Go to https://www.sebasolutions.com to learn more about Dr. James Brown, project management and leadership speaker.
Professional keynote and project management speaker and author, James Brown introduces his book The Handbook of Program Management published by McGraw-Hill.
This video supports my book, The Handbook of Program Management.
From Chapter 2 we will discuss presence, as one of the attributes of a successful program manager. The following leadership traits, combined with an aggressive management approach, ensure success at the program level. These traits include: presence, relationship building, consistency, effective questioning, decision making, and mentoring. While every program manager must possess these traits, equally important is that the organization possesses these traits. And since the program manager is responsible for developing a culture with these traits, he or she must demonstrate them on a daily basis.
Presence is often a requirement and a sought-after trait for executives. Some executive coaches teach presence, as it is usually a factor organizations consider when selecting future leaders. Unfortunately, many people mistakenly undervalue the importance of presence. A human resources director for a leading telecommunications organization was in my project management training class at her company, not to learn about project management, but to discreetly evaluate the attendees on the basis of leadership presence. The individuals with presence were put on the fast track.
For our purposes, we will define presence as the ability to appear or outwardly demonstrate the characteristics of a leader. Right or wrong, just or unjust, people judge us immediately so appearance, body language and voice all matter. They then validate their judgment based on personal interaction and performance. The program manager is the very symbol of the program and all of the leader’s actions reflect outwardly and inwardly on the program itself.
Outward reflection is the perception the program manager creates with external stakeholders. Therefore, the program manager must create and manage perception and not leave it to chance, because external stakeholders, such as customers, other business units, and organizational leadership often judge the program manager’s behaviors. Others must perceive the program manager as a leader who is in control of the program and receptive to the needs of external stakeholders. If this perception is lacking, external stakeholders may attempt to work around the program manager and thus undermine his or her authority, limiting the program manager’s effectiveness.
Inward reflection is the perception the program manager creates internal to the program, and those internal to the program tend to copy the behaviors. So if the program manager effectively employs presence, relationship building, consistency, effective questioning, decision making, and mentoring, then he or she is in effect instilling these traits into the organization, and this can pay huge dividends, including minimizing the amount of intervention the program manager must make at lower levels and projects because his or her subordinates are already executing in a manner the program manager finds successful. Ultimately, leaders want their organizations to be self-regulating, as such a self-regulating organization allows the leader time to focus on the more demanding challenges and opportunities while the organization “self-regulates” the majority of activities. Often the program manager misses opportunities because he or she is too bogged down dealing with issues in the program that should be self-regulating. Some program managers never excel because they cannot release control of the day-to-day activities that should be self-regulating.
Self-regulation takes time to create, but with self-regulation, the organization acts and performs just like the program manager would want it to even if he or she is not present. The program team intrinsically thinks like the program manager, and everyone knows what is expected of them. Clarity! I am big on clarity!
To see more project management and leadership tips, go to https://www.sebasolutions.com/blog/. James is an authority on project management. As a professional speaker and author, James helps companies deliver projects successfully.
For information about project management training go to http://www.https://www.sebasolutions.com/project-management-training/workshops/.