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At Management Systems, we define effectiveness in the management (or leadership role) as the ability to successfully influence people on your team to achieve results in the most effective and efficient manner. Role Concept – how the individual thinks about and approaches his or her role; and how the individual allocates and invests his or her time. The Inner Game of Management – the individual’s “mindset” which, in turn, involves, effectively managing one’s need for control, source of self-esteem, and need to be liked. We have also developed a framework – the Pyramid of Management and Leadership Development – that identifies the key skills required at each level of management and leadership – from First Line Supervisor to CEO. A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.
The golden rules of leadership can be expressed in many ways, and here are some of them and no, this is not an inclusive list – simply a handful of what I view as the most important. There are usually many different ways to get a job done well, and a good leader will recognize this. A good leaders doesn’t expect people to read her mind, and she knows that good communication is very difficult. There is always good stuff happening, and even when he has to make a criticism, the good leader will find something good to say first.
I’m sure we’ve all worked with bosses who (sometimes literally) peer over your shoulder to see what you’re doing.
We all need to feel that we are able to make a difference, and a good leader recognizes this. Many more traits could be identified, but the ‘golden rules’ of leadership tie all of these qualities and behaviors together. Michigan State University Extension helps people improve their lives by bringing the vast knowledge resources of MSU directly to individuals, communities and businesses. Real financial leadership by governing boards requires connecting the money to the mission and clear delineation of board and staff roles.
In Financial leadership for government and non-profit boards: Part 1, we outlined three key points from a presentation by three faculty of the Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership at UMKC, and described in more detail the first point, fiduciary oversight.
The third key element of true financial leadership is that both the board and management must carry out their respective roles well, and resist the temptation to do the job of the other.
The chart above, taken from Gioia’s presentation, gives a clear delineation of the roles of both the board and management.
Last week I attended an excellent presentation on “Right-Brain Project Management” by Dr Michael Aucoin. In these circumstances the old project management approaches that are good for predictable projects break down. Why Does Project Management Fail?Many people are frustrated by the mismatch between project management theory and its application on real-life projects. Yet, in many walks of life outside of project management, people succeed in unpredictable environments everyday. 1 Mismatched project model and environmentFamiliar and predictable projects can use a roadmap approach to determine what to do, following a known plan. 2) Projects lack emotional involvementWe are often uncomfortable talking about bringing emotions into the workplace. We need to feel passionate about issues to fully engage all of our creativity in solving problems. We do not need the transcendental emotional maturity of the Dalia Lama, but instead just the experience to be comfortable with not knowing all the details, and when we encounter conflict, the fortitude to step-up and work through it. The Right Brain Dr Aucoin went on to summarize the classic Left Brain and Right Brain division of duties and roles.
An illustration of the right brain role in decision making was given using the story of “Elliot”; a successful attorney who underwent surgery on the right side of the brain to remove a tumor.
Right Brain to the RescueJust as stretch projects break the defined, predictable guidance of traditional, logical, left brain dominated project management; right brained techniques engage the adaptability skills that doctors, teachers and farmers employ to be successful with unpredictable situations. Bright brained approaches are not a replacement for logical, analytical, left brained defined approaches, but instead complement these techniques with tools for handling ambiguity.
1) Find the compelling purpose – When we really want to do something, we will overcome any obstacle.
2) Make sense of the project – At the beginning of a stretch project, we often have a vague idea of where we are going.
3) Experiment and adapt – When the path is ambiguous, it is counterproductive to expect to develop and follow a detailed plan. 5) Develop and deliver trust – Agile techniques demand that we slash bureaucracy and expect all team members to take leadership roles appropriately. 6) Improvise within the project framework - The stretch project requires us to develop new approaches to problems, but we must always operate within the framework of the compelling purpose and good team and customer service practices. 7) Leave a legacy – If a conventional project fulfills objectives, the right brain project seeks to leave a lasting, positive legacy.

Links to Agile and Leadership ModelsWhile these techniques match the agile concepts of progressive experimentation and adaptation.
Another valuable insight is the recognition that failed traditional approaches create personal challenges for project managers. This personal turmoil felt by traditional managers is the self-doubt Dr Aucoin describes due to relying only on traditional, left brain focused approaches for today’s stretch projects. So, for me, the Left Brain, Right Brain concept was an interesting angle, but the main learning was in an alternative management model. I’ve ordered the “Right Brain Project Management Book” and will post on any additional insights I extract as I read it. These Annual Surveys help our Management Team develop specific objectives and goals to address opportunities for improvement, and support our overall commitment to Continuous improvement. Throughout your life, your ability to perform as a leader can make all the difference between an experience of success and ease, and a feeling of frustration and powerlessness.
Companies spend millions training their leadership teams, and rightly so – leadership in specific areas can be a skillful and demanding role. She understands that nobody is trying to do a bad job, that everyone is doing what they think best.
A good boss will be clear about expectations and then let you get on with the job, giving support and encouragement when necessary. She will not hold on too tightly, but will give away power, distributing it to others and so enabling individuals to learn and grow as they add value to the situation. A poor leader will try to control everything, but a great leader will know when to act and whan to leave well alone. It unifies the apparently diverse skill-set of good leaders and informs their thinking and their action. They have written for the LA Times, The Washington Post, President Bill Clinton's White House, Forbes, and more. This website may not function properly.Click the icons below to upgrade to a newer version or another web browser. In my nearly 19 years with Michigan State University Extension and 10 years of experience working with boards elsewhere, nearly all of the board members I have met have at one time or another either worked in management roles or owned their own business. I attend lots of presentations during the course of a year, mainly at North America events but a sprinkling of international conferences too, and few presentations stand out as being excellent. Well it outlined a parallel view of project management that supports and reinforces agile leadership and fills in some gaps along the way.
He defined a Stretch project as a project that causes traditional project management challenges. Michael did not use the words Traditional and Agile, but he might as well have been giving an agile presentation because through his research he had arrived at the same conclusions, but interestingly, offered additional insights. This is due largely to trying to employ approaches designed for predictable projects on today’s Stretch projects and seeing them come up short.
Doctors, farmers, and teachers all work in difficult to predict environments yet, on the whole, are successful. However, stretch projects often have a lot of ambiguity as if parts of the map are missing and we may not even know if the destination exists or is possible. As Stephen Covey states “We are in a knowledge age, yet most of our management principles are from an industrial age”. Nothing will stop a group of people achieving what they really want to do – they will exhibit extraordinary motivation and overcome almost any obstacle to meet goals they have strong emotional feelings for. When we try to get something achieved and it does not happen, for whatever reason, we feel bad about ourselves. What was interesting for me was to learn that while the left brain deals with logic, facts, analysis, and sequential processes it is largely incapable of making decisions based on these facts. While he was able to function normally in many respects, he could no longer make even simple decisions and suffered emotionally too. We must first explore the project environment and make sense of it before we can exploit it.
The ultimate deliverable is a good emotional memory – smiles on the faces of all who are involved with the project and its product. In particular I like the idea of starting the project by finding the compelling purpose rather than trying to find purpose within the project once it is going.
They don’t work so well and since people are doing all they know how and still failing, they feel bad. I think it complements the existing agile and leadership models and adds validation to why these other skills are important too. We administer these surveys annually, so that progress can be measured on a year over year basis— Kevin G.
They model the kind of behavior they want to see in other people – risk taking, proactivity, self-reflection, honesty.

It might not be what the leader herself thinks is best, of course, but this recognition that there are other perspectives and a genuine willingness to understand another point of view sets good leaders apart. A great leader is always learning from others, always adapting and ready to try something new. A poor leader will try to impose uniformity, but a good leader will encourage new kinds of thinking, originally and fresh perspectives. It is important to point out each does a better job carrying out its role when the two work collaboratively together.
They often understand much more about the management roles than they do the leadership roles of developing long term vision and strategy, and writing policy which enables management and staff to achieve the mission. But growth comes at a price and can put a huge amount of pressure and strain on businesses, as they attempt to navigate and mitigate for the internal changes that are required. This one was exceptional from the content (that connected some loose ends in my Agile-Leadership-Project Management mental model) to the materials and delivery. Decisions are made in the right brain along with all the emotions, concepts and metaphors, discovery of new patterns, and synthesis of ideas. To find the compelling purpose, keep asking “why an objective is important” until an answer that resonates with our core principles is found.
As PM’s it is important to identify what the project is really about before we start planning. As PM’s we should demonstrate and encourage experimentation and adaptation within the project. As PM’s we need to create an environment of trust so people know it is safe to fully contribute and not hold-back.
It allows us to explore the reasons and motivations behind the stakeholder’s requests and flows into the “Make sense of the project” step.
He highlighted the phenomenon that many managers suffer the personal turmoil of feeling a fraud as they struggle to apply traditional management approaches and fail. The solution is to engage in more emotional, synthesis and meaning-focused activities that are the domain of the right brain. One mistakes causes a lot of emotional problem to some of our employees, especially those who are in charge of the project. As PM’s we need to find why the project is so important that we will get people volunteering to work on it.
4) Create the new reality – Stretch projects require a high degree of creativity, not only in the professional domain, but in solving interactional issues among group members. This conscious search for sense before making plans accepts the vagueness in early projects and embraces the futility of detailed plans made too soon.
Mastering these self-doubts and learning to accept ambiguity is a fundamental part of our human journey.
She will genuinely be open to what is said and will look under the surface to see what other people are really trying to say. Each board, whether nonprofit or governmental, needs a plan, a model, to keep them focused on their role in financial leadership, and total organizational leadership as well. Change Leadership Published by Jesse Jacoby No Comments It’s easy to confuse project leadership with change leadership, or assume they are one in the same.
As PM’s we need to engage the creative side of our team to tap into their full drive and overcome project challenges be them technical, HR, or business.
The Sydney Opera House was 9 years last and 14 times over budget – a failure from a left brain project view, but a huge asset for Sydney that has a very positive emotional legacy. Rather than moving to planning too early, a focus on motivation and meaning is a great use for early project time.
Our tendency to manage pieces of the organization independently fails to properly recognize the impacts of each part of the organization on other parts. Large business transformation initiatives require a strong mix of project leadership and change leadership to achieve their objectives.The list below provides hallmarks of good project leadership along with the corresponding change leadership activities. This learning technique really drives home the reality of the interdependent nature of organizations.
True financial leadership requires that this interdependence be considered in the development of every policy, and in the execution of every decision. He and his team partner with Fortune 500 and mid-market companies to deliver successful people and change strategies.

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