Servus! Servant, Servire

Austrian German has two delicious forms for saying hello. The formal one talks about God –Grüß Gott– and the friendly one about service –Servus-. The origin of the later is also very baroque, meaning an offer of service by the person who greets. In other languages there were similar expressions, unfortunately lost over time.

Saying Servus! as introduction is a wonderful way to position our footsteps in the direction to serve. Also and foremost in the profesional life. Because serving is nothing else than looking after the others. Whoever they are. Sometimes clients, other times employees, commonly superiors, always persons. Persons that have interests, yes, but have much more than that. And the distance between the bare interest and the myriad of expectations, needs, wishes and fears which defines every individual, can only be run by service. That is what servant leadership means. Putting the person in the middle of every undertaking. Person before being someone defined by a role, by a function, by a company or even worse, by fame, power or money.

If we learn how to lead by serving, we are not only connecting with the very nature of our fellows, but we will reach outcomes that we can’t even imagine. It is not a mere management tool, it is the only way to sustain a humble, authentic and ambitious leadership.

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? Continúa 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. Continúa leyendo Herrera Oria, 5 management principles of a social leader