“The Project Managers who will Kill Lions” is by by Gerry McLaughlin.
Arm Wrestling Lesson
Some time ago they did an experiment involving an arm wrestling team. They put them up against another team of 10 who individually were better than they were.
They put each individual in the team up against someone who was stronger than himself.
However, they told each team member beforehand that they were stronger than their opponent.
As a result they won 6 of the 10 contests.
They were than put up against another team and told that they were weaker than their opponents.
They lost the lot.
Who Will Succeed
Now tell me, which Project Managers are likely to succeed on a project, those Project Managers that inspire their people with confidence and who praise them and tell them that they are good, or those Project Managers who cajole their employees or contractors and who constantly ‘kick ass’ or belittle them?
Is has been shown in surveys of projects that people make the most difference on projects. Good processes come next. Technology is in last place when looking at which makes the most difference to project productivity.
Therefore those Project Managers who are able to get the most out of their people are the ones who are going to kill lions for you.
Degrading Their Human Resources
The ‘kick ass‘ managers may get a little success in the beginning. However, they are going to lower morale and lower the self-esteem and self belief in their team. This will result in a drop in productivity and quality.
After all, if you drill into people that they are no good then that is what they will believe. So the quality of what they produce will be no good either.
This is so self obvious and yet most Project Managers do the opposite of what is so self obviously right.