New Perspectives in Project Management From The Second Grade Playground: # 4 = What SHAPE Is Your Leadership In?

Welcome back everyone to blog # 4: your opportunity to look in the mirror to see what you see about having you lead, or work on, any project: and you had better see a leader or else you are going to see a follower and if you are follower, then you may be the one who is rowing the ship instead of being the one at the helm.
If I said to you that you have to lead from your heart and not from your head, would that be a cliché for you? If it is, look again, because it is reality: perhaps even the reality that your project needs right now. So, what SHAPE is your leadership in? Good SHAPE? Flabby SHAPE? Ooops! Did I offend you? Do you need offending? If so, then I am here to help.
Now, what kind of help? Well, I could be a car salesman and tell you what you want and then hope that you will buy. People hate car salesmen and salesmen of most kind. Yes? No? Maybe so. Well, I could be service person, a true helper, like the pest control technician that gets rid of cockroaches, ants, mice and rats. Do you have cockroaches, ants, mice and rats in your project to the point where you are ready to call an exterminator? If so, now there is a true helper. But the best role in which that I can serve you,, and the best role in which you can serve your team or group is that of the trusted advisor. Trusted advisor. What’s that? Trusted advisors tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God, all the time, even if the truth is not what you want to hear. When things are going south, a bit of brutal truth can turn the compass needle of your project back north. When things are going south, a bit of radical honesty can actually save your project. Did you see the sign for the bridge in an earlier blog? “Bridge closed open to local traffic”. Perhaps they meant that while you can not get to the other side, locals can still use the access roads on this side of the bridge to reach their homes and offices. But, that’s NOT what it says! A bit of brutal truth and radical honesty are needed here.
So, what about SHAPE? Well, you had better have S, Standards. Father said before he died that “there is no compromise. There are only Standards.” The truth is: compromise is for losers. Standards are for winners, so set your Standards high and make sure that everyone knows what they are: so you can avoid the other S: surprises. People hate surprises. And you had better have H, Heart, because your co-workers can tell if you have one that beats, or not, and if not for you, then you are as cold as the Pharaoh in ancient Egypt at the time of the Exodus…and he wound up being the big loser on that one. And you had better have A, Attitude and Apprecia-tion, because your co-workers are watching for yours and if you have the wrong ones, boy, do they talk about you in the lunchroom, and what do they say about you? Try, “What planet did he/she fly in from and get off of?” and “Why, Oh God, did I get assigned to this project?” Happy days ahead for you, right? And you had better have P, Perspective and Persistence, because, and welcome to project management, the road is always longer than you expected it to be ( we call this delay and design change ) but the road is still open. And you had better have E, Excellence and Enthusiasm and you should generally expect the same to be true of your group.
For anyone unwilling to be excellent and enthusiastic, over the side they go. Join us again tomorrow as we take a closer look a specific on-campus project and how I managed it into an A+

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