Creating Project and Organizational “Connectic – Energy”


Positive Leadership in Project Management


By Frank Saladis, PMP, PMI Fellow

New York, NY, USA


Most people in leadership positions will agree that organization, team, and project success depends significantly on the motivation and commitment of the employees or the team members. The leader assumes the role of “enabler” and creates an environment for success at all levels in the hierarchy. Leaders who believe that they must control their members and employees through orders, disciplinary measures, threats, intimidation and the use of formal authority at all times, in my opinion, do not fully understand the true goals of leadership and the role of a leader. The primary role of the leader, in the project environment, is not to control the team, but to work with the team members to ensure that each team member is in control of his or her job and that the team members understand the integrative nature of the work. People, when assigned to manage a project, are placed in a leadership position regardless of their other responsibilities. Some project managers are placed in a situation and become what we may refer to as “hybrid” managers, part project manager and part functional and/or or operations manager. In this situation, they must balance their leadership role with their daily operational duties and their technical or functional role within the project. This can be a significant challenge from the leadership perspective, which must focus on ensuring the integration of the many components and entities associated with the project.

The leadership part of the job can certainly be a challenge. This means demonstrating the ability to focus the team on the total project and how their specific pieces of the project puzzle fit into the bigger picture, rather than having the team focus only on their specific tasks.

Leaders know that each person and each part of the project is critical to achieving the desired outcome. The leader knows that it is important for each team member to be committed to the project objectives and project success and not to an individual accomplishment. Setting expectations specifically for each team member, and the team as a whole, regarding performance and results is absolutely necessary.  There is no question that setting expectations is important but if leaders focus more on results than on the efforts of the performers, the team members will lose interest in the goals of the project, break down into independent working units and fail to make the inter-connections needed to bring each part of the project into one total and complete deliverable.

Customers generally don’t accept pieces of a project (at least in the Predictive Project Environment). They want the whole thing and they want what they asked for. If the project leader cannot create a team of inter-dependent performers who support each other and focus on the total end result, there is no real leadership and no synergy, and success will be difficult to attain. This does not mean that everyone is treated exactly the same in terms of compensation and rewards if a project is successful. Performance appraisals and compensation policies differ by organization and how performance will be rewarded will vary among project team members.  It is likely that there may be one or two MVPs within the team and they may receive some additional attention regarding reward and recognition. In any case, it is essential to communicate the goals of the project, assign roles, and set expectations regarding performance, at the start of the project.


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Editor’s note: This article is one in a series on Positive Leadership in Project Management by Frank Saladis, PMP, PMI Fellow, popular speaker and author of books on leadership in project management published by Wiley and IIL in the United States. Frank is widely known as the originator of the International Project Management Day, the annual celebrations and educational events conducted each November by PMI members, chapters and organizations around the world.

How to cite this paper: Saladis, F. (2021). Creating Project and Organizational “Connectic – Energy”: Series on Positive Leadership in Project Management. PM World Journal, Vol. X, Issue II, February. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/pmwj102-Feb2021-Saladis-creating-connectic-energy-positive-leadership-series-article.pdf

 About the Author

Frank P. Saladis

New York, USA


 Frank P. Saladis, PMP, PMI Fellow is a Consultant and Instructor / Facilitator within the project management profession and has over 35 years of experience in the IT, Telecom Installation and IT Project Management training environment. He is a senior consultant and trainer for the International Institute For Learning Inc. and has been involved in the development of several project management learning programs. Mr. Saladis has held the position of Project Manager for AT&T Business Communications Systems, National Project Manager for AT&T Solutions Information Technology Services and was a member of Cisco Systems Professional Services Project Management Advocacy Organization. His responsibilities included the development of Project Management Offices (PMO) and the development of internal training programs addressing project management skills and techniques.

He is a Project Management Professional and has been a featured presenter at the Project Management Institute ® Annual Symposiums, Project World, PMI World Congress, CMMA, and many PMI Chapter professional development programs. He is a past president of the PMI New York City Chapter and a Past-President of the PMI ® Assembly of Chapter Presidents. Mr. Saladis is a Co-Publisher of the internationally distributed newsletter for allPM.com, a project management information portal, and a contributor to the allPM.com project management website.

Mr. Saladis is the originator of International Project Management Day and has written numerous leadership and project management related articles. Mr. Saladis is also the author of the Project Management Workbook and PMP ® / CAPM ® Exam Study Guide that supplements Dr. Harold Kerzner’s textbook – Project Management, A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling and Controlling?, 9th Edition published by John Wiley & Sons and the author of Positive Leadership in Project Management, published by IIL Publishing. He is a member of the International Executive Guild and the NRCC Business Advisory Council. He has also held the position of Vice President of Education for the Global Communications Technology Specific Interest Group of PMI ® and holds a Master’s Certificate in Commercial Project Management from the George Washington University. Mr. Saladis received the prestigious Lynn Stuckenbrook Person of the Year Award from the Project management Institute in 2006 for his contributions to the organization and to the practice of project management.  He can be contacted at saladispmp@msn.com

To view other works by Frank Saladis, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/frank-p-saladis/