Regular readers know that I try to help both newcomers and experienced project management practitioners and other leaders to achieve above average results using what they have at their disposal.
Because very few projects have the luxury of having the best of the best, the kingpins, or the people who make things happen on their teams, project managers need to be exceptional people managers and motivators. (Projects by nature are risky, so organizations usually keep the best people focused on the known, the proven and the established.)
The leadership method described here is not well documented – nor is it recognized as an “official” management or leadership strategy – but I can guarantee that it is a principle that will work in both management and leadership environments.
People, Process and Production
Most people have lives outside of work, ambitions, aspirations, hopes and dreams. If you follow one simple rule – EVERYBODY IS IMPORTANT – you will move mountains.
Acceptance, appreciation, interest and above all trust are the highest forms of recognition. If you expose your team members to these (genuine) affections, they will find ways to align themselves to your goals, they will search for ways to excel and I promise you that they will search for the plate to step up to.
If someone is wanted, regarded and trusted, they reward such positive treatment with the behavior that is suitable. If your team is made up of the “second-best” or even not that flattering groups, you will be able to show that their behavior, dedication and hard work is appreciated, recognized and NOTICED.
Superseding the once “best-of-the-best” has happened to many of the people who were on my teams. The moment they get used to the good behavior = good results programme, they are hard to stop…
What do you have to lose? Give it a go…
In its narrowest form, a process describes how we move from one point (state) to another. If we think about the common understanding of a process, it can be likened to a roadmap.
What is hidden from view are:
- Departure point – Known
- People responsible for each action / task / node –Known
- Information required to complete each action / task / node – Known
- Input requirements for each action / task / node – Known
- Output requirements for each action / task / node – Known
- Success factors for each action / task / node – Known
- Documentation for action / task / node – Known
- Completion requirements for entire process – Known
- Success factors for entire process – Known
If people know and understand what they are required to do, by when and to which standard, they will do whatever is required to achieve the result (successfully). If they understand who will take something forward, they humanize the situation, they treat others as clients, and your example (above) is sound, they will treat each other in the same way.
If you look inside you – you will be able to attribute each failure that you have had to the absence of clearly defined goals and objectives – internal or external.
The sentence that people DO NOT want communicated inside an organization is this:
>>> IT IS ACCEPTABLE TO FAIL.
The reason organizations try and avoid this is because they have not learnt that the correct statement should be this:
>>> IT IS UNACCEPTABLE NOT TO TRY!!!
Bloopers, failures and whoopers can be repaired – with honesty and integrity.
If everybody is allowed to try their best, fail, learn, and move forward – progress in every sense will be staggering.
Fear is one of the most negative emotions that people can experience. If they are required to perform any function within a basis of fear you can predict the results.
Q: So if your team is motivated, know what they need to do, and they know that their best will be acceptable – what should the manager or leader do?
A: Stay out of their way!!
The only way that a leader or manager can enhance the performance would be through enablement – Make sure they have what they need, help where they need help, encourage when the day is dark and praise when the sun is shining.
THE ABSOLUTE PPP RULE:
Superior production (delivery of agreed results within time-frames, budget and materials consumption frameworks) is achieved by positively motivated people, doing what is expected of them, and working without fear.
GUARANTEE: If this does not work for you – Let me know!!! I will publicly renounce the statement!!!
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