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TRG Talk: The 5 Practices of Leadership for Exemplary Project Managers

Posted by Rick Yvanovich

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October 03, 2019 – The beautiful month of October brings us another TRG Talk about Project Management with an interesting topic “The Five Practices of Leadership for Exemplary Project Managers.” This month’s seminar was led by our favourite speaker, Brian O’Reilly – MBA/PMP, MBA Programme Coordinator, Vietnamese German University. 

TRG Talk: Project Management October – The 5 Practices of Leadership for Exemplary Project Managers

The idea behind the TRG Talk series 

Mr Yvanovich has lived and worked in Vietnam for many years now, 29 years to be exact, and has found that what Vietnamese businesses lack is a solid knowledge base and a community dedicated to project management. Projects can turn disarray without proper management.  

He then envisioned bringing a group of professionals together to share experiences, knowledge, and even the frustrations when working on projects. His vision came true and became the TRG Talk series that we all know today.  

Mr Yvanovich firmly believes Vietnam needs an established project management association, which he is working on, so people can all learn from each other and raise the awareness around the importance of project management. Everyone is welcome to join and give a helping hand to expand the community.  

Highlights of TRG Talk: Project Management October 

The seminar began with a brief introduction about the TRG Talk series and today’s topic by the TRG’s Founder and CEO, Mr Rick Yvanovich.  

Mr Brian O’Reilly then took over and quickly summarised what was covered in previous TRG Talks: what knowledge and skills a project manager needs. This month Talk focused mainly on what it takes for a project manager to be successful.  

Mr O’Reilly lightened up the mood with a story about when he was young and managing his very first project without any experience, knowledge, or people skills. 

By sharing his story, Mr O’Reilly gave the perfect introduction to what not to do as a project manager and then continued sharing the five things we need to do as a project manager.  

Infographic: 5 simple habits to upgrade your leadership skills

TRG Talk: Project Management October – The 5 Practices of Leadership for Exemplary Project Managers

The Five Practices of Leadership for Exemplary Project Managers 

Model the way 

It is important to keep in mind that as a project manager, you must set an example for the entire team. For example, if you expect your team to be on time, make sure you are always on time. To model the way, the project manager must lead by example, walk the talk, communicate clearly, and be proactive.  

As a good project manager, you must be able to detect when ‘the ship burns’ before the problem occurs. It is essential to always keep a calm facade, stay organised, and think about solutions. A good project manager sets clear goals for the team, breaks them down to more manageable tasks, and give their members the opportunities to find solutions using creative thinking and trials and errors. 

Inspire a shared vision 

It is critical to inspire and motivate your team members to work and to reach their goals. Celebrate successes, even if they are small, and endorse a teamwork mindset – either we succeed as a team or not at all.  

Give your members a purpose for what they are doing, acknowledge their contributions to the project. A great example of this, according to Mr O’Reilly, was a janitor at NASA when asked what she was doing, her response was “I’m sending people to the moon.” She truly believed she is not just ‘cleaning’; maintaining a clean workstation was a contribution to “sending people to the moon.” Having a teamwork mindset is what will help your team succeed.  

Read more: 4 elements to a motivating life

Challenge the process 

Let your team know that it is okay to be critical, to question the initiatives because this will improve the process. This is what we call double-loop learning.  

If a team member has a better suggestion for a process, let them run it by you, maybe it’s a good idea that can be implemented right away or an idea that only needs a little adjustment.  

Also, don’t forget to give your team members the opportunity and freedom to speak up and express their concerns, ideas, and beliefs.  

Enable others to act  

Celebrate small successes, acknowledge your team members' effort to encourage them to do the best job possible.  

Give your members the freedom to think and be creative, and encourage them to come with ideas and solutions if they believe something is not working. If they make a mistake, work with them correct it so they can learn from it.  

Give them the opportunity to develop their skills by offering training. Every project manager want a team who are problem solvers, critical and can take initiatives, therefore, make sure you coach them rather than telling them what to do.  

Encourage the heart 

When you’re working on a project, you need a certain intelligence level to understand the technical aspects of the project. However, a high IQ doesn’t guarantee your success. It would be best if you also have high emotional intelligence.  

Moreover, knowing your team members’ motives and values is a must. By getting to know them, you can appeal to them and motivate them on an entirely different level.  

After this inspirational talk, Mr Yvanovich ended the Talk by thanking Mr O’Reilly and all participants. TRG Talk Project Management is a monthly event that is open for everyone to join, not just project managers, and is open for topic suggestions so the community can grow by sharing knowledge and experience.   

About TRG Talk: Project Management 

A good Project Manager must be able to identify problems and risks. He/ She also needs to know how to minimise these issues and is able to make the necessary decision throughout the entirety of the project. Do you consider yourself a good project manager? Do you have the required skills and power to handle the situation and the people involved in your project? 

TRG Talk: Project Management is a monthly meetup that allows project managers to discuss in detail what it takes to become great at what you're doing. The event takes place every first Thursday of the month. 

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Topics: project management, TRG Talk


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 Rick Yvanovich
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