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Lead So The Rest Will Follow 
Know What Your Goal Is 
Project Practitioners 
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August 1, 2013, Sponsored by RMC Project Management, Inc.

From the Editor

This week, Kimberly Wiefling shares one of her favorite rants on the Seven Deadly Sins that cause leadership programs to trip all over themselves instead of turning out true global business leaders. Not surprisingly, several of her key checklist items Ð support from executives, an understanding of leadership, clear goals for success Ð are common to pretty much any project. Whatever you're trying to accomplish with your projects, make sure you have these bases covered.

Featured Article

The 7 Deadly Sins of Global Business Leadership Development Programs
By Kimberly Wiefling

Kimberly Wiefling Everyone I work with these days wants to grow "global leaders," even if they can't explain exactly what that means. Many companies today are looking overseas for new markets and new customers in order to sustain the profitable growth of their businesses. New behaviors, skills, and thinking are required to succeed globally, and companies must act strategically in order to secure the talented people required to fulfill their increasingly global vision.

A 2001 study by McKinsey & Company showed that companies considered as having top talent delivered 22% more ROI than those rated as having average employees. In addition, another study reported that 45% of organizational performance is due to leadership. What's more, population studies predict a shortage in the world's working-age population over the coming decades, most dramatically in Germany and Japan. Finally, a 2008 survey of global CEOs found that the #1 issue that these executives felt they would face in the coming 2-5 years was "staffing and skills."

Unfortunately, predictable and avoidable pitfalls reduce the effectiveness of many global leadership development programs. Chief among these are what I fondly refer to as the 7 Deadly Sins of global leadership development programs. I have observed these problems at close range during many years of facilitating programs throughout the Silicon Valley and Japan. A good portion of this list applies to practically every company that I've consulted with over the past 10 years, and these 7 items form a highly effective checklist for anyone determined to extract the maximum benefit from their investment in global talent. Read Kimberly's advice for getting every possible benefit out of your company's leadership programs »

Premium How-To Course

Diagnose Your Meetings
Cinda Voegtli Presented by DeAnna Burghart

This mini-course is an interview with the author of our Meeting Evaluation Guidelines, discussing the practical aspects of holding and using a meaningful discussion about meeting quality. The participants discuss how to implement evaluations that get real feedback without putting anyone on the spot, how to assess the results, and how to know when you're making progress. Generate a sense of action and ownership regarding meeting quality, and take some effective actions to improve them. 1 PDU Learn more »

Get The Execs On Board

How to Interview the Project Sponsor
A great first step to getting your sponsor on board with real world support is uncovering the project goals. As Doug DeCarlo advises in this classic column, never ever accept someone else's interpretation of what the sponsor is looking for. Get it straight from the horse's mouth. Here's how.

Showing Your Team What Urgent Looks LikeMEMBER
If you're not sure you can sell the importance of getting your sponsor to the first meeting to show support for the project, spend 15 minutes reading this case study. (Or make your sponsor read it.) It details the steps taken by one VP to meet a beta deadline on a project plagued by late deliveries, even though the team members really were working hard. Sometimes, being there makes all the difference.

Lead So The Rest Will Follow

Project Manager/Team Leader Description - Roles & ResponsibilitiesPREMIUM
Do your project managers know what you mean by leadership? This extensive description of the project manager job role goes beyond the standard "planning, tracking, communicating" list to clarify the mindset and responsibility necessary for success. It also includes executive quotes about what they value in their strongest project managers, to help bring the job alive.

The Business-Savvy Project Manager's Leadership RoleMEMBER
Want more? You got it. This presentation provides an overview of the role of a "business-savvy" project manager's mindset and responsibilities -- PMs who lead their teams relentlessly toward the business results a project is meant to achieve. The format helps project managers see a critical type of value they can bring to projects and provides guidance for developing new skills and mindsets for new career options.

Project Manager Development Profile FormMEMBER
On a more personal level, this one-page form provides the framework for comprehensive assessment and development planning for individual project managers. Categories like management skills, career ambition, and short- and long-term growth potential are included. A form like this could be appropriate as an individual coaching/assessment tool as well as a guideline for personnel growth and assignments.

Know What Your Goal Is

Guidelines - Completion CriteriaPREMIUM
If it seems like we bang this particular drum a lot, it's only because it's so important. Completion criteria are really a communication tool and an important aspect of "quality management" on your project. The team needs to agree on when a particular activity or phase is done. These guidelines help you establish a common definition.

Project Manager Support SurveySPECIAL
This Premium resource is free to registered Members until August 15, 2013
Not sure what kind of support your project managers will need after their leadership program? Why not ask them? Use this short survey form to determine what training and support your Project Managers feel they, their team members, and related functional managers need to be truly successful.

PM Support Website Requirements ChecklistPREMIUM
While you're at it, why not give them a whole website to keep track of everything? For inspiration, check out this requirements list and prioritization template created by a company planning an internal website to support its project managers and teams.

Project Practitioners

Inspired by a few Lessons from the Field, Ann Drinkwater shares some of the characteristics found in the leaders she respects.

Morley Selver has a point: Not all projects are sunshine and rainbows. Never assume anything, no matter how common sense it seems.

How should we measure success? Margaret de Haan has some thoughts. If you're having trouble finding what you define as success in your current project environment, it's time to see what you can do to change that requirement. (No, not that way – by educating them.)

Alfonso Bucero has some advice for you on the process of facilitating. His action-oriented post will help you assess where you are right now, and how you can develop the skills you need to be better.

Where's ProjectConnections?

Kent McDonald is chairing the Agile 2013 conference this year in Nashville, August 5-9. Of special interest to ProjectConnections readers is the Project, Program, and Portfolio Management track, which includes 24 sessions. Find out more about the conference and session schedule here.

There's still time to get on board with Carl Pritchard Seminars at Sea cruise in August, which will cover the PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition and ISO 21500. Get more information at Carl's website.

Morley Selver is running his 3-day "Fundamentals of Project Management" workshop this fall in the following locations: Calgary AB August 27-29; Denver CO September 25-27; Houston TX October 23-25; Calgary AB November 20-22. For information & enrollment please visit

Corporate Subscriptions and Licensing

Want your team members to have their own access to templates and how-to resources for their project work? Need to share documents and deliverables beyond your project team? We make it easier with affordable corporate subscriptions and licensing. Detailed information regarding corporate options is available online. Give your whole team, or even the entire organization, cost-effective access to our comprehensive online library of resources. You already know how helpful it's been for you. Now it's time to share with everyone else. Find out more »

Not sure if corporate terms apply to you? Check out our licensing terms at the top of our Terms of Service page, in refreshingly ordinary, everyday English.

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