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Simple, Yet So Profound…(A Key Takeaway from Matt LoPiccolo’s Project Leadership Adaptability Presentation)

There were many key takeaways from Matt LoPiccolo’s “Project Leadership Adaptability” session. The two that enlightened me the most were the concepts of “Project Clarity” and “Building/maintaining relationships with naysayers.”

I learned that project clarity has to do with a stakeholder’s (particularly, the Project Manager’s) understanding of a project’s objectives, requirements, etc.). Matt explained that a PM’s clarity oftentimes increases throughout the life of a project.

During his talks regarding “relationship building,” Matt emphasized the importance of not only building relationships with project supporters, but also with project naysayers. He interweaved project clarity into his rationale.

It may be emotionally “tempting” to dissociate oneself from a project naysayer. Since a PM’s clarity often increases as the project progresses, however, a person who was a naysayer at the beginning of the project may turn out to be “right” during a future stage of the project or may have even been “right” all along.

In either case, if the PM establishes a good rapport with the naysayer early on (and maintains it throughout the project), the naysayer may become a key resource to facilitate or support applicable project changes.

Unexpectantly, these points underscore the role that emotional intelligence plays in project leadership, and by extension, the role that it plays in a project leader’s adaptability.

PMs are people. Project team members are people. Stakeholders are people. People are “emotional beings” -- capable of leading, capable of adapting, capable of building valuable relationships -- even with naysayers.

Simple, yet so profound.

Antwanette Pattin, PMP

An Operations, Project Manager with BDI (Bearing Distributors, Inc.) who has more than 15 years of Project Management experience.


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