You don’t have to pass an executive assessment to be the boss, CEO, or owner of a business. Everyone can tell who the real leader is when they’re around them.
But what happens when the boss goes back into his or her office after the morning meeting? Does the business still function and handle projects, tasks, and conflict in a positive, effective way?
Creating the right company culture, inspiring and motivating team players who work together even when you’re not around, and executive strategic leadership all start with tactical business awareness and a strategic executive plan.
Your best bet is to set the example right from the start and get folks on the same page now.
- A focused project management plan that helps you stay a step ahead of the competition while maximizing your ROI is one of the keys to succeeding in today’s dynamic business environment
- A good risk mitigation strategy helps you avoid costly mistakes by ensuring your company communication, leadership, project and task management are automated and secured
- Motivating and engaging your employees with effective leadership can help you implement changes across your entire small or medium sized business with minimum pushback or loss of talent
Every program has its own environment and procedures, and there are circumstances unique to the industry that must be considered. However, the fundamental strategy for identifying the general communication needs and target audience still holds true: involving key participants in the process of deciding how information should flow both inside and outside the program is just as crucial as getting their approval for the program’s deliverables and schedule.
Is your business effectively using its planning time to communicate in a challenging work program? What could your team be doing better, and how?
And how are you automating crucial business processes that set your entire organization up for success?
Executive Leadership: PMO and Team Strategies That Work
Big-thinking executive strategists and project managers need to find a way to meet in the middle in order to manage processes and stay on schedule. Project managers are already aware that 80% to 90% of their work involves effective communication, and without an effective framework, tools, and training, you cannot expect it to happen on its own, especially when so many middle managers are already burnt out.
After executive and middle management have created a strategic plan can you finally expect the entire team including employees, team leads and supervisors to get on board.
5 Common Leadership Mistakes
Being a good leader isn’t easy, and most people don’t possess great leadership skills without a lifetime of trial by fire and experience in the real world.
As a general rule, you’ll want to avoid these 5 common leadership mistakes:
- Failure to address conflict – While a certain amount of give-and-take is expected, sometimes you can’t avoid looking like the bad guy when confronting mistakes at work. Remember, you might avoid telling people what they did wrong, but then you’ll create an entire climate of incompetence and negative feedback loops.
- Lack of vision – Having a purpose and vision in mind for the team will naturally emanate from your decisions and communication. Keeping your own house in order and staying organized will impart confidence in those around you that you’re capable of getting the job done. Not having an automated system or framework in place that mitigates risk can also create unnecessary conflict.
- Arrogance and sarcasm – Confidence is not arrogance. Humility is not weakness. Knowing your own worth and abilities as a leader, manager, boss or CEO isn’t always easy as you probably don’t spend much time self-analyzing. However, your tendency to be the firestarter on major projects may cause you to look down on your staff, since most employees don’t have producer goals and intentions like you. However, being humble will simply cause most of your clients and employees to relax around you, and they may even see you as more confident as a result.
- Not offering feedback or giving ambiguous feedback – While no one likes being micromanaged, simply telling someone their work is “pretty good” does absolutely nothing for them regarding how they might adjust their process and efforts to achieve a better result next time. Additionally, the smarter employees will see through this type of ambigious ploy as lazy and disingenuous.
- Being overly nice – While you may be actively trying to avoid disrespecting staff, leaders should still be approachable, which often means taking down that air of inflated concern or over-niceness. Genuine empathy and care can be sensed without laying it on thick, mainly out of insecurity and not real connection.
Top Leadership Qualities, Characteristics, Traits, and Skills
1. Adept communicators that set proper expectations – Leaders must be excellent communicators with the ability to explain issues and solutions in a clear and succinct manner. Leaders are able to balance speaking and listening. They can also communicate on a variety of levels, including one-on-one, over the phone, via email, etc. and switch from formal to less formal when appropriate and more effective to do so.
2. Integrity – Leaders are accountable to themselves and accept responsibility for their errors. While adhering to the organizational structure, rules, and policies that must be followed, leaders support and encourage individuality as well as team cohesiveness. They foster an environment where everyone feels comfortable to contribute.
3. Self-aware – The best way to suck all the air out of the room is to call a company-wide meeting and give a 15-minute monologue with empty marketing and sales platitudes that don’t mean much. Know how to motivate your employees and team with the right amount of formality and pep talk, then validate them throughout the week as you encounter them in the workspaces. Be brief. Be excellent. Then be gone.
4. Self-driven Leaders are self-driven and can persevere through obstacles to accomplish their objectives. Additionally, effective leaders make every effort to go above and beyond expectations. They are focused on improving the self and achieving individual and group victories.
5. Confidence – Almost all effective leaders possess confidence as a leadership quality. They possess the capacity to exercise authority and make difficult decisions. Leaders who exude confidence can inspire and reassure followers, establish open lines of communication, and promote teamwork.
6. People-oriented – Leaders are typically outgoing and cooperative. They are able to promote a sense of unity among the team, involve others in decision-making, and demonstrate care for every team member. Leaders can energize and inspire others by focusing on people. They ensure the best efforts from every team member by making each person feel significant and essential to the group’s success.
7. Positivity and mental stability – Leaders are able to handle stress and frustration while maintaining good self-control over their actions. Leaders are able to handle environmental changes without experiencing a strong emotional response.
8. Know how to spot and reward talent – Finding the right people means reducing time spent hiring and firing, which results in real financial loss for your business, when turnover is taken into account. And nothing boosts employee morale more than receiving praise for their efforts, especially when they are working hard day in and day out. If they are aware that their efforts are valued, they will continue to meet strict deadlines and put in long hours. It’s not always about money with people when it comes to motivation. It’s much deeper.
9. Know how to delegate – You must broaden your presence through the activities of others, engaging with people so that they contribute their finest work to your common priorities in order to raise the ceiling of your leadership potential. The transition from doing to leading is among the most challenging for leaders to make. You can get away with keeping on to work as a new manager.
10. Lifelong learners – Anyone that thinks they don’t need to keep learning is in for a rude awakening. There’s only so much a certificate or diploma on a wall can do for you. For the rest, you’ll have to make it happen, and that means you’re a student for life.
What makes a good boss or manager?
Effective managers support staff professional growth to position their group for leadership positions. They have no problem hiring individuals who may be regarded as smarter than they are. In fact, they seek to surround themselves with the most talented individuals.
Honest leaders make for good bosses. They don’t attempt to gloss over the realities of the circumstances they encounter, either internally or externally. They are honest with those around them and openly confront obstacles and challenges.
Refusing to sugarcoat the situation can often compel comradery and respect among your subordinates. You’ve seen the war movies.
How to Be a Team Player at Work
Teams are formed for a variety of reasons. They might need to collaborate frequently or just once to complete a project. In either case, a team can accomplish much more in a shorter amount of time if you make the most of their combined enthusiasm and creativity.
Being an important team member can also lead to new career opportunities, as good team leaders will see firsthand how well their team is performing. You might even be asked to contribute your strengths to higher profile, mission-critical projects in another team environment.
Remain flexible, stay positive in your communication, avoid gossip and always keep people in the loop to be considered and counted on as a team player.
The Boss Sets the First Example of a Team Player and Teammate
As the boss, you should already understand intuitively that you don’t have to score the game-winning point in order to hold the championship trophy above your head at the end of the season. Be the consummate teammate and show people how it’s really done around here through action, not talk.
Handling Mistakes at Work
Everyone makes mistakes, but not everyone is aware of how to use them as opportunities for growth. Instead of relying on the options to “forgive and forget” or punish severely, it is preferable to examine errors to ascertain the specifics. This aids in helping my team and I decide how to proceed. It’s crucial to classify the error first.
Was it a random, isolated error? Or does it show a pattern of behavior that indicates a deeper issue? Additionally, it’s critical to keep in mind that, even when mistakes serve as teaching opportunities, not all errors can be overlooked. This is what’s called a fatal error, because it will lead to breakdown now or in the future. Teach your team that mistakes are okay, but address them proactively.
When your staff members realize that a mistake won’t cost them their jobs, two interesting things take place: First, when looking for solutions to issues, they’re more willing to “take the road less taken. This is a great way to energize and innovate a small business. Second, your advice will be heeded by your team.
They will keep in mind the lessons you taught them about facing mistakes head-on even if they move on to other jobs. The hard work, loyalty, and creativity of your team will be returned to you if you can demonstrate what it means to be calm under pressure and to approach problems with optimism and creativity.
I still remember a former restaurant manager tell me “Don’t worry about it. If you’re not making mistakes, you’re not trying.” That’s a pretty good philosophy, and it motivated me to keep going and get better.
Mistake at Work Anxiety
These days, people are finding more and more excuses not to work. But one of the most common reasons is workers simply aren’t happy. There are a lot of reasons why that could be, but anxiety remains at the top of the list. No one wants to spend their time in a toxic environment.
You can hold your employees accountable without making them feel uncomfortable. Remaining mission-focused in all your communications, bad or good, will keep everyone on track without causing people to walk on eggshells.
Through the establishment of specific goals and the subsequent provision of a road map for achieving them, a strategic plan enables any project management office to play a crucial role in achieving a company’s business objectives on a wider scale.
Instead of listing a list of tasks, a strategic plan focuses on a higher level, identifying the tools and resources required to finish a project on time and within budget while also meeting predetermined business goals.
The strategic plan must be flexible enough to adapt to a constantly shifting business environment while maintaining a constant focus on final results. A project management team may need to step outside of their comfort zones, think beyond execution, and adopt a business-thinking mindset when developing a strategic plan.
Project Management Communication Strategies
When completing a significant program of work, the value of a solid communications strategy becomes clear. Managing daily communication with the client, important stakeholders, and team members is insufficient without a solid infrastructure in place that allows speedy processing and sharing of information.
The more you grow as a business, you start to see how the delivery of complex programs across cultures and organizations can address this important aspect of automating effective project management. It’s natural to be hesitant to implement a new system or change across the entire organization, but it can be done.
Recognize early on the significance and relevance of all available communication, marketing, sales, and delivery channels, as well as synchronizing them. What then must we “talk” about? What justifies us saying it? Who becomes essential in formulating when and how we can communicate it?
Additionally, you can make the process more efficient by centralizing your CRM, CMS, inbound marketing and more.
Motivating and Engaging Employees
Your employee turnover rate will go down if your workforce is engaged, and your employees will be happier and stay with you for longer. This lowers training and hiring expenses to benefit your bottom line in the long run. Engagement is a voluntary commitment to act in someone else’s best interests. Motivation is the desire to carry out the task.
Employee engagement and motivation are two different concepts, though both are essential to the development of high performance teams. Teams with high levels of engagement actively seek out methods to boost their output and support the team in achieving its objectives.
Key factors that positively influence motivation and engagement are:
- A defined purpose and clear expectations
- Role, positional, task, and project clarity
- Communicating meaning and shared values, trust, and fairness
- Praising achievements of employees in both public and private
- Reprimanding in private, not in public for all to see
Motivating Remote Workers
With remote workers, you may want to remember to offer feedback and inject occasional personal communication that falls outside of the narrow focus of task completion. A little small talk here or there can provide that extra human element that most remote workers are missing, but don’t overdo it.
Additionally, many employees within your remote work infrastructure may use that extra freedom to slack off a little. Make sure you’re holding all remote workers to the same standards and not playing favorites just because some of your remote workers always know how to say the right things at the right times.
Makes you wonder, just how much of the workday around the world is spent on theater?
Remember that the one employee whom you perceive as a potential thorn in your side may actually be the one providing the engine of discovery, innovation, and honest feedback everyone else who’s just holding onto their jobs dare not mention, or even see it because they’re doing the bare minimum for you.
Putting an End to Quiet Promoting and Quiet Quitting
Good leaders are honest.
That means paying people what they’re worth and not promoting people without an adequate, corresponding raise. Additionally, heaping on extra work requirements without compensation encourages quiet quitting.
So, the best practice is always to avoid “quiet promoting.” Don’t ever create an unspoken culture of free work, where employees are tacitly encouraged to answer emails outside of working hours or take on extra work as an implicit quid pro quo of maintaining their employment.
Effective Conflict Resolution Strategies
According to Harvard, you can practice these strategies for effective conflict resolution:
- Recognize that we all have distorted perceptions of fairness.
- Avert inciting conflict by not using threats and provocative actions.
- Get past the “us versus them” mindset.
- To find the fundamental root of the problem, dig deeper.
- Distinguish between true and false sacred or off-limits issues.
Strategies for Implementing Change
- Management Supports Change – It is imperative that management communicates and acts in a way that demonstrates its support for changes. Nothing is worse than giving your staff a confusing message or flip-flopping to appear you’ve got it all under control when you don’t.
- Identify the Need for Change – Making a case for change is crucial because nobody wants to change merely for the sake of changing. Different sources can make a case for change. Data can be used to guide your change efforts. Consider using information gathered about defect rates, customer and employee satisfaction surveys, customer comment cards, business objectives as a result of a strategic planning session, or financial constraints. When areas that need improvement are identified and justified using data, the most effective changes result.
- Promote Employee Engagement – Employees should be involved in all change initiatives to some extent. The people most impacted by operational changes are the employees. Because of this, it’s critical that they comprehend the rationale for changes and take part in developing new procedures. For instance, the receptionist should be a part of the team that identifies, tests, and chooses new equipment if your office is upgrading its phone systems. Any organizational change, regardless of how big or small, must be explained and communicated, especially those that have an impact on how employees carry out their duties. Employees have experiences that can help with the planning and implementation of change, whether it be to alter a work process, increase customer satisfaction, or find ways to cut costs.
- Inform Others of the Change – Management is solely responsible for informing the workforce of changes. Change communication efforts should be organized and methodical. An inadequate method of communication will start a rumor mill that will disseminate false information regarding a proposed change. This misunderstanding may fuel a wave of opposition to the change. Proactive communication can reduce resistance and give workers a sense of involvement in the process.
- The Application of Strategy – Good communication about the roll-out and implementation of a change is crucial after it has been planned.
- After-Implementation Follow-Up – Following up after a change has been made is always a good idea. This is the ideal time to evaluate the change’s effectiveness and determine whether the desired outcomes were achieved. Sometimes, changes go beyond what was anticipated. Nevertheless, there are times when changes simply don’t go as expected.
- Get Rid of Implementation Obstacles – Employees occasionally run into obstacles when trying to implement change. Other workers, other departments, a lack of training, a lack of equipment, or a lack of supplies can all be obstacles.
- Honor Company, Team, and Individual Success – Honor accomplishments as changes are made. By recognizing small victories, you will generate interest among your workforce in the process and create momentum for more significant changes.
Keeping everyone apprised before, during and after while staying positive and visualizing where you want your business to be will improve your change implementation outcomes.
Effective Task Management Strategies
Although e-mail and telephones could have supported a project environment 10 to 15 years ago, blogs, websites, and social networking are now necessary components of our communication infrastructure, as well as internal email and chat capabilities so people can ask questions and get answers fast.
These components help us communicate across teams, projects, and corporations to get the job done. Simply and perfect your workflow using modern technology, when available.
Risk Mitigation Strategies in Project Management
Strategy and Projects Framework
- Internal program communication: Optimize the exchange of information between project team members and within the same team regarding the day-to-day delivery of the program and any changes, accomplishments, or delays that team members should be aware of.
- Communication between the program and the client: Although openness is a key component of client relationships, it’s crucial to know what information is provided to the client, when, and how.
- External communication: Although not all programs include this component, it is important to remember that projects and programs have an impact on our community. As a result, businesses must decide what information is suitable for media relations and when to best share it.
- Corporate communication: Provide program participants, partners, and contractors with access to organizational and other operational information, particularly when it comes to employee recognition and/or awards, process improvement, organizational health and safety, and employee recognition.
Other Useful PMO Tools – Strategic Technology Management
Centralizing your Inbound Marketing With a CRM or Project Management Software
In order to keep people on the same page and up to date on projects and work across your entire communication, it’s good to automate as much of the processes that you can so you can maximize not only your business output, but save wasted time in meeting having people catch everyone up on what they’re working on, rather than discussing specific actions with the team.
Conclusion: Successful Project and Team Strategy
Greater clarity, focus, and coordination across your entire project portfolio are all benefits of establishing a strategic PMO. This raises success rates across the board, not just for specific projects. Better capacity planning, strategic alignment, project prioritization, and resource allocation are some of the benefits. The net result is improved business outcomes.
Contact us here for executive leadership coaching.
Frequently Asked Questions – Strategic PMO and Effective Project Management
The best risk mitigation strategies in project management include a combination of risk avoidance, risk acceptance, risk transfer, risk control, and risk monitoring. Eliminating recurring problems through automation and reducing data breaches through compartmentalization of information are two ways to reduce risk.
Leadership presence is that x-factor quality that separates good CEOs and middle managers from truly great ones. Many would describe it as a quiet confidence the best leaders exude unknowingly. Deciding upon the right amount of words to use, the proper tone to take when delivering remarks, and how to inspire others through example-setting and feedback seem to come naturally to those with strong leadership presence.
Leadership must be aware of its role in communication. From the top down, everything follows in lockstep. When it comes to the manner in which an organization communicates, leaders will set the standard. It’s important for leaders to create a channel for two-way feedback. When an employee has a concern, they must feel free to voice it. It is simply too easy for leaders to ignore issues that are occurring at lower levels. By doing this, the company will appear more open while also utilizing the suggestions and ideas of those working at lower levels of the company.
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