Developing “Connectic – Energy”


Positive Leadership in Project Management



By Frank Saladis, PMP, PMI Fellow

New York, NY, USA



The mindful and effective leader inherently knows that organizational success depends on the commitment of the employees or the team. This requires the leader to “lead with purpose.” The person who has assumed a leadership position becomes the team enabler and, through his or her actions, creates the environment for success. Project managers who believe that they must control the team through orders, disciplinary measures, and formal authority are missing the point. The primary role of the project manager not to be a boss, it is to work with the team members to ensure that each team member is in control of his or her job assignments and making sure the team members understand the integrative and collaborative nature of the work. As stated many times in project management publications and articles, project managers, when assigned to a project, are placed in a leadership position and must assume accountability for project success in addition to any other responsibilities. Some project managers are what we may call” hybrid” managers, part project manager and part functional or technical manager with the dual responsibility of performing a technical function along with the duties associated with ensuring the integration of the many components and entities associated with the project.

The leadership part of the job can present some major challenges. This area of responsibility and accountability requires the project manager to demonstrate the ability to focus the team on the total project and how their specific pieces of the project puzzle fit together to create the total solution. It is not simply about making sure each task is completed on time. Leaders know that each person and each part of the project is critical to achieving the desired result. The project leader knows that it is important for each team member to be committed to total project success and not to individual accomplishment. There is no question that setting expectations about performance is important, but if leaders focus more on results than on supporting the efforts of the performers, the team members may lose interest or develop an adversarial relationship with the project manager. This would likely lead to failure in achieving the goals of the project. Specifically the project could experience a break down into independent working units (basically internal project silos), a shift from team focused results to individual performance, and a failure to achieve 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. They want the whole thing and they want what was defined in the requirements and performance agreements. 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 authentic leadership and synergy. Success would be doubtful.

Project managers must build an inspired, committed team. This is accomplished, in part, by project managers who understand the connection of the project to the organization’s purpose, can visibly demonstrate that understanding, and are capable of deeply connecting with the project team by inspiring confidence and utilizing an empowering form of leadership.


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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. (2020). Positive Leadership in Project Management: Delivering “Connectic – Energy”, PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue VIII, August. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/pmwj96-Aug2020-Saladis-developing-connectic-energy-positive-leadership-series.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/