Thursday, January 10, 2019

Being Open

First my apologies; it is a long time since I've posted anything and the reason is I have been busy on things other than project management, but project management has once again appeared on the horizon, so I should address it.

On the book front I am in the process of succession planning: the new release of Agile Project Management in easy steps is co-authored with David Morris and the new release of Effective Project Management is being co-authored with Graham Moore. They will be taking over the books from the next release and I know I am leaving them both in good hands.

Back to project management and my current issue: what should a project manager do when one of their team seems to struggling to deliver what's needed. One of my old bosses once told me I should be tougher with people when they failed to deliver but that’s not my way.  Some project managers seem to think that being a leader means they have to impose their own value system on their team, but this only leads to resentment.  The wise project manager demonstrates leadership by being the servant of the team.  He follows the team’s lead and is open to whatever emerges.  Being open and attentive to the needs of others is more effective than being judgmental.  

The Way  
The wise project manager expects the best of people and they live up to it.  People naturally tend to be good and truthful when they are being received in a good and truthful manner.  The wise project manager may seem to be naive and childlike in this uncritical openness to whatever emerges.  But openness is more potent than any system of judgment ever devised.  The wise project manager judges no one and is equally attentive to all.  

The Tao  
Lao Tzu tells us:  

The sage has no fixed agenda.  
He is aware of the needs of others.  

I am good to people who are honest.  
I am also good to people who are dishonest.  
This is true goodness.  

keep faith with people who are sincere.  
I also keep faith with people who are insincere.  
This is true faithfulness.  

The sage dwells in harmony,  
His agenda seems confused.  
To the sage all are as children.  

The term ‘children’ refers to children of the mother (Tao), to the sage the goodness of any of the children is the same as his own goodness.  


Pradip P said...

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sameer mane said...

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Unknown said...

Reading your quote reminded me of the Plato dialogues I'm listening now. Where Socrates talks about love and the meaning for him. It's like the sage for Lao Tzu, if you love someone you are aware of their needs and you will help them to be a better version of themselves.

Thanks for sharing!

P M Blogger said...

Beautifully put, thanks, John.

Anonymous said...

It's up to project managers to plan, budget, execute, and measure all management aspects of a project. Due to the abstract nature of their role, project managers can essentially work anywhere — in any physical location, with any size of the company, in any industry.

malcolm west said...

Interesting and I broadly agree, with a proviso... If you recruited the team and were able to ensure there were no bad apples then correct.

If you are given/inherit a team then some modification is likely required. There are always some bad apples who are happy to take it slow and let others pick up the slack and that can't be fair and can be catastrophic.

A rowing 8 spring to mind...if one is not delivering it won't work for the other 7, the cox will have to do something about it :)

P M Blogger said...

Excellent point Malcolm,
If a team member is not doing their best it will demotivate the rest of the team, if someone can spoil the teams efforts then the team is better off without them. I also like the reference to the cox, like a project manager they have to get the best out of their team. Shame they end up getting thrown in the river when the team wins :-)

Anonymous said...

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