Project managers face a paradox. The ultimate responsibility of project success falls on us, so clearly we are the leaders. Yet, the matrix structure of organizations leaves us with very little tangible power—we can’t lead through traditional leverage (eg: hiring and firing) and, since we’re not in direct, day-to-day interaction with the project, we can’t even lead by example.
As easy as it is to get caught up in the hard skills that directly relate to our job description—making project documents, setting schedules, using project management technology, etc—this isn’t what separates the effective from the ineffective. (more…)