Sunday, July 16, 2006

More Tao of PM

Another image in the Tao Te Ching is that of strenght versus flexibility. As oak tree is very strong. The same can't be said of grass. But here in Kansas, when we get a tornado, the grass may bend in the strong wind, but remain unharmed. The oak tree however can be broken by the winds.

So what does this say for the project manager? I once recruited a project manager from another department to work for me. This PM got things done through use of power, primarily via their position. In my department though, positional power didn't carry as much weight as other types of power. In my department, it was more about building good relationships, often referred to as personal power or power through trust. This type of power requires more flexibility and more time to develop.

So the PM was acting like an oak tree, but they should have been acting more like grass to be effective.

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