Tuesday, September 4, 2007

John Keegan - Mask of Command

Just reading 'The Mask of Command' again (2nd? 3rd? time) - and thought I'd say something about the Duke of Wellington - the leading general during the Napoleonic wars. According to Keegan, Wellington would often use his visual and hearing senses to understand the current state of battle, determine weaknesses in his/his-opponents line, etc. For instance, seeing troops 'lean in' to the advance might indicate the level of fire coming at them as well as their spirit of advance. Shouldn't we be doing the same with our teams/people? Turn off the email, put down the memos, put aside the time lines, etc. and listen what the people are saying watch how they work, their intensity, attitude, etc. these indicators will tell you more about the state of the project then anything else. If people are saying the dates won't be met - listen to them - the message is clear and action needs to be taken to make a change.....

1 comment:

  1. That approach isn't exclusive to project management. It really doesn't matter what you manage, as far as people are involved you should go there and listen instead of publishing your edicts via email.

    There's one challenge here however. People generally are afraid of telling unpopular thing to their bosses. The whole atmosphere in the team should support communication and messenger of bad news should never be punished.