Leading With Power

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Abstract
Effective project managers learn to deal with the political aspects of change, rather than being run over by them. This paper discusses approaches PMs can use to manage the politics of change.


What this is

Organizations by their very nature are political so effective project managers identify their sources of power and become politically sensitive. This paper covers the elements of a political plan and shares an approach, examples, and insights that turn potential victim scenarios into win-win political victories.


Why it's useful

When political issues begin to take over the work environment, it's often tempting to just wait it out. But project leaders will prefer to minimize the disorder and disturbances by creating win-win scenarios instead of just trying to win the existing win-lose scenarios.

This paper takes an interesting approach to conflict and leadership by drawing parallels with the laws of the jungle. Are you dealing with a solitary tiger, a social lion, or an introspective brown bear? Understanding the nature of the person you're dealing with can help you pick a successful approach. The author includes a detailed outline of a political plan for overcoming obstacles through maximizing stakeholder support, coalition building, and focusing efforts where they are most likely to be effective.

It makes for fascinating reading about jungle animals, too.


About the Author
Randy Englund is co-author of Creating an Environment for Successful Projects (Jossey-Bass, 2004) and Creating the Project Office (2003). He learned most of his lessons as a project manager at Hewlett-Packard and General Electric. He now provides coaching to executives and management teams about their project management culture. He can be reached at englundr@pacbell.net and on the web at www.englundpmc.com.

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