In the economy of today, the very notion of leadership indicates that managers should be given more and more freedom, as long as they reach their goals. In a certain way, they are masters and commanders, as they receive relatively few directives – except for the above-mentioned goals (when such goals have been set!). As a consequence, managers often find themselves pretty much alone while trying to find a way to develop their professional activities.
By Liliane Held-Khawam, author of the book "Management through Professional Coaching: Learning to Cope With Complexity in a Globalized Economy"
Here are a few elements that can prove useful in order to bolster their roles as project leaders:
I. One activity, one project
Managers who apply the MPC methodology should first and foremost be regarded as project leaders who manage and take the leadership of their professional activities. By approaching these activities as projects, they reduce the risk of compartmentalizing their different management activities and increase their chances of achieving a global management approach in any organizational environment (including within an SMC). Moreover, workflows-oriented organizations will gain from project management without much effort, as this approach will naturally fit into their structure.
II. Activity workflows and project timeline
Projects embed a set of activities which managers are in charge of organizing and setting in order, so that their realization may be eased as much as possible. This implies achieving a maximum of effects while resorting to a minimum amount of resources, and within the shortest deadlines possible. Nothing less!
Moreover, the completion of each of these activities should be harmonized with the project’s timeline. The difficulty lies in the fact that some decision-makers set deadlines to projects without taking the nature or reality neither of the activity, nor of the delivered goods or services, into account.
Managers should thus integrate their project's timeline (i.e. the deadlines) into their management, something which is made possible by a project-oriented organization. Moreover, they should take their activity’s life cycle into account, whether it is directly (e.g. in Marketing) or only indirectly (e.g. in Finance, Human Resources…) linked to a product.
III. Identification of the project leader’s partners
In the MPC approach, the human relations network – whether inside or outside the company – is totally integrated into the vision of managers. The latter should have less interest in social status (title, salary…) than in how they relate to others.
There are two categories of partners whom we meet all along these workflows. These are, on the one hand, the customers who formulate needs and, on the other hand, the suppliers who deliver goods and/or services. Managers stand in the middle of these workflows, and it is their task to coordinate them so as to ensure that they keep running in a harmonious, coherent and fluid way. Thus, they act as a relay between clients and suppliers all along the workflow.
Such managers know that they cannot reach results on their own, whatever industry they work in. They always need inputs from at least one person, who him-/herself depend on his/her suppliers. We thus start to draw the human chain that links us all together. Workaholics do not see such interactions and are thus subject to an impoverishment, to isolation, and to exhaustion. The antidote to this lack of delegation is to stand back, take a little while to look around, and give others a part of the work there is to do. Workaholics are a source of frustration for their suppliers who suffer from a lack of occupation in terms of quantity and/or quality.