Tuesday, October 23, 2012

PMI Leadership Institute Meeting

I have been in Vancouver the past few days participating in the PMI Leadership Institute Meeting. As one of the leaders of the Agile Community of Practice, this was an opportunity to meet with my fellow leaders and work on our strategic plan for next year. 

However, there were also a number of great keynote speakers to inspire the 800+ volunteer leaders that were in attendance, representing both local PMI chapters and the 36 Communities of Practice.

Annie McKee was the first speaker we heard. She talked about being a resonant leader and the aspects of a good leader. Emotional intelligence was a key part, specifically, a strong self awareness, social awareness, and self management. If we don't have these skills, we can learn them. 

But being a resonant leader is more than just emotional intelligence. We need to use our power as a leader to serve others, not for our own personal gain. Renewal is also important, but it doesn't have to be 2 hours of meditation every day. Taking 5 minutes of deep breaths can do it. 

The closing speaker, Ed Tate, talked about how we focus. He had three principles; we can only clearly focus on one thing at a time, we get more of what we focus on, and avoiding doesn't work. He gave the example of a race car driver learning to control a spin. If his instructor tells him not to hit the wall, that is the thing he does. 

His presentation resonated with me from the view of not being able to multi-task. He cited some of the same examples of studies I've used when I present on the topic. I think this message is getting out, but there are still a lot of people and organizations that think they can multi-task, and then they don't realize why their projects fail. 

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