A good project management?

Our next project management breakfast is devoted to «good project management». If project management is a multidisciplinary body of knowledge, difficult to be academized, the «good» project management does not provide much more precision to the locution.

For a short statement in 360 seconds, I have come up with only three words: servant, realities and priorities. They relate to the team, the subject matter and the methodology.

Servant is the one who serves. In the PM-context, it could be defined like project management as a service. Putting the attention first on people. Then it comes the rest. And people are the team members, but also your customer and other stakeholders. If you have to be demanding because the project needs it, demand yourself first. The effect will be double: authenticity as manager and appreciation to the others.

Realities. Because managing projects is about managing realities. Nothing of speculative or wishful thinking. Having many possibilities is great to leverage the options, but at the end you have to come down to the earth. Typically it is also the «fair middle» between optimism and pessimism. This reality check is specially useful in a crisis project.

The last one, is the priority setting. The resources are limited per definition. When assigning resources, a thoughtful assessment of the priorities is key for a healthy project management. And not once, but many times, till achieving a continuous priority-setting cycle. Because the priority of today is a secondary issue tomorrow. Time, people and money will find their efficient way if priorities are correctly set.

Watching the Ignatian KPIs

When it is about to measure performance, the selection of the correct indicators becomes a primary task.

Talking with my brother-in-law about this, we ended up in a discussion on Enlightenment as trigger of the modern age. Because since then the human development indexes have reached levels never seen before (life expectancy, infant mortality rate, etc.). Even with no fully accurate data in earlier ages, we can assume the correctness of those KPIs. The point is if these and only these KPIs are representative of the human development. As provocative question, the World War II was the most degraded and savage confrontation known in the human history.  Looking that outcomes, can we conclude that humans in 20th Century were better developed than those living some centuries earlier? Sigue leyendo Watching the Ignatian KPIs

Herrera Oria, 5 management principles of a social leader

Fifty years after his death, we review the key management principles that made Ángel Herrera Oria (1886 – 1968) one of the most influential religious, social and political leader of the 20th century. In his duties as journalist, social pioneer and cardinal; he kept a very own line of handling, that can be summarised in the following principles. Sigue leyendo Herrera Oria, 5 management principles of a social leader

Whom to serve?

Some days ago I read a shared article in LinkedIn about humble leadership. I was happy to see how the understanding, what is leadership all about, is spreading more and more:  a way to serve. And if you are managing people, the only destination of the service is the people you are dealing with.

It’s the people, stupid! rephrasing Bill Clinton’s popular quote.

Sigue leyendo Whom to serve?

Finding questions, not answers

Photo: stair hall of the Spanish Embassy at the Holy See (Rome)

In my first years of professional life I was impelled to give always answers. To provide content. To address the issues with competence. However, the more I dive in managerial roles, does not matter if related to projects, people o departments, the more questions I ask. Even if questioning could be interpreted as incompetence or mistrust; the reality is that a good question brings with it at least the half of the answer. Sigue leyendo Finding questions, not answers

the leader and the hiker

Within four days Spain has shown best and worst of elite sport. Last Sunday Rafael Nadal won in Paris his 11th Roland Garros title, crying again (and again) when receiving the musketeer trophy and hearing the National Athem. Key of this astonishing success: humility, constancy, commitment.

Some days later, the national football trainer, Julen Lopetegui was fired after a press release from Real Madrid reporting an agreement with him after World Cup. This came only some weeks after Lopetegui had extended his contract with the Spanish National Team until 2020. It is clear his career orientation and he did not want to miss the chance of being the coach of the world’s best football team. However such a move, having built up a (winning?) team only some hours prior to the start of the World Cup in Russia, it is a lack of commitment and professionalism to his team, to his employer and to the Spaniards.

As Real Madrid supporter, I do not like to have as team chief a guy who is not committed, even if a winner (?). As several times heard: if you are on the top of a mountain, you are not a leader; you are a hiker. Nadal has not been nothing else than a hiker his whole life, therefore his natural leadership. Lopetegui is moving from peak to peak just flying from Moscow to Madrid.

Learning with pain

Being in Crete, it can’t be avoided to draw some thoughts from Greek philosophers who are anyways father thinkers of our Western Civilization.

Aristotle used to say: “learning is not child’s play; we cannot learn without pain”.

Because the learning process goes beyond the theoretical learning that might be dominant in the ancient. Nowadays we know that learning has pretty much to do with the praxis, treating with realities and dealing with people. This practical learning requires not only a good intellectual background but also an extraordinary emotional self-steering and social competence. Sigue leyendo Learning with pain

loving what you do

There are so many ways of facing the professional work as people exists. No question that working is a essential part of our life. Out of 168 hours a week, we sleep 56, work between 35 and 40 (just considering the legal minimum) and the rest (taking out in-between-moments) is for everything else and typically most important: kids and family, sport and leisure, praying, reading and life planning (this is becoming more and more time consuming). Therefore, it is really essential how we stay in our job. It makes a huge difference for yourself if it is (just) a mean of getting money or you are able to get more out of it. And this attitude is nothing given by chance but a new task itself. Being able to reach that enjoying-your-job state is something you have to fight hard for. But when you are there, you will discover that you love what you do. And it is not only for you but also for the others. Because when you have found your place, you work harder and perform better. And this is something that is helping, beyond yourself, also your family, your team and your company.

The exogenous factors (your boss, your colleagues, company culture and nature of your tasks) are always there but, do not forget that the same factors are in all the jobs, in all levels and in all private or public companies. And some people manage to work as gift. And to get paid for it.

It seems to be by Confucius the quote: «Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life«. That is what is everything about.