I recently attended LearnFest Caribbean 2019 in Kingston, Jamaica. It was a top-notch project management conference with a festive environment and an excellent line-up of inspirational speakers. The conference was held under the theme “Level up and Set Yourself Apart”.
I want to highlight the leadership guidance from the opening keynote speaker, Hon. Floyd Green, MP & Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information (Jamaica). Mr. Floyd delivered a rousing call to action for the project managers in attendance at LearnFest. His words were universal for the profession, whether in Jamaica or elsewhere in the world.
“We have signed a pact with weaknesses”Hon. Flyod Green
- Start with self-introspection – As leaders, we need assess our weaknesses first. We need to get better; People are not fulfilling their potential. In short, we have signed a pact with weaknesses and we need grow past this.
- Take learning from the mistakes of others – Learn from the mistakes that were made before and work to avoid making the same mistakes. Lessons learned are key.
- Provide an enabling environment to allow the team to “level up” – We need to build working environments that encourage our team members to grow in their careers and reach their potential. Do not be afraid to push out those individuals who disagree or seed discontent among the team. Team formation should be top of mind.
- Share success – Ensure your success is the team’s success. Leaders need to care about the team. We need to continually ask ourselves “How can they become a better version of themselves?”
- Managers should think about communication strategy first – It is truly an age of instant communication, however it is not clear that manager and leaders have caught up with this change. People expect to know what is happening and they expect to know it in real time. Regardless of the size of the project, people want to know the ‘how’ and the ‘why’, especially if you work in the public sector. An effective communication strategy should be an integral part of project development in order to ensure stakeholder buy-in.