Christmas Season notwithstanding, I am busy this December and it feels so good! Catch my act on Wednesday December 4, when Dalya Massachi of “Writing Wednesdays” and I talk about the benefits derived when nonprofit leaders write a business plan for their organization. 3:00 PM EST, 2:00 PM CST, 1:00 PM MST, 12:00 PST. FREE! Register at http://www.writingtomakeadifference.com/writing-wednesdays
Readers in the Boston area may want to direct clients who are leaders at nonprofit organizations to get essential how-to information on business plan writing at my popular workshop “Become Your Own Boss: Effective Business Plan Writing”. We’ll meet on three consecutive Wednesdays, December 4, 11 & 18 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM at Boston Center for Adult Education 122 Arlington Street Boston 02116. Register at http://bit.ly/1bP4uw9 or call 617.267.4430 class ID# 10190.
Congratulations, you have been named project leader of a prestigious assignment. You are thrilled to the gills, but also apprehensive. You have practical experience, creativity and enthusiasm, but you are not quite accustomed to such a front-and-center role.
You’ve scheduled a meeting to bring everyone together for the project kick-off, where roles and responsibilities will be discussed, timelines established, milestones identified and important success factors and potential stumbling blocks will be acknowledged. You know this is where you establish your bona fides and stake out your claim as the leader. You are in charge and ideally you will project good natured authority and not arrogance or insecurity. You are 20 years younger than several project team members. How do you get this right ?
Welcome the team and thank them for participating on the project. Express that you are very happy to work with such a talented and experienced group of professionals. Without bragging, state your professional experience as it relates to the project, to let the group know that you are qualified and that they have every reason to trust your judgment and expertise.
Invite team members to participate in the standard round robin of introductions.
Confirm the project deliverables and due dates
Establish the expectations and begin to assign roles and responsibilities, milestones and timelines. Encourage team members to have a say in this process, as they know more than you about how departments interact, unspoken protocols and overall how to get things done. Be secure enough to accept their suggestions, as it will promote your credibility and earn you respect.
Pose questions that allow team members to contribute to the decision-making process and telegraph that you value their expertise. Let team members share their knowledge. Avoid being a know-it-all.
Make team members feel heard and you will earn their confidence, respect and loyalty.
Team members must believe that you are qualified to lead the project, but take care to portray yourself as a team player and a leader who wants to make everyone involved look successful.
Champion good ideas that are presented by team members, and not just your own perspectives, and you will build the team’s enthusiasm for and commitment to the project. Respect and value the perspectives and recommendations that deep experience and long tenure bring. Some ideas may fall by the wayside when explored in detail and others may turn out to be brilliant. Your tenured team members have the ability to make the project successful. Whatever happens, empowering team members builds respect and loyalty and makes you look like (and be) a good leader. Remember also to be publicly generous with compliments.
Thanks for reading and Happy Thanksgiving,