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Susanne Madsen has previously been interviewed on the topic of project management and her book, The Power of Project Leadership. It was not what I expected when I read it before our interview. The second edition is now available and it’s even more amazing.
I was expecting a book on leadership theory, but I received a very practical guide to leading with lots of stories, examples, and exercises.
Amazon. The book is available for purchase. Susanne then explains the 7 keys to project leadership.
She also discusses how to apply the techniques in her book to become a more effective leader.
The 7 keys to project leadership
Susanne writes about 7 keys to project leadership. These are the keys to being a great leader of projects. These keys are:
Be authentic (she discusses this in her interview with us)
Vision is key to leadership
Innovate and improve
Encourage your team
Get in touch with stakeholders
A solid foundation is essential
Be intentional when you work.
I liked the section about stakeholder management. She writes:
Asking for feedback and advice is one of the best ways to approach a skeptical stakeholder or opponent. This is a great way to show you care and be humble enough ask for their opinion.
Susanne suggests asking those who are not positive stakeholders:
How can we work together more effectively
How can I provide a better product/service to you? (Customer-centric project management, if I ever saw it!)
Do you think there are any aspects of the project that we have missed, such as risks, issues, or requirements?
Do you have any feedback on the project? What suggestions would you make to improve it?
She continues, “These questions can work wonders for your life – but only if it is meant honestly and you take the time to listen to the answer and the meaning behind it.”
Finding the time to lead
Susanne writes that project leaders are wise because they can relate their knowledge to any situation and put it into action. You must find the time to apply your wisdom. This means you don’t have to rush to solve problems or deal with urgent matters.
Susanne MadsenSusanne believes that proactive work should be the majority of your time. She recommends at least 80 percent. You can spend the rest of your time on firefighting, such as dealing with urgent queries and conflicts. Then hopefully you won’t waste too much time on time-wasting activities like interruptions or unimportant mails.
“If we don’t try to put out the fires for a good cause, we will not only get mediocre results but also be more stressed and more likely burn out. Being constantly on alert takes a lot of energy, and can exhaust us both mentally and physically. It is more rewarding to make time for the important things and to grow and empower your team to create a positive outcome for everyone. Be determined to control the flow of events and to help your team do so.
This book is a great resource for leaders who want improvement
The Power of Project Leadership is well-researched. The stories of project managers and other experts add to its practical approach and provide the motivation to do things differently.
This book is for project managers and anyone who wants to improve their ability to lead and implement change. While the concepts and theories of leadership are covered, there is also practical advice and tips for implementing behavioral changes through a variety of methods.