The PM Podcast


Project Management for Beginners and Experts

Episode 179: Leadership Principles for Project Success (Project Leadership Series)

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This episode is sponsored by The PMP Exam Simulator:
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Thomas JuliWe continue our look at leadership with the “The PM Podcast Project Leadership Series.” In our last 2 episodes you heard me discuss project leadership with Rick Valerga author of “The Cure For The Common Project” and in this and the next episode you will get to hear about five “Leadership Principles for Project Success” from Thomas Juli.

Thomas and I begin with a definition of leadership, then we explore the 5 principles, from where we move on to some hands on tips in regards to skills you need to be a leader and actions you can apply to work more as a leader on your projects.

Thomas Juli (www.thomasjuli.com and http://thomasjuli.wordpress.com), is the author of  the book “Leadership Principles for Project Success” which was published by CRC Press last August. He is the founder and managing director of his own consulting business “Thomas Juli Empowerment Partners”, a professional service organization for innovative empowerment, consulting and interim management in the areas of governance, leadership, project and operational management.  Their unique consultative approach is rooted in the mission statement: „Empowering people and organizations through leadership”

Of course, we are also doing a book giveaway and we have 2 copies of Thomas’s book. As always: 1 copy is reserved for our premium listeners and one copy is raffled off via our facebook fan page. So go to www.facebook.com/pmpodcast, find the post with Thomas Juli’s book giveaway and leave a comment to participate in the giveaway.

Below are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only.

Podcast Introduction

Cornelius Fichtner: This is The Project Management Podcast™. We bring project management to beginners and experts. Find us on the web at www.pm‑podcast.com or send your emails to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Cornelius Fichtner: Hello and welcome to Episode #179. I am Cornelius Fichtner. This is The Project Management Podcast™, nice to have you with us.

We continue our look at leadership with the “The Project Management Podcast™ Project Leadership Series.” In our last 2 episodes, you heard me discuss project leadership with Rick Valerga, author of “The Cure For The Common Project” and in this and in the next episode, you will get to hear about 5 “Leadership Principles for Project Success” from Thomas Juli.

Thomas and I begin with a definition of leadership, then we explore the 5 principles that he recognizes in his book and from here, we move on to some hands on tips in regards to skills that you need to be a leader and actions that you can apply to work more as a leader on your projects.

This episode of The Project Management Podcast™ is sponsored by The PM Exam Simulator™ because nothing prepares you more for the PMP® Exam than being able to sit down and take a realistically simulated PMP® Exam. Go to www.FreeExamSimulator.com and get your free 3-day access, and see for yourself what the PMP® Exam is like.

On to our interview with Thomas Juli, author of the book “Leadership Principles for Project Success” which was published by CRC Press last August. He is the founder and managing director of his own consulting business “Thomas Juli Empowerment Partners”, a professional service organization for innovative empowerment, consulting and interim management in the areas of governance, leadership, project and operational management. Their unique consultative approach is rooted in the mission statement: “Empowering people and organizations through leadership.

Of course, we are also doing a book giveaway and we have 2 copies of Thomas’ book. As always: 1 copy is reserved for our premium listeners and 1 copy is raffled off via our Facebook fan page. So go to facebook.com/pmpodcast, find the post with Thomas Juli’s book giveaway and leave a comment to participate.

And now, remember that the task of the leader is to get his or her people from where they are now to where they have never been before. Enjoy the interview.

Podcast Interview

Female voice: The Project Management Podcast’s feature Interview: Today with Thomas Juli, author, speaker and consultant.

Cornelius Fichtner: Hello Thomas and welcome to The Project Management Podcast™.

Thomas Juli: Well, hello and thank you for having me.

Cornelius Fichtner: Oh, you are welcome. So you are one of the authors that I have invited to start out our Project Management Podcast Leadership Series and your book is titled “Leadership Principles for Project Success.” So let me begin with the 2 most obvious questions: How do you define leadership?

Thomas Juli: Well, that’s a very good question, simple and yet very complicated I guess because there are so many definitions of leadership out there and I may actually have to disappoint you with that I can’t really give you like a one-sentence definition of leadership because I think there’s a little bit more to it because leadership has to do a little bit with the right attitude and understanding the core principles of leadership and it doesn’t matter if it’s just leadership in general or project leadership. And I’m talking about these principles in my book that is a leader is able to build an overall vision, knows about the power of collaboration, knows how to promote performance in a team he or she is leading, and then still has the maturity to reflect on the own activities that means he has to constantly create a culture of learning. And last but not least, a leader ensures results because this is the bottom line.

Cornelius Fichtner: Okay.

Thomas Juli: So I think that leadership how I define it is that you have to be aware of the principles of effective leadership.

Cornelius Fichtner: Alright then, so the follow-up question to this has to be why is leadership important for project success?

Thomas Juli: Well see, when you talk about project success, there are quite a few conditions. First of all, I think that if you run a project, you have to be knowledgeable and experienced in project management. Because project management is basically, you create a structure and you structure the chaos and without the structure, you cannot really be creative. That means without project management, there cannot be a project success.

However, the question is this: Is project management really sufficient for project success? And actually, I don’t think so because project management per se is a tool but we’re talking about the direction and this is where project leadership comes in. Leadership gives the project a direction, the right direction. So that means, if you talk about sufficient condition of project success, we’re talking about leadership. And that is your leadership.

Cornelius Fichtner: So what happens if leadership is absent on a project? Does that just mean the direction is missing or is there more to it?

Thomas Juli: Well yes, I’d say the direction is missing. That actually is crucial because if you run a project and the direction is not clear or you have a team and one part of the team is going one direction, the other team is going to another direction and yet the third part of the team is not going anywhere, it’s difficult to achieve project success. So yes, what I’m clamming is that effective project management needs to have a soft foundation and project and team leadership.

Cornelius Fichtner: What was your personal inspiration for writing “Leadership Principles for Project Success”?

Thomas Juli: Well of course, there’s a story to it. A couple of years ago, I was actually working with a coach and he gave me a homework assignment and he asked me: “Thomas, since you are so interested in leadership, do this. Come up with a list of say 10 principles of leadership.” And so a week later, I came in. And I said: “Well Christian, I didn’t find 10.” I found 3 at that time. So I told him, it was vision or building vision. It was about collaboration and learning. And we talked about it and he realized that I could have covered pretty much everything about leadership.

With the time, I added 2 additional principles that is promoting performance and ensuring results. And I have had these 5 principles and I thought then, well that’s great. When I have these principles, I understand these principles. But it’s not really helpful if I do not share this understanding in my experience. So it was a coincidence that actually CRC Press approached me and asked me if I wanted to write a book about project realignment. Later, I changed the topic towards Leadership Principles for Project Success. So it has been a long journey. This book has been in the making for a couple of years. It comprises my experience in project management, project leadership and part of it goes beyond that.

Cornelius Fichtner: Alright! So let’s open up this book and let’s take a look at those 5 leadership principles that we have just heard here in overview and maybe you can give us a quick introduction to each of these principles and maybe also an example of how you or someone else would apply this particular principle on a project.

The first one that you have here is build vision, right?

 

Above are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only. Please subscribe to our Premium Podcast to receive a PDF transcript.

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