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How to Lead Effectively When You Inherit a Mess | Weekly Project Management Roundup

How to Lead Effectively When You Inherit a Mess, weekly project management roundup


Leading Effectively When You Inherit a Mess

In this HBR article, Ron Carucci has shared experience of an executive who joined an organization where organization was in big problems in terms of cost overrun, loss making unit, weakening customer loyalty, higher attrition, decreasing employee trust, etc. Ron referred a decade long study about transitions of executives, found that more than 50% of executives who inherit a chaos or mess tend to fail within their first 18 months on the job. So Ron has six great attribute about how to sail through such troubled waters

  • Resist the temptation to emotionally distance yourself.
  • Never blame your predecessor
  • Minimize references to past successes
  • Know the fine line between self-promotion and real help
  • Test the reliability of your data.
  • Be transparent about how you will make changes.

Do read this insightful article further.

What to Do When You’re Returning to a Company You Used to Work For

In another HBR article by Rebecca Knight, has observed that the trend is visible wherein employee leaves a job at an orgnizaation and rejoins it later. Not only this is gaining acceptance by employees but also hiring managers. If you are employee, you would obviously like to make it more fruitful and enjoyable career move. So there are few pointers Rebecca has shared how to make it smooth, make it better and acceptable.

  • Reintroduce yourself
  • Be positive
  • Reset colleagues’ expectations
  • Reset your own expectations, as well
  • Onboard
  • Network around the company
  • Offer perspective
  • Pace yourself

There are also some interesting Dos and Don’ts and case studies to give you better perspectives. Do read about returning to a company you worked before.

How to Handle Project Naysayers

Michael Zekser

During a project’s lifecycle, there are instances wherein project manager has to approach various stakeholders such as sponsors, resource managers, customers for project approval, resources onboarding, change request approval, etc. These stakeholders may raise questions, approve/reject the request depending on various factors. If you have to go through naysayers in this process, life can be little difficult for you: they may ask validity of your request, why this project is even required, who told you to reach me out, I can not help you, etc. However even if there is a single naysayer, you will have deal with him/her carefully. Michael Zekser, has wrote down specific ways and possibility to turn the naysayers into supporters.


Explain why a given activity is being handled in a specific manner, understand the issues raised by the complainers so that you get opportunity to address their objections.

If their objections, concerns appear to be valid, you can show some flexibility at your end to check the possibility of changing schedule or so, if not, ask them check the possibility to push their own timeline. Better yet, ask them to put forth their ideas about how to handle the conflict. This way, you are encouraging them, respecting them and hearing them out.

If project sponsor is objecting something about a project, you have to listen to their concerns, apprehensions and understand those well, document it, share it with right stakeholders asking for alternatives/solution.

All in all, a good article that suggests there are alternatives and right methods to find reasonable ways out.


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I am a co-founder of Zilicus Solution and I write about project management, collaboration, productivity, project management software, cloud computing, requirement management and business empowerment.