💸 The Post-Amazon Prime Days Issue

TSR Issue No. 10: Leadership issues, Become the Zoom Meeting Master, and Artificial Project Manager

Welcome to Issue No. 10 of The Stakeholder Report. We're back to hosting on PMfive, and this is where we'll stay. I had to test a few different platforms, but I ended up back on WordPress. Thanks for sticking with me.

I hope you were able to navigate Amazon's Prime Days without too much damage to your wallet… I'm not sure I can say the same [looking at my wife 🤔 ].

And if you're interested in advertising in this newsletter, please reach out and contact me.

If you're not currently subscribed to TSR, you can do that via this Subscribe 🙌 link.

I follow another newsletter, Koyastak, that some of you may be interested in. Their world of work is breaking down fast-rising and established products and services via case studies and ideas that have been tested in the market. I enjoy reading it to see how brands do what they do. (Not an ad, just thought I'd share.)

Leadership's Polar Archetypes

When you think of the best leader you've ever had the pleasure of working for, how do you classify them? I think many of you would contend that they are placed in the servant leader category; I know I would. Now flip that coin, what about the worst leader you've ever had? The toxic leader usually takes the top spot in general conversation.

Given the title of this section, you'd be correct in assuming these two are on either end of the leadership spectrum; however, it was Stephanie Hinshaw, EdD, who wrote a recent article on the comparison of these two. Thus I won't reiterate her piece. What I did want to bring up is how these two opposed attributes can be mistaken.

📚 It's storytime, with Ryan.

I had a leader at one time in my career who could be construed as toxic. No use tiptoeing around it; they were what they were. No matter what I did or how I did it- there was no pleasing them. To be upfront, I'm not one who needs continual accolades to understand they're doing the right thing. However, a constant barrage of no, "NO," nope will begin to erode even the toughest façade. Then it happened.

Said boss left for several weeks, deployed during the many hurricanes we supported every year. I was now in charge of the section, and I led the team through weeks of 18-hour days supporting teams downrange, approving resource requests, and otherwise keeping everyone on track.

Upon my boss's return, about an hour after I'd gotten into the office, I was called into my bosses-bosses-boss's office (three up from me). I sat down with the three of them, looking around the table, and my boss said, "You did a great job." This proceeded with a nod to the door. Over the next year, there was no friction between us. I continued doing my job without issue, in the same way I'd done it before. However, the seemingly never-ending feeling of not doing enough was gone. Poof!

This is a really-short version; I tell this from the standpoint of someone who's seen a leader seemingly go from one extreme to another- or did I. Perhaps it was me; was I viewing their leadership as toxic because it wasn't "my" style? That could very well be the issue here—food for thought.

Photo by Dmitry Vechorko on Unsplash

Feeling spunky today? We should get a coffee...

Don't let your meetings suck

Meetings. The bane of the project manager’s existence. Well, that and stupid questions (note: there is such a thing as a stupid question). However, there is no exiting the meeting game as long as there are decisions that need to be made or information to be passed. However, we can make them less painful.

Lucky for us Lindsay Curtis wrote a short piece for MPUG on leading effective meetings. Now I know what you’re thinking… I’m a Zoom Meeting Master (akin to being a PowerPoint Ranger), and while that may be the case, we can all use a little help and reminders to up our meeting game.

1. Could this meeting be an email? As I type this on Wednesday evening, I've counted four of my meetings (out of maybe 15) that could have been emails). Don't waste time if it's not needed.

2. Make a note of the goals before the meeting. This will keep you on track.

3. Clarify the goals of each agenda item.

4. Keep and ensure everyone is engaged. The most silent one may be the most insightful.

5. Recap/summarize and share the next steps.

Machine Learning in Project Management 🤖

This week I published an essay, Project Management and Artificial Intelligence -- a path forward, discussing the rise of AI in business. Within I discuss where AI is right now and what the very near future is. I've come to the conclusion that I'm excited about the future. How about you?

Parting Shot

The body parts argue over who should be in charge.

The brain says he should be in charge because he keeps everything running.

The blood says he should be in charge because he delivers oxygen to everything else.

The stomach thinks he should be in charge because he provides energy.

Suddenly, the rectum speaks up and says he should be in charge because he is the one who gets rid of waste.

They all laugh at the rectum and call him names. Frustrated, the rectum shuts down and stops working. The brain is soon hurting, the stomach is all bloated, and the blood is full of toxins. So, they give in and let the rectum be in charge.

The point is, you don't always have to be smart to be in charge, but sometimes you might need to be an ***hole.