Inspired Project Teams

Enduring Wisdom & Guided Challenges to Help Project Teams Achieve Their Best

  • Apr 28

    Image: Authority & Responsibility in Balance (scales)Remember the first time you were trusted — truly trusted — to act on behalf of someone? Maybe it was babysitting your kid brother so your parents could have that special night out or taking care of your aunt’s favorite plants and her beloved old dog while she went on vacation.  You know the kind of trust I’m talking about: the kind that weighs on you a little and causes you to take a deep breath and say to yourself, “I can do this! This is really important and I can do this!” Remember what that felt like the first time you experienced it?

    That kind of trust can be a powerful motivator. And it can be even more compelling when it’s accompanied by the full authority— money, tools, decision-making power — to take action.  Feeling the responsiblity for handling an important job and knowing you have the authority to make things happen somehow helps you stand a little taller and strengthens your resolve to do great work — to prove that the trust isn’t misplaced. So, in the end, trusting people completely can inspire them to do their best.

    So You Say You Trust Me? Prove It!

    To clarify, it’s not enough for you to say, “I trust you to do this job” and then withhold meaningful authority by requiring me to ask your permission to make simple decisions or by forcing me to beg for resources to get the job done. No. If you really trust me to do the job, then you’ll give me the full authority (decision-making power, money, tools, people, etc.) that enables me to do it. By granting me this breadth of authority, you prove that you trust me. And, given that proof, I will be more likely to work hard to ensure that your trust hasn’t been misplaced.

    This balance between authority and responsibility is an important component of all sorts of human relationships. When we strive for and maintain this balance, we ultimately prove that we respect the dignity of those whom we’ve tasked with doing a job. In ethical terms, getting this balance right is simply the fair and decent thing to do!  Whether the work to be done is within the context of your family, a formal work team in an organization or society at large, it’s critical to achieve. This little video illustrates:

    Greer’s Challenges

    The questions below can help you make practical use of these ideas.

    Reflections

    Reflect on these questions:

    • Are you conscious of the authority/responsibility balance when you assign work to team members?
    • Do you have enough authority to do all the chores assigned to you? (If not, how might you get this authority?)
    • What specific actions could you take on behalf of your project team or yourself to better balance the authority and responsibilities of everyone working on your projects?
    Team Challenges 

    Ask your team:

    • Do you feel adequately empowered to do the work assigned to you? (If not, what additional power or resources do you need?)
    • Do you recall any specific situations in which you lacked adequate authority (resources or power) to do your job? (If so, what can we do to prevent this from happening again?)
    Project Manager Challenges 
    • Make certain that everyone on your project team has the power to get and use all the resources they need to do their assigned tasks.
    • Make certain that everyone on your project team has the power to make all the routine decisions necessary to keep from getting “stuck.”
    • Make sure you don’t micromanage your team.
    • If you are currently being micromanaged by your senior managers or don’t have enough authority to make key decisions to keep your project moving or lack the resources (people, tools, money, etc) to get good results, then resolve to do what you need to do (have that “tough talk” or confront that difficult senior manager) and get your authority and responsibility in balance!

    Learn More…

    Check out these related Inspired Project Teams posts/podcasts:

  • Jan 29

    [Link image: This is a sample from PM Minimalist]

    [This book excerpt is from “Taking Care of Yourself:  Managing Your Priorities, Time, & Energy” in The Project Management Minimalist]

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    “… the highest success in living and the deepest emotional satisfaction comes from building and using your signature strengths.”

    Dr. Martin Seligman in Authentic Happiness

    Seligman, former head of the American Psychological Association and founder of the positive psychology movement and science of happiness, has conducted substantial research on the topic of signature strengths and how they relate to happiness and success. His findings: When you identify and use your signature strengths as often as you can, particularly in your work, you will be more likely to be happy and successful.

    Here are four things you can do to leverage your signature strengths:

    • Go to Seligman’s Authentic Happiness website
      ( http://www.authentichappiness.org ), sign up for free membership, and complete the VIA Signature Strengths Questionnaire.
    • Think about your Signature Strengths and think about the kinds of things people do in your organization.
    • Volunteer to do small chores that use your Signature Strengths.
    • Volunteer for entire projects that use your Signature Strengths.

    And remember: If you can’t always use your Signature Strengths at your workplace, you might want to volunteer at a local non-profit or charity that could use your talents. Not only will you be making the world a better place, but there’s clinical evidence to show that you’ll probably be happier!

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    [Link image: This is a sample from PM Minimalist]

    [This book excerpt was from “Taking Care of Yourself:  Managing Your Priorities, Time, & Energy” in The Project Management Minimalist]

  • Dec 9

    PM-Flashblog-Cropped-Cover-Art

    Could you use a little PM sermon to help motivate you and your team? Then you gotta get this free e-book!

    On September 25th at 0100 hours GMT project management (PM) bloggers from all over the planet published blog posts to answer this question: “What does project management mean to me? (a project manager’s sermon).”

    Conceived by Australian PM expert Shim Marom, publisher of the quantmleap blog, this #PMFlashBlog was the first-ever world-wide synchronized PM publishing effort.

    Henny Portman, a #PMFlashBlogger from the Netherlands, created this infographic illustrating the true global distribution of the authors:

    Image: Henny Portman's #PMFlashBlog author location infographic

    Allen Ruddock, Director of UK-based ARRA Management Ltd., took on the challenge of collecting, compiling and creating an e-book from all the #PMFlashBlog blog posts published. (Check out Allen’s upcoming webinar “3 Biggest PM mistakes…”)

    The result of all this hard work was a powerful collection of heart-felt (and sometimes humorous!) blog posts that will help you discover the true meaning of PM as seen through the eyes of PM experts and practitioners from all over the world.

    === Other Free e-Books & PM Freebies ===

    === Other Articles You Might Like ===

  • Jul 2

    July typically means summer vacations and recreation. But how about your project team? Have they had a major inspirational makeover?  Have you been involved in some PM team “re-creation?”  So how’d you do it? You’ve seen my blog posts and heard my podcasts. Now I want to hear from you.

    Trade your success stories for a free Coaching Guide!

    All this month I’m offering a free IPT Coaching Guide in exchange for your project management and team building success stories. Specifically, I’m looking for answers to these questions:

    • What are the most difficult challenges your project team has ever faced and ultimately overcome? How did you overcome these?
    • What are your favorite team-building practices… things that you regularly do to keep your team motivated, engaged, and energized? Why do they seem to work so well?
    • What’s the most inspiring event (or experience) you have ever been part of that directly led you to become a better project manager? How might this event or experience be applied to other project managers and their teams?

    Simply send me an essay (a page or two) that addresses one or more of the questions above. If I decide to publish it here for the inspiration of our readers, I’ll send you a special link to download your free Inspired Project Teams Coaching Guide. The coaching guide includes 30 podcasts (over 5 hours of audio), a 58-page guidebook with hundreds of inspirational Challenges, quotes, ideas, and other great info to help you “re-create” your project team in a more inspired form.

    So please… share your wisdom! And help other project managers and their teams stay inspired!

    Email your essays to:  greers_pm@yahoo.com

  • Sep 6

    I’m teaching a free, live video class on eduFire: “Project Management for High-Performing Teams” on Friday, September 18.  This one-hour session will include 36 pages of handouts (2 PDF files):

    • 18-page PDF with tools, worksheets, etc.
    • 18-page PDF with copies of PowerPoint visuals

    To learn more and to register, go to:

    http://edufire.com/classes/7151

    Hope to see you there!


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