create

How Do I Get My People To Be More Innovative?

The question was posed to me recently by an executive level client. He was upset that his project managers didn’t seem to want to go beyond the way things were normally done. He wanted them to try different approaches and new ideas. The executive is an engineer and very experienced in the industry. His project managers are a mix of varied levels of experience and knowledge. In any business today,…

Pallet

It’s Okay to Have Fun – In Fact it’s Necessary

A basic tenet of a military organization is the ability to pack up and move out quickly. Being proficient at that skill requires planning and practice. Although I’ve been involved in many such efforts, both as rehearsals and as real deployments, one example has always stuck in my mind. It was during my days in a combat rescue unit and there are two reasons it has stayed with me. First,…

failure

Is Leadership Training Really Failing? If It Is, Here’s Why

Articles lamenting the failure of leadership training to produce lasting effects have become a regular addition to my article feeds. All sorts of experts are telling me that, although companies are spending more than ever on leadership training, the results are universally disappointing. My experience tells a different story and I refuse to believe that leadership development, when conducted correctly, is not effective. Here are a few uncomfortable truths about…

The Magic and Power of Please and Thank You

He was a new supervisor and he seemed frustrated as we spoke. “Why do I have to ask people to do things? Shouldn’t I be able to just tell them to do it?” The short answer is, “Yes, you can tell them and they should respond.” But is that the way to build a productive, high-performance team? Is that the way you want your boss to relate to you? When…

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Tips for the Authorityless Leader

I was asked this question in a workshop recently. In addition to my team in the company, I work with subcontractors. It’s like a team, but they don’t really report to me and they work for a completely different company. How can I be effective when I don’t have such limited authority? This is a variation of the classic matrixed organization and it’s a situation that many project managers face.…