’t concerned about being right and doesn’t gloat over a victory; but is concerned about doing the right thing for the business. Calling out balderdash isn’t comfortable; it’s not supposed to be. It’s a necessary part of the job. However, intentional leaders need to know how to do it to get the ship righted and preserve everyone’s dignity.

Need to learn how to better call out balderdash and get things moving on the right path again? Give these ten tips a peek:

  1. Focus on the behavior, not the follower – Focus on the follower’s actions and why they were wrong; don’t attack the follower. Focusing on the follower versus the action implies that the behavior would be the same regardless of the situation and it attacks their character. Stick to the action, why it was wrong, and the consequence of the action.
  2. Make it about the team, not the follower – Focus on the action’s consequence to the team and what the tangible impact means to the team because of the action. Don’t make the follower feel as if she is alone in the battle. Stand arm in arm with the follower.
  3. Call out evasiveness – If a follower is giving vague answers or trying to answer a question that wasn’t asked, call it out. Followers need to know that they can’t pull the wool over the leader’s eyes. Expect direct answers to direct questions.
  4. Set expectations of what and when – If there is corrective action needed, get agreement with the follower on what needs to be done and when it needs to be done by. Don’t allow for ambiguity on what the follower needs to do next, no TBD or ASAP.
  5. Don’t go on and on – Calling out actions doesn’t have to be a long, drawn-out exercise. The follower will likely get the point after a couple of minutes. Be clear, concise, and brief; don’t make an uncomfortable situation go on any longer than necessary.
  6. Be firm, not angry – Followers need to know that you’re serious when calling out actions. Do so with a firm voice and controlled language; yelling or throwing a tantrum not only isn’t necessary but it labels you as a leader who becomes unhinged when problems occur. Followers will avoid giving bad news for fear of an angry reaction. It also can brand you as unable to control yourself when things go south. Not a good image to project, not only to followers but to your boss.
  7. Offer help – Be prepared to offer help to the follower to rectify the action. Help could come from either you as the leader or another person with the experience to help. Be ready to make yourself and others available for help.
  8. Have a quick 1:1 chat afterward – Take a couple of minutes with the follower afterward, through email/chat/direct conversation to underscore that you believe in them and are there to help correct the action. The follower needs to hear your support and encouragement. The quick chat will help ease any angst and focus more on the problem to solve versus whether or not they will still have a job.
  9. Set a follow-up discussion – After setting the what and when expectation, ask the follower to schedule a follow-up discussion with you to provide an update on the corrective action. The follow-up not only ensures corrective action is in progress, it also instills accountability in the follower to do what needs to be done by when.
  10. Acknowledge successful corrective action – When a follower successfully navigates through a corrective action, be intentional about acknowledgment. The follower needs to see you as a fair and balanced leader; one who praises good actions and calls out not-so-good actions.

The Consequences:  Not being intentional about calling out balderdash can result in the following consequences:

  • You’ll be viewed as a weak leader – When others see a problem and see you not calling out the action, you’ll be seen as afraid to confront others and lacking courage.
  • Your credibility will be challenged – Not calling out actions could cause others to wonder if you have the wisdom to know when something is wrong. Followers will likely wonder if you’ve got the experience to do the job.
  • Your team’s overall quality of work can decline – If followers know you can be fleeced, you can unwittingly set a low-quality bar of work. Followers will perform to your expectation level; if you demonstrate lowered expectations by not calling out balderdash, followers will meet your lowered expectations.

The Next Steps: 

  • Review the 10 tips for calling out balderdash.
  • Decide which ones you need to improve.
  • For any tips you’ve identified as needing work, put an action plan together to address those calling-out areas.
  • Use a trusted advisor who can hold you accountable to show courage in calling out balderdash.
Posted on: July 15, 2022 08:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (4)

Scaling Up – 13 Principles to Scale Your “Leader of Leaders” Influence

The Scenario: 

  • Greg gets promoted to a “leader of leaders” position.
  • Greg assumes that he will have to increase his hours, so adopts 60-hour weeks.
  • Greg doesn’t scale up his leadership style and still works as if he’s leading a small team.
  • Greg’s direct reports grow increasingly frustrated with his inconsistent leadership style of sometimes micromanaging, sometimes ignoring, sometimes doing things others can do, or sometimes creating fire-drills to get deliverables done.
  • Greg’s manager sees him not getting things done and puts more pressure on Greg.
  • Greg steps it up to 80-hour weeks.
  • Greg’s direct reports start leaving, citing Greg as an ineffective leader.
  • Greg’s manager signs Greg up for a class on how to scale as a leader. Greg doesn’t go because he’s too busy.
  • Greg’s family grows increasingly frustrated with his not being present and part of the family.
  • Greg puts on ten pounds due to poor eating habits and lack of exercise.
  • Greg’s manager makes the difficult but needed decision to demote Greg.

 

The Message: The above scenario may be unfamiliar to some, but to others it might mean replacing Greg’s name with their own. Scaling up as a leader doesn’t have to mean longer hours and greater sacrifice. It does mean that the leader needs to adopt some new habits and adjust expectations of both himself and others to sustain as a leader.

To effectively and sustainably scale up as a leader of leaders, consider which of these 13 principles you need to embrace:

  1. Embrace that your job is more about seeking clarity, setting direction, and driving decisions versus being a doer.
  2. Embrace that your world is about choices; what to do and what not to do. Sometimes your alternatives are good and bad, but many times your alternatives are worse and worser. You will find yourself at times choosing least-worst alternatives.
  3. Embrace that not everyone will agree with every decision you make; your job is to ensure they understand the “why” behind each decision and can respect it.
  4. Embrace the concept of intentional empowerment and think in terms of empowering others to solve problems, providing guidance, being clear on due dates, and establishing a follow-up rhythm. Empowerment is not set-it-and-forget-it or errand-running.
  5. Embrace that your to-do list will not only contain things you need to do, but also follow-ups with others on things you have empowered them to own (see #4).
  6. Embrace that you will need to be deliberate about scheduling nonwork time--friendship, leisure, and life commitments--and treating them with the same importance as work commitments.
  7. Embrace that to succeed in scaling up you will need a leadership team you trust to get things done and with members who can grow to take your job in the future.
  8. Embrace that holding others accountable is not just for your leadership team and those in your organization but is also about peers and senior leaders.
  9. Embrace that others may do things differently than you. Your job is to align on the what and advise on the how, unless there is some legal or policy reason to be prescriptive on the how.
  10. Embrace that being sustainable doesn’t mean you never have to sprint or re-prioritize work and personal life; it just means that you don’t chronically do it and try to sprint a marathon.
  11. Embrace that you will always be genuinely seeking and candidly sharing wisdom. It’s your responsibility as a leader to not only grow yourself, but others as well.
  12. Embrace that others in the organization don’t want to hear that you’re nervous; they want to hear that you’re focused. Others are drawn to the calm and prescriptive one in the room when everyone else is freaking out. You may not always know all the steps to get out of a crisis, but you should always know what success looks like and what needs to be done next.
  13. Embrace that it’s lonely at the top. You need a safe, trusted advisor to help you grapple with issues who can affirm when you’re right and advise when you’re wrong.

The Consequences: 

By not taking intentional action to scale your leader of leaders influence your consequences can include:

      •  
  • Burnout – You try to do too much on your own and chronically burn the midnight oil working to get it all done.
  • Reduced employee satisfaction – Your leaders won’t feel trusted to own problems and do their job.
  • Late or missed deliverables – Trying to do too much on your own means more things are likely to be missed because of too many balls in the air that you can’t catch.

The Next Steps: 

      •  
  • Review the 13 principles to embrace.
  • Decide which top three you need to work on.
  • Review your plan with an accountability partner.
  • Work on the three for three months until you’ve developed good habits, then choose the next three, and so on.
Posted on: May 18, 2022 07:46 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)
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