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Episode 004: PMI® 2005 Leadership Meeting Part 2

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This is part 2 of my review of the PMI® 2005 Leadership Seminar in Toronto, Canada. In this show, I give a brief overview of part 1, give my review of the seminars that I attended on day two, talk about the nuggets of wisdom from each of the seminars and give a final verdict on the seminar as a whole. This show is full of voices from other attendees of the seminar and they tell you why they attend and what they have learned at the seminar.

Episode Transcript

Below are the first few pages of a computer-generated transcript with all its computer-generated quirks.

Cornelius Fichtner (00:11):

You are listening to the project management podcast. We bring project management topics to beginners and experts. Find us on the web at PM. podcast.blogspot.com or send your emails to PM This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Hello, and welcome to the fourth show.

Cornelius Fichtner (00:31):

This show was recorded between the seventh and the 11th of September, 2005. And this show will once again, interest you, if you are a member of the PMI or thinking about joining him, this is part two of my review of the 2005 PMI leadership meeting in Toronto, Canada. Part one of the review was about my experience on the first day of the seminar. If you haven't heard it, I wasn't impressed on day one. The PMI asked us to look at issues and trends within the organization. Unfortunately, the afternoon session was well, not all that good man, and that's being polite. I spoke to many people at the meeting about their opinions of day one, and most of them rolled their eyes about it and said that in particular, the afternoon was a waste of their time. The PMI should've let us discuss the real issues that components face today and stand of presenting and discussing preliminary results of a survey discussing the real issue is would have been much more valuable for everybody involved.

Cornelius Fichtner (01:40):

Day two. On the other hand, as you will hear shortly, was a success. At least it was a success from my point of view, as an attendee on day two, the PMI offered 18 seminars in three tracks. The first track was on association governance, where you could delve into seminars that focused on leading a PMI chapter or SIG. Track two was called individual leadership development. And it focused on you as a leader, track three discussed various topics of PMI itself, and it was titled PMI institutional knowledge. I attended three seminars that day, and here are my reviews in between these reviews. You'll also get to hear a few voices from other attendees at the seminar. It is Friday evening. I'm sitting here in my hotel room and I would like to give you a overview of the second day here at the 2005 PMI leadership meeting today was the, shall we call it the training day where 18 seminars were available.

Cornelius Fichtner (02:49):

And I stopped by at three of those plus we had a strategic dialogue with CEO and chair after that. So I'm going to give you a overview of all of these for the first session that I attended in the morning was called the PMI e-business SIG university of British Columbia collaboration with a university. This was titled wrong. It should have been called the university of British Columbia's E business project management certificate. The presentation was given by David L. Davis, PMP and Raquel Collins from the UBC, the university of British Columbia. Now don't get me wrong. The presentation was very well done, but the title collaboration with a university, in my opinion, I was expecting to hear how to use best practices, tips, and tricks. How do you start a collaboration with a university? How do you get involved with them? What do you do instead? Instead, we got an overview of the E business, special interest group, the eBusiness SIG from the PMOs and the UBC certificate program.

Cornelius Fichtner (04:13):

How does it work? How much does it cost? Um, how often does it run? So it, it was really an overview of that particular project management certificate. However many questions that were asked during the presentations were, well, how do you do this? Can I jump on board? We'd like to do this as well. So you can definitely watch out and at the UBC website and see if there are any other chapters or SIGs or colleges who will be putting up additional seminars with the UBC online later. However, I learned that I wasn't the only one because when I was sitting there and so many questions came, I thought, Oh, I must be the only one who came in with the wrong impression here. But it turns out that I was not, there were quite a few people in the room who had expected to get a more broader sense, a more of a, how to so quite something to remember, this is what we need. We need a how to do this for us locally in the chapters, so that I can contact my local university and I can start building a program with them.

Kathy Moscow (05:28):

Hi, Kathy Moscow, I'm president of the human resources specific interest group with project management Institute PMI, uh, the human resources SIG is about bringing project managers and human resource professionals together, share their learning and knowledge across the different disciplines. Human resources, typically very transactional. We want to bring project management, HR organizations to transform them into business partners. So the HR SIG our over 400 members and over 40 countries and we're growing rapidly. We're looking for new volunteers, new members who are interested in project management and HR. There's additional information on our website, www dot PMI, HR S I g.org [inaudible] dot org. And we're looking for new ideas. We're building a knowledge center for our members, so we can foster the continuous learning of project management in HR. So we're looking for best practices templates. A lot of these resources are already on our website and more coming in the near future.

Cornelius Fichtner (06:32):

The second seminar that I attended was called leadership fundamentals for volunteer leaders. It was led by William T. Craddick from Craddick and associates incorporated. Now that was very good. It was quite challenging, the way that he presented it, because he not only just gave the presentations and did death by PowerPoint. He actually had five stop and reflect presentation slides in there during which he said, okay, now take three minutes and recap. He put a few questions on this. I'm reading a couple here form the first one. What are your leadership expectations for your board as a group, individual board members yourself, and how do you see your contribution or how do others see your contributions? So he gave you time to digest what he had just done and review it for yourself so that you use your brain at that things stick better

Cornelius Fichtner (07:47):

During the many, many discussions. Great, excellent sharing. During this presentations, somebody said that, you know, I'm on the board of, I think he was on the board of four organizations and he's the steady Eddie he's been there for years. So he's learned to keep his expectations of other board members. Very, very minimal. I got him a good laugh, especially of course, in a volunteer leaders, leadership situation. Well, many people agreed and said, yep, because we're talking about volunteer boards here. Many people join because they don't have the skills. They want to learn these skills. They don't yet have great leadership skills and other group, however then said, now, wait a minute, wait a minute. We're talking about board members. Yes, it's a volunteer organization, but they have to be answering to higher expectations. These organizations are sometimes thousands of members big and therefore the board members will be influencing the opinions of thousands, hundreds of people.

Cornelius Fichtner (08:59):

So in, in their volunteer organizations and therefore we should be able to expect from our board leaders, that they have the capabilities of great leaders, well, pick your own. There. We looked at quite a lot of books on leadership. He made quite an extensive list on reading that he handed out. And we also looked at various theories of leadership and how leaders are. And he also talked about the fact that, you know, as leaders in volunteer organization, when you look at the Maslow's pyramid, you're really focusing at the very top triangle. And if I remember correctly, it was self fulfillment, right? That's what volunteers and volunteer leaders are looking for self fulfillment. That's what they're doing in a volunteer organization. Yeah, I was quite quite good. There is also a quote that was quite inspiring from, for me from Kouzes and Posner's 2002 book where they identified the practices of effective leader leaders through structured study of leaders.

Cornelius Fichtner (10:10):

Don't quite recall at this point, what the name of the book was. Nevertheless, there are five points. These five practices, first challenge the process. Second, inspire a shared vision. Third, enable others to act,fourth, model the way and fifth encouraged the heart. This is very inspiring for me. And I'm going to take this away definitely as a little list that I'm going to keep dear to my heart right there. Then we moved over into, okay, now we've looked at all these theories. What about volunteering leaders? What about leadership in volunteer organizations? And he said, you know, there's very little literature out there for volunteer leadership where the board is also the people that the organization actually does it. He said there is quite a lot of literature out there for board leadership. When you have a large nonprofit organization where you have a paid staff, so you're the leader on the board.

Cornelius Fichtner (11:20):

And then you have paid staff in the background that does the tactical implementation for you. But very little is available on board leadership where you are also the person who actually has to implement it. So he wasn't really able to give us a lot of guidance there. He also told us that, Hey, look, volunteer organization. You have a lot of turnover there and your leadership. What does that mean? What have we all learned in taking the PMP exam? When you have a change on your team, it takes you right to square. One of what was it's forming, storming, norming, performing, Oh, I always get these four in the wrong, right? So you always go back to the very beginning. You always go to forming. I think it is all right. Then someone brought up the idea that, Hey, also, don't forget. We're a project managers here in the room and we know what leading a project management team means, but we may want, we'll have to change our leadership approach because as a board member, you'll have to do things differently.

Cornelius Fichtner (12:31):

Leading a board and leading a group of project managers is different. Let me end the review of this. One of this seminar here, leadership fundamentals for volunteer leaders, with the list of a top 10 list of things to consider, which he put at the end of his slides here. And they are number 10, read broadly nine, understand context, eight invite differing and diverse perspectives, seven form your own perspectives and understand those of others. Six, treat people with respect, five communicate effectively four, visualize three, learn to assess potential and optimize that potential to be open to different paradigms and one be an effective leader. Hopefully the first nine will lead to a number one.

Tanisa Bryan (13:48):

Hi, my name is Tanisa Bryan. I am the vice chair of the e-business SIG. This is my first time at the PMI seminars, very excited to be here. And I am here to hear all the information that they have to offer us and put together a marketing plan so that I can make our SIG better join our SIG. If you're interested. The

Cornelius Fichtner (14:10):

Third presentation that I visited today was he did. She did, and I expected something completely different out of this. I expected a session that would be talking about cultural differences. That's however, the way I interpreted it, the way it was in the program. And then I picked up the handout and it says here he did, she did what's gender have to do with project management. Hmm. I looked it over and it seemed like, okay, this has something to do with gender differences. In project management, the session was led by Rosemary Tyler, PMP. She is also the chair of the PMI women in project management, special specific interest group here. She talked a lot about different ways of communication. How do men and women communicate differently? That was her focus of this presentation. At first, I found that she was skimming a bit there, that she was very high level.

Cornelius Fichtner (15:20):

And I asked a few challenging questions like, okay, now we've discussed communications. The differences in communication styles of men and women. Did you also look at what are the big differences in project management style? Where do women excel, where do men excel? And she had to say, you know, in all my research, it was very difficult to find a lot of information about gender specific differences on exactly that it was also very difficult for her to find out about gender differences in membership in PMI, because you don't, they don't keep that kind of information. They don't ask what is your gender as you sign up. So it's quite difficult to get that kind of information. So she concentrated her research and this presentation here on how do we communicate as men and women. She has a list here of about a dozen differences, big differences between how men and women communicate.

Cornelius Fichtner (16:28):

And I would just like to read two of those to you. Women use more words like, would you please rebase line you schedule man, on the other hand, use fewer words. Rebase line the schedule, women will emphasize the value of equality and stability while man will emphasis the pecking order. So man, look more at the hierarchy of a system. Why is there a woman's sick is something that was often asked to her. And that is because she says women love to share their experiences. And that's another one. That's actually the second one on this list here. Women share experiences to show commonality men on the other hand, focus on facts and statistics. Two of her sites that I'd like to present here. I liked very much because they are entitled. What can we do to make it better? And here is what women can do to make it better.

Cornelius Fichtner (17:36):

Women get right to the point. Women don't let politeness be misinterpreted as agreement women lower the pitch of your voice. Speak with women. Don't insist that a man open up and women don't put down the male bonding rituals, like the golf game. And here's what man can do to make communication better. Man, talk with woman, women, not at them. So look them in the eye, man. Don't forget to elaborate. Use more words. Men don't give commands, man, watch your body language, man. Don't raise your voice and men, you need to learn to read between the lines. And of course she would also like you to join the women's in project management, CIC overall, even though I didn't expect what I got here, this wasn't very good presentation and I'm taking and taking away quite a few ideas on how to improve my communication style. Both with men and women.

Steve Thompson (18:54):

Hi, my name is Steve Thompson and I'm here representing the Manitoba chapter of PMI. This is my first time at a PMI leadership convention and I found it to be very interesting. I've met lots of interesting people from all over the world and had an opportunity to exchange ideas and validate some of the things that we're doing in our chapter, as well as learn new ways and potential new ways of addressing some of the problems that we face outside of PMI. I am a setting in the process of setting up a project management office for my company. And I find that many of the collaboration, ideas and issues that are coming up here at the table are the same ones that I'm running into in the corporate world. So I would encourage everyone to participate in events like this, to share their information and knowledge through organizations like PMI and to get actively involved in the community because it makes a big difference. Having people to talk to you who are doing the same thing as you

Cornelius Fichtner (19:51):

Finally this afternoon, there was the strategic dialogue with the chair Lewis Mannequin and our CEO, Greg Palestra. I don't want to go into the complete, I think it was two hours in something. What I would like to focus on is two small slivers out of this, the PMI CTP. And I would like to revisit something that I heard in Greg's presentation about PMI learn, which I talked about yesterday. First, the PMI CTP is the PMI community tranche transformation process. You may have heard that the PMI has stopped chartering new components. So if you are anywhere in the world and you would like to become a new chapter at this point, they have stopped chartering. These and Greg was going into now, why are we doing this? What's happening here? And he was talking about this community transformation process, excuse me. I think it's called project.

Cornelius Fichtner (20:56):

The presentation that he gave had the intent of showing what led up to this project. Why did we stop chartering? What are the goals of this project? What are we planning to do? What's the current status? And of course what's coming. It was from my point of view. Very nice to hear that the PMI is rethinking the way that its communities work for me, it's enormously difficult or was at least until these two days, uh, here at the leadership seminar to understand, okay, there are chapters, there are leagues, there are SIGs. There are colleges, there are regions. I mean, I don't really understand them all as yet, but I believe I have a much better picture, but for outsiders and for newbies, it's rather difficult to understand. So I'm very nice. I'm very happy to hear that they're rethinking the way that these are done.

Cornelius Fichtner (21:55):

So over the next two years, they are going to find 25 volunteers from all over the world and they will be discussing the future of PMI communities. And then they will be rolling out their plan. Well, we all know how projects go like right? You know, over budget over time. Some of them get canceled. Who knows. Maybe there's really nothing that needs to be changed. Maybe the system, the way it is works, but it's always good. Look at what you're doing today. Form a vision, go into the future. At this point, of course, the vision is of making community chartering easier and helping them to deliver consistent services. Because if you look around some chapters, do this, some chapters don't do this. Let's say a area on the website where you can find jobs in the region with some chapters, you have it with others, you don't, and it's the same with the cigs. And it's the same with the colleges. So not everybody offers the same services to their members.

Cornelius Fichtner (23:02):

On September 18th, the PMI will send out an announcement to the leaders worldwide asking them to be a volunteer, to become a volunteer in this project. And if the community transformation project looks like something that you would want to be involved in, then keep watching your inbox. And this doesn't just go out. Of course, to all the leaders, the PMI will be an article by its website as well. And there'll be a lot of ways for you to learn more about this second item I want to talk about is about the PMI. Learn. If you've listened to what I said earlier about this, I wasn't quite sure about Greg's yesterday. So here's what I heard today. So yes, the leadership Institute, PMI leadership Institute is going to end and it's going to move over into PMI. Learn big reason for this is that only 25 of the leaders every year have the opportunity to join the leadership Institute.

Cornelius Fichtner (24:06):

And it meant going for three days, about every quarter or a year, three times, three years, three times, three days, going to this leadership Institute. And if you had to miss out on one, you couldn't graduate. So PMI learn is going to be open to every leader at this point. However, they only have 2,500 seats on this online tool. And of course, they're going to invite the leaders from chapters segs and all the colleges, and they will have the opportunity to sign up and take lessons to improve their leadership skills. In the future. There will also be a tool that will allow you as a PMI leader to assess where you are at in your leadership. And if I remember this correctly, the assessment tool, which is going to have to be developed from scratch, because nothing like this exists yet, you will be able to assess yourself on 172 qualities and 40 competencies of being a leader.

Cornelius Fichtner (25:10):

And you will be able to compare, where are you? Where can I add? Where do I need to go? Which seminars do I have to take in order to move up. The PMI also hopes to open this up to all of its leaders in the future. But at this point they only have 2,500 seats, but it is scalable and they will be able to welcome us all. All right. At the end of day two, this was a much better day. This was a much better day for me. It, there was something in it for me. I, I felt I've, I've learned a lot. I was able to attend three seminars, two of them good. One of them not. So, and I really enjoyed also the strategic dialogue at the end, where I, as a newcomer could hear that where the PMI is heading, at least with this community transformation pro project. And also the PMI learn so much more successful day. For me, much more enjoyable, really, really liked it.

Ida Harding (26:09):

My name is Ida Harding and I'm from the Los Angeles chapter. I'm here at the Toronto leadership meeting as a representative of the CS mag, which means component services, member advisory group. And this is probably my 10th or 11th leadership meeting or more, I I've lost track. We used to have them twice a year. So I've been coming in these for about eight years. So whatever that adds up to, but I very much enjoyed leadership meetings. And as a past president of my, I felt then and continue to feel that this is the best way to build leaders for the chapter or for the SIG, because it motivates leaders who come to the meeting. It trains them and it just, you know, builds enthusiasm in them so that they want to continue as leaders of their chapters and to improve their chapter. So this is the best team building and, and training type session that one can have. I just strongly believe in leadership meetings. And in addition, I feel that this is just a, um, for me, it's just like a family reunion. I I've kind of these meetings every year. And I see all these old friends. And as soon as I get here, it's just as if we saw each other the day before. So the whole meeting consists of hugs and highs and, and, and catching up with each other. So to me, to me, we're a big PMI family. And this is when we get together for our reunions

Cornelius Fichtner (27:46):

So much for the review of the individual sessions that I attended overall. I have to say that it felt really great to be part of this, especially the openness of all the attendees that I have received. Everybody was welcoming. Everybody talked to you. And as a first timer, I felt really warmly and heartily welcomed to this. What surprised me most frankly, was the fact that when I talk to people about wanting to do this podcast, everybody thought, Hey, that's a great idea. That's of course also how I got all these voices that you heard before. Good for me to see was also the fact that I'm not a project management professional in a vacuum. There are hundreds and hundreds of professionals out there as well. And I'm just one man in a huge family of project managers and PMPs out there on the whole, the PMI delivered a good conference for its volunteer leaders to learn, share network and grow what needs to be improved.

Cornelius Fichtner (28:57):

Well, at my end, I need to stay longer. I left on Saturday rather early, and I just should have stayed until Sunday. I have to talk to more people. I have to get to know more people. I have to stay for the conference, which followed the leadership seminar. The PMI needs to improve their first time a session. They need to give a lot more guidance to us first timers, what to expect, where to go, what to see, what attitude to go into this whole event. They won folks that was just pretty ineffective PMI. If you ever do this again, try to find a different balance. It just didn't work. And do all those people who got really aggravated during those meetings on day one, please relax folks. This is not your job okay. To some people, maybe it is, but do most of our citizens.

Cornelius Fichtner (30:00):

This is a volunteer organization. Don't, your life doesn't depend on this. Relax really. But in the end, the great things where there was a lot of networking time before the sessions between the sessions after the sessions, that was, that was really the essence of this whole leadership seminar, right there. It has given me new impulses as a PMI chapter volunteer and board member. And frankly, what I learned here at these, these sessions, I can also use as president of my Toastmasters club. Well, does that mean that I'm now a better leader? Well, definitely not. That will take years, but I have received lots of valuable input and a lot of food for thought. And that's about it for today. Thank you very much for listening in my next show. I'll be going back to all those project management audio files, which I downloaded before I started this podcast.

Cornelius Fichtner (31:08):

I'll be telling you where to find them. And I'll also give you a review and an overall ranking for the ones which I have found. This will allow you to tune into a few other shows, expand your horizon and listen into a few great project management discussions. As always, you can find us on the web I, the PM podcast.blogspot.com or you can send your emails to PM This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. And finally, we have this when the weight of the project paperwork equals the weight of the project itself, then the project can be considered complete with that check out what project management seminars are available in your area until next time.

Above are the first few pages of a computer-generated transcript with all its computer-generated quirks. A human-generated transcript is available to Premium subscribers starting with episode 136.

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Cornelius Fichtner
Cornelius Fichtner
Cornelius Fichtner, PMP, CSM, is the host and the author at The Project Management Podcast. He has welcomed hundreds of guests and project management experts to the podcast and has helped over 60,0000 students prepare for their PMP Exam. He has authored dozens of articles on projectmanagement.com and PM World 360. He speaks at conferences around the world about project management, agile methodology, PMOs, and Project Business. Follow him on Twitter and connect with him on LinkedIn.

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