The late U.S. President John F. Kennedy said, “The one unchangeable certainty is that nothing is certain or unchangeable.” By accepting that change is natural and good, project leaders can help project teams transition through it while always looking for ways to improve performance and manage change more effectively by determining what might be done differently.
Essentially, there are three competing questions that a project leader must assess and balance to achieve successful and sustainable project change:
1) What performance is required now?
This question addresses the internal and external stakeholders that affect the project. To be effective, project leaders need a quantitative and intuitive understanding of the team performance that will yield the greatest success.
2) What are the priorities for improving team performance?
Knowing what’s going on in the project assists the project leader in ranking what needs to be changed, resulting in a clearer vision of critical opportunities.
3) What is the capacity to change of the people on the project team?
A critical leadership responsibility is to assess the capacity of a project team to change and match that to the existing capacity of team members to learn new skills and behaviors.(from Heim, Ph.D., Pat, Chapman, E., & Lashotka, S., Learning to Lead: An Action Plan for Success, Thomson Learning, pgs. 52-53, 2004.)
To sustain success, project leaders must never rest on their laurels. Instead, they must constantly challenge the status quo by experimenting and creating excitement that will get attention, energize followers and inspire team members to not simply settle for less than the best.
Continuing with our exploration of the Responsibilities, Competencies, Behaviours, project leadership approach, Parts 4, 5, and 6 of the series will address the competencies that effective project managers should acquire to ensure their success as a project leader.
James L. Haner
To learn more, download the complete article – Leadership Success: Behaviors, Competencies and Responsibilities That Produce Positive Results. – Responsibilities – written by James Haner documenting the responsibilities of a successful leader.