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Moving from the Tools to Leadership – The Challenges for Project Managers

James trained as a builder and worked on large construction projects for years. In his mid-30s, with two young children and a sore back, James decided he needed to change his role. When a Project Management role was advertised within the company he worked for, James applied and was successful. Two years later I caught up with him and he spent an hour telling me how hard his job was. It wasn’t the technical aspects of the role but managing his team, working with his peers and communicating with his bosses.

It is a common story; people (usually men) who no longer want to work ‘on the tools’ in the construction or mining industry put up their hands to be Project Managers. They are given a team and a project and sent forth to prosper. With an increasing number of infrastructure and construction projects getting the green light, the demand for Project and Programme Managers is growing.

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Why do we ignore the poor performer?

Do you work with people you know are not performing well? Do you feel like you are ‘carrying’ people in your team? So often we speak with people who are frustrated because, to them, it is so obvious that people in their team are not performing, yet no action is taken. In one organisation, we spoke with people who promoted poor performers in order to get them out of their teams without having to deal with the issues. So, why does this happen so often?

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