“Why is the Sea the King of a hundred streams? Because He is below them.”
– Toa Te Ching, Chapter 66.
This quote expresses the idea of the leader as servant, which has been an idea that has been discussed by many authors such as Robert Greenleaf, Stephen Covey, Ken Blanchard and others. How do we, as project managers, serve our teams.
I was on a project one time that as the PM, my main role was keeping the team isolated from “management” so they could do their work. I kept my boss informed on what was going on, so he didn’t have to go to the team for status. I kept other, non-project related work from being dumped on them. I made sure they had the tools they needed to do their work. The results spoke for themselves, the project was on time, on budget, and the customer was delighted with the results.
So next time you’re leading a team, think about how you can serve them to help make them successful. It will make you successful also.