#Zoom Leadership #PMOT #pandemic

There have been many excellent articles written and discussions had around great leadership traits in recent years. The concept of Servant Leadership from the Agile Movement and the excellent writings David Marquet emphasizing the role of curiosity is but to name but two. Many of these discussions have successfully moved the perception of a leader from an authoritarian figure to one of a collaborator/facilitator.

This morning I came across an excellent article on the role of humility in a leader. You can find the article here.

The article made me realize that the new leadership traits we have been talking about are observable traits of humility or being humble. Curiosity, collaboration, listening, vulnerability, patience, seeking opposing viewpoints, and acknowledging mistakes are all driven authentically from humility.

Can you be curious and questioning without humility? Sure, but you are probably just asking to prove you are correct, not to being open to new ideas.

Can you collaborate without humility? Sure, but you are likely to be promoting your ideas with the goal of convincing others.

Can you seek opposing viewpoints without humility? Sure, but you are doing this usually with the goal of proving your hypothesis, not to advance knowledge.

Can you truly listen without humility? Sure, but you are probably waiting on the edge of your seat for others to stop talking so you can once again lead the discussion.

Humble leaders understand that while they may be accountable for the decision, the entire team is responsible for the decision. And making the best decision is a patient process.

Pandemic Zoom/Leadership

Humility in a Pandemic is needed even more. Whether you are having meetings in WebEx, Microsoft Teams, or Zoom everyone is relegated to the same real estate on the screen. The power dynamics of in-person meetings are minimized, offices and titles are less apparent, and charisma makes a journey to Flatland. Technology makes us more equal.

As a result, imbalances in collaboration, talking, listening, asking, and seeking become even more apparent. One thing I have noticed about great leaders in these Pandemic times – they ask more than they state. And they are quiet and listening the vast majority of the time.

In the past, this may have been seen as being passive, but confidence is required even more to be silent, asking, seeking, and then deciding. And confidence is required even more to admit you don’t know, were wrong, or to promote a position raised by someone else. And that confidence comes from humility.

Yes, great leaders still are decisive, but how they get to great decisions are with humility, patience, and honouring their teams.

Please give the article a read. We should all strive to have Angela Merkel’s Intellectual Humility. It is an example of that old adage – “The more you know, the more you know you don’t know everything”

Pride divides the men, humility joins them – Socrates


Author: Terry Bunio

Terry Bunio is passionate about his work as the Manager of the Project Management Office at the University of Manitoba. Terry oversees the governance on Information Technology projects to make sure the most important projects are being worked on in a consistent and effective way. Terry also provides leadership on the customized Project Methodology that is followed. The Project Methodology is a equal mix of Prince2, Agile, Traditional, and Business Value. Terry strives to bring Brutal Visibility, Eliminating Information islands, Right Sizing Documentation, Promoting Collaboration and Role-Based Non-Consensus, and short Feedback Loops to Minimize Inventory to the Agile Project Management Office. As a fan of pragmatic Agile, Terry always tries to determine if we can deliver value as soon as possible through iterations. As a practical Project Manager, Terry is known to challenge assumptions and strive to strike the balance between the theoretical and real world approaches for both Traditional and Agile approaches. Terry is a fan of AWE (Agile With Estimates), the Green Bay Packers, Winnipeg Jets, and asking why?

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