Today marks six weeks in my new role here at Viewpath. The transition into the tech field, and into the project management realm, has been an interesting one.
To say I’m overwhelmed would be an understatement. I’m a linear thinker who appreciates being pointed in the right direction and left to run it myself. With so much available information on PM it appears there are endless paths I could follow on my learning journey (this concerns me).
For this reason, I plan to document the process of moving from an introductory understanding of project management to becoming a true subject matter expert. My hope is to get feedback from the community, publish content to help those in my shoes, and improve my personal learning and development as I attempt to summarize key takeaways into my own words.
After reading a handful of books, watching a few tutorials, and scanning some articles, there is one aspect of project management that I feel uniquely qualified to speak on, even this early in the journey - and that’s the leadership component of project management.
In my previous role, I worked with Fierce Inc., a leadership development company which focuses primarily on training communication skills to help motivate, influence, and engage workers across all levels. For the better part of three years, I spent my time studying the leadership theories, principles, and neuroscience underpinning human behavior - why we do what we do, and how and why leaders have such a large impact on the success of an organization.
In his book, Primal Leadership, Daniel Goleman says, “the fundamental task of a leader is to prime good feelings in those they lead. If you don’t address the emotional component of leadership, everything you do as a leader will be less effective.” An individual’s emotions, whether positive or negative, will tie directly to their level of engagement (or disengagement), which then feeds directly to the company’s bottom line.
To put it simply, employee engagement is the extent to which employees feel passionate about their jobs, are committed to the organization, and put discretionary effort into their work. It’s easy to see that, with all things being equal, the PM who can engage his/her team will outperform their counterpart who cannot. Recent surveys have shown:
70% of U.S. workers are not engaged at work.
Disengaged employees cost organizations between $450-$550 billion annually.
Engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave their companies than their disengaged counterparts.
Employees who feel their voice is heard at work at 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to perform their best work.
Whether it’s about retaining your top talent, motivating and developing your people to get the best out of them, or operating as efficiently and effectively as possible, the non-technical or, ‘soft skills’, you bring to the table as a project manager will heavily influence your ability to successfully execute in your role.
In the coming months, I hope to provide additional insight and resources on the topics of leadership, influence, effective communication, and how leaders can move people’s emotions in a positive direction when managing teams and projects. In the next post, I’ll look at how the workforce has changed due to the information age and explore the three main factors that determine whether or not your people are engaged.
I would appreciate any feedback, thoughts, or potential resources you’d be willing to share. Thanks for reading and I’m excited to have you along for the journey!