A lesson learned from a TRUE story…
PART I: The UGLY truth
There was an expert manager who joined a corporate firm as a senior technical manager leading different teams. He had high expectations driven by leadership competencies required to manage his teams effectively and deliver projects successfully. After three months only, he started facing a TRUE challenge from his direct manager, who was trying to limit his authority to fail him.
I know!!! It sounds weird to have a direct manager trying to limit the capability of his subordinate. However, this is a common situation in many companies, and unfortunately, this is the UGLY TRUTH.
PART II: The TOUGH fact
Back to our manager journey, he was working closely with his team with high transparency and respect. And, he was able in a short time to deliver critical projects ahead of schedule with better quality and higher stakeholders & clients' satisfaction. And this the new fact!
And the story continues, and our manager was able to build new capacities in his team in the following years and gained new opportunities for himself and the team. On the other hand, his upper manager was losing his motive to limit his authority and started accepting the TOUGH FACT. In simple words, our manager was UNSTOPPABLE!!! Moreover, he was able to turn "assuming" to fail projects into successful ones with a short time frame.
After three years, the manager left the firm to start another journey continuing his successful career as a leader and a senior manager. There is no doubt that our famous guy was an exceptional manager who can overcome a difficult situation with a traditional/old school direct manager.
PART III: The SECRET recipe
This is not the end of the story. It is just the beginning!
The logical-straightforward question that comes to our mind is: "How he was able to succeed in his journey, where he WAS NOT ALLOWED to? How did he make it? What was the secret recipe?"
One day, I asked him the same, and he replied:
"I led by influence and did not by authority!!!" and added that authority is a power given to you and can be taken back from you at any time, where influence is the power you hold, and NO ONE can take it from you.
PART IV: The LESSONS learned
As a result, this is the story of a LEADER who succeeded in leading his projects & the team without proper (deserved) authorization. A leader who believes in INFLUENCE and not in authority. A leader who has real POWER and not offered one.
We might agree with our manager or might not; however, there are great lessons to learn from this experience. It's the fact that Good Leaders know how to deal with the Ugly Truth despite the missing authority, and Good Managers know how to use full authority. But what we need nowadays, managers who practice both strong management skills and robust leadership skills. Managers who know how to use authority and extend it by influencing their teams, colleagues and upper management at the same time.
Exclusive pmmagazine.net 💬
Founder of Zmaestro ◼️ Consultant ◼️ Mentor | www.hanihmedeh.com
Hani's professional journey is a testament to his remarkable transformation from an IT specialist to a visionary project management practitioner. As he has evolved, so has his perspective on the art of project management, which he believes is about implementing project science in a custom and innovative way.
With over a decade of experience in managing teams in regional and international companies, Hani founded Zmaestro, a project management consultancy firm, in 2018, and Zfactory, an Online services provider specializing in digital transformation, in 2021. Throughout his career, he has supported individuals, groups, startups, and small and mid-level firms in Lebanon, the Gulf, France, and Canada to achieve their professional goals.
In addition, Hani is a leading figure in the global project management community, having launched several projects such as pmmagazine.net, an online project management magazine in 2018, and pmdictionary.com, an online project management dictionary in 2023.
Currently, Hani is committed to mentoring, consulting, and coaching project managers, program managers, and portfolio managers to overcome their challenges and achieve their career aspirations. His focus is on developing and delivering programs that foster engaged teams and drive successful outcomes. At the corporate level, Hani serves as a consultant and advisor to companies of different sizes and industries, helping them achieve their next level of Organizational Project Management (OPM) maturity for superior strategic planning outcomes.
Hani's extensive knowledge and expertise make him a sought-after professional in the industry. He is passionate about helping others achieve their full potential and driving success through effective project management.