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Sean Whitaker
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Be all you can be ... be a better change manager!
Do you want to be a better project manager? Then become a better change manager. It’s a bold statement but true.

All projects involve change, you are making or delivering something new that is different from the current situation, and given normal circumstances people naturally resist change.

So, what is involved in being a great change manager?

First, realise that generally people don’t like change and will resist it if not managed properly. Be aware that change is a scary thing for most people. Let people work their way through the process of accepting change. You will need to use your well-developed leadership skills here to understand, appreciate and guide people through the uncertainty of change.

Create a compelling reason to change. Let people know what the reason for the project and the change is. If people don’t see the need for the project they will not support it. Communicate the need for change effectively and regularly. Change management is one of those situations where in the absence of good communication, rumour, gossip and innuendo will take hold.

Create capability for change. Get people on board who support your project and the change it brings and who also have the necessary skills to carry out the project.

Carry out the change as planned. First plan, then do. Any project or change must first be properly planned and then executed according to the plan.

Embed the change. Simply doing what you had planned to do will not guarantee that the change will be permanent. Create a strategy to make sure the change is embedded and will go on past the end of the project. Create champions and carry out post implementation reviews.

So, amongst all those other technical and soft skills a project manager must possess, learning about and becoming proficient at change management will increase your chances of project success.

Successful project management involve successful change management and successful change management requires great project management skills as well.

Related Article: Influencing is not a four letter word

Just wanted to say thanks to +Michael Kaplan for supporting my posts.  Much appreciated!

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How do you build a great team?

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Always good to keep your best employees.
If you have employees that are head and shoulder above the rest, how do you keep them?

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What makes an authentic leader in Project Management?
*Authentic Leadership in Project Management"

There are many aspects of project management that contribute to project success. There are the technical skills learned and the experience gained in applying them. There are also the soft skills such as communication and influencing that a project manager must possess. Perhaps most important amongst all these skills is the ability to lead and demonstrate leadership, particularly authentic leadership. A good project manager manages a project; a great project manager leads a project.

Leadership is the purposeful, influencing of followers. Without any of the three key elements is simply isn’t leadership. Without purpose, it is someone we may wish to follow who doesn’t want to lead. Influencing acknowledges that the leader has a vision and influences followers to go in a particular direction. Followers are the most important part of the equation though, for without followers there are no leaders. Great leaders respect their followers and great followers respect their leaders – it’s a mutual relationship. Leadership is a conscious deliberate decision. It is an acknowledgment there is a relationship between leader and follower, and each needs the other to exist. It is a commitment by those who choose to lead of continual personal and professional development. It is a commitment by those who choose to follow of support and feedback.

Have you ever wondered why there are so many training courses on leadership but none on followership?

Leadership requires many different competencies to be displayed at different times as it is highly situational. You may have to display competencies such as self-awareness, emotional resilience, motivation, critical analysis, judgement, vision and Integration.

However, the one core constant aspect of leadership is authenticity. Being authentic means having integrity and not pretending to be something you aren’t. People will always know when you are not being authentic.

The best sort of leadership is authentic leadership – be true to yourself. Be true timber, not a thin veneer.

Related article: People Skills in Project Management

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Are you a Lion Tamer?

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[latest blog post] Which project management style describes you when it comes to leading your team?
What sort of project manager are you?

When it comes to being a project manager are you a lion tamer or a cat herder?

OK, I’ll admit the title is a bit cheesy but I’m trying to make a light hearted point about a serious topic. Are you a proactive project manager in control of your project, or are you a reactive project manager constantly playing catch up. The difference is a key element in whether or not your project will be successful.

If you are a lion tamer you are in control of all aspects of your project. You command attention and project team members and stakeholders see you as the centre of the project. This requires focus and commitment to leading, influencing and proactively managing. It is also a constant effort because if you stop being proactive at any time there is a risk that you will lose control very quickly. Becoming a lion tamer requires a commitment to your on-going professional and personal development. It won’t happen overnight but it will happen with time, experience and education. Project managers who are lion tamers have a much greater chance of project success.

If you are a cat herder you are always trying to get people to do something they don’t want to do, you are always playing catch up with communications, and nobody seems to realise what your role actually is. The stakeholders see you as someone to be manipulated and controlled for their own purposes and not matter how much energy you put into the project you never seem to get anywhere. Project managers who are cat herders have a much greater chance of project failure.

So get out your whip, top hat, coat and start taming those lions! And please excuse the rather lazy metaphors . . .

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This is always good to keep in mind.

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Do you know the difference between an Output and an Outcome?
Project Management ... the difference between Outputs and Outcomes
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