Building teams by leading up

Business Meeting

You can’t do it on your own.

In this complex world, any move towards significant changes makes it necessary to have a team of talented people who are all working together for a win-win.  So, it is best to learn how to get great work done by others.

The real role of the programme and change manager is to create the environment where everyone can do their best work. Managing the project team dynamic on projects is all about this phenomenon.

The article on Leading Up by Seth Godin is profoundly true when leading change. The essence is this – when leading change you simply cannot afford to wait for someone to tell you what to do. You have to lead up!

It is pretty much a case of you create your own destiny, or, you create the team you deserve. “Leading from below means creating a reputation and an environment where the people around you are transformed into the [stakeholders and team members] you deserve.”

Paraphrasing the ideas of Seth’s blog and applying them to projects, this is what you need to do.

  • Plan purposeful inclusion;
  • Engage with those in charge about what is working, and support and mobilize your leaders;
  • “Reflect credit and embrace blame” – this is the most important thing to do;
  • Go at a pace others can keep up with and stay in tune with;
  • Learning and teaching are synonymous with leading change. You can’t have all the answers all the time but you can learn from all the wonderful people around you;
  • Finally, lead by learning from what’s working, what’s not working and from doing things differently. Every day. All the time. Relentlessly.

You need everyone to lead up.

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