Friday, October 21, 2016
Lao Tzu tells us that there are four types of leaders and this seems to apply quite well to project managers, see how many of the four you have come into contact with:
Weak Project Managers
Ineffectual project managers that have been promoted to their level of incompetence. They struggle to get anything done and are generally seen as losers. Consequently no one wants to be in their team and we can all agree they are poor project managers.
Feared Project Managers
These guys get their way by threatening and browbeating their team. Any good people in their team take the hint and move somewhere they will be more appreciated. While the bad ones will try to imitate their behaviour or worse still toady up to them. Again I am sure we can all agree that they too are poor project managers.
Charismatic Project Managers
These are the interesting ones. Typically they lead from the front, are popular and can even have fans, but are they wise project managers? Take them away from their team and the team will stumble as they have become too reliant on the project manager. They are not usually poor project managers, but they are not wise project managers.
Wise Project Managers
The wise project manager is barely noticed. He does not intervene unless it is absolutely necessary and allows the team to run itself. He facilitates with a light touch and delegates wisely. The team gets on with its work without fuss and bother.
The wise project manager trusts in his team and they, in turn, trust in him. Greatness does not come to those who go looking for it, it comes out of humility.
Lao Tzu tells us:
When the best ruler governs,
The people are barely aware he exists.
The next best is a leader which they know and love.
Then one who is feared.
The worst is one who is despised.
If the ruler does not trust the people,
There will be no trust in him.
The best ruler doesn’t talk, he acts.
When his work is done,
The people say “We did it!”