Home Blog Page 3

Transactional vs. Transformational Leadership: Is it really either/or?


Many people seem to think that transformational leadership is good and transactional leadership is bad. Business and leadership schools are constantly promoting the merits of transformational leadership and the need to provide followers with a vision and purpose.  Vision and purpose are great, but can only be focused on after a persons basic level needs are met.  According to Maslow, the basic human needs have to be met before higher levels can be achieved.  Most employees will not be motivated by vision when they are struggling to pay their bills.  When leading a new project, first determine what motivates your new team members before committing to a leadership style or simply assuming that what worked for your last project team will work for your new project team.


Transactional leadership is considered more of a management style were leaders offer rewards and/or punishment to gain compliance and to encourage or discourage employee behavior.


Transacational leadership is based on the ability of a leader to provide rewards that employees value.  Recently a friend was telling me about a rewards program at work that allowed employees to choose their work schedules based on performance.  Time is our most precious resource and these employees realized the value in choosing their own schedules.

Another friend informed me that at her office top sales leaders were rewarded with products made by the company, like new appliance.  The rewards of household appliance meant that employees could spend their limited monetary resources on other items.  The competition also encouraged employees to boost their sales numbers.

In both of these situations, the employees were excited and motivated about the incentives offered in by their employers.  It is important when using a reward system to know the motivations of your employees.



Transformational leadership is often considered superior leadership and is when leaders can elevate the interests of their employees and inspire them.

Elected officials like President Barrack Obama and Chief Executive Officers like Elon Musk are known for their transformational leadership styles and their ability to inspire others with charisma and vision.

One of my former jobs was working at The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).  The primary mission of NORAD is to keep the US and Canadian homelands safe and as a Department of Defense civilian, there is no higher calling.  Protecting and serving those we love is inherently motivational and inspiring.

I volunteer for a public speaking organization, Toastmasters International.  As a volunteer we don’t have a large budget,  so I reinforce the importance of goal of the organization to motivate and inspire other volunteers.  Volunteers are often members, because they truly believe in the cause. On the other hand, volunteers will often quit if pushed too hard, because they have other responsibilities.

Both Transactional and Transformational leadership are effective in the right situations and can often be combined.  Every leader needs to adjust their style based on the needs of their team and their environment.  Leadership is something which you can adjust and change over a lifetime.  Learn from your experiences and make changes as your grow.

Life is a Project!

What is your opportunity cost?

Are you tracking the true costs of your projects? I recently had a discussion with a good friend of mine regarding the cost of my new book, “The Project Manager”. I had calculated how may books I needed to sell to recoup my original investment. He laughed at me when I told him my estimate and informed me that he thought I was significantly under estimating my cost. I described to him how I had calculated my estimate and he asked me, “What about your time?” I hadn’t included the most precious resource, time.


What about time?

This is a question I always highlight to others, but didn’t apply when it came to my own writing. I informed my friend that it was just my free time and I would probably be watching television or doing some other unproductive activity instead.  He reminded me that there is always an opportunity cost.

Time is our most precious resource and once used, we can never regain it.  How we chose to spend our time is up to each of us.  We all have busy days with work, family, social organizations, staying fit, and a myriad of other activities. Sometimes we need to rest and recharge our batteries.

Opportunity Cost

Opportunity cost is the loss of the alternatives when one alternative is chosen.

My friend explained that he hates doing work in the yard and that whenever he has moved to a new house, one of the first things he does is hire someone to mow the grass and trim the trees.  He explained that instead he could be doing something he really enjoys, like taking his kids out for ice cream or watching football.

There are many demands in our lives and it is important to consider the opportunity cost of the decisions we make. I recalculated the cost of my book with the cost of my time (based using my hourly work salary); it was over twelve times my original cost estimate!  My book is a labor of love that I hope will benefit others.  I would certainly make the same decision again knowing the opportunity cost.  I am not sure I would make all the same decisions in my life knowing the opportunity cost.  Every day we have a variety of options regarding how to spend our time, based on our priorities.  Think about all your options, before committing your most valuable resource, your time.

The discussion with my friend highlighted two key points:

  • The first, is that I need to apply the same project management principles and concepts to my own life, that I write and speak about.
  • The second, is that I need to make some new friends who aren’t certified Project Management Professionals (PMPs). Just joking, I love my PMP friends.

As you make decisions in your life, keep in mind that your choices limit your opportunities; choose wisely.

Life is a Project!

IT Project Management: Why include Cyber Security from the Start


Why include Cyber Security from the Start
Cyber security risks continue to grow each year and is a billion dollar industry.  Project Managers that include cyber security throughout the project lifecycle can save their organization money, time, and better align projects to the overall cyber security strategy of the organization.  When an organizations’ system is compromised they can lose productivity, shut-down operations, erode consumer confidence, and cost millions to repair the damage.  Hacks over the past few years to include Saudi Aramco, Target, and Sony, highlight that this is a global issue.

To read more:  http://www.engineeringmanagement.info/2017/04/it-project-management-why-include-cyber.html

IT Project Management: Waterfall vs. Agile


Waterfall vs. Agile

The debate between Waterfall or traditional project methodology and the newer Agile methodology can create heated conversations among project managers.  Some project managers swear by one technique versus the other. Agile was used originally for software and there are a few die-hard managers, who still believe software is the only use for Agile methodology. Other project managers use a hybrid approach.

Find out more by clicking the below link to Engineering Management!

Source: IT Project Management: Waterfall vs. Agile

How to Stay Fit on the Road


As a frequent business and leisure traveler, staying fit on the road can be challenging at times.  As a runner who has completed marathons on four continents, I have experience running through jet-lag and sleep deprivation. The road brings lots of temptations of overeating or skipping workouts. Here are my tips on how to stay fit on the road.

Find out more by clicking the below link to The Dining Traveler!

Source: How to Stay Fit on the Road

Inspiring Women in Project Management: Amy Hamilton | Girl’s Guide…


This inspiring woman in project management, Amy Hamilton, shares her experiences as a project manager in the US Army, for the government, and her Tedx Stuttgart talk.

It is an honor to be selected by a Girl’s Guide to Project Management.

Click below to find out more!

Source: Inspiring Women in Project Management: Amy Hamilton | Girl’s Guide…

3 Cs of Peer Management in Matrixed Organizations

Many Project Managers work in matrixed organizations that require the use of human resources that do not fall directly under their supervision.  Working with peers requires a different skillset than leading team members or managing stakeholders.  Peer management requires working in a linear relationship, compared to the hierarchal organizational model.  There are 3 Cs that need to be remembered when managing across peers in a matrixed organization.

Source: 3 Cs of Peer Management in Matrixed Organizations

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIB5A0rWCac[/embedyt]

Projectize Your Holidays – Project Management Hut


As Project Managers we understand the importance of scope management, but we often forget to apply this to our lives outside of work. The triple constraint of time, budget and quality should be considering as part of holiday planning. Applying your Project Management skills to your holiday planning will provide you and your family with a happier and less stressful holiday season.

A few areas where Project Managers can apply some basic PM principles include:

A few areas where Project Managers can apply some basic PM principles include:Source: Projectize Your Holidays – Project Management Hut

Why Project Managers Need Public Speaking Skills – Project Management Hut

Everyone needs public speakings skills!

Why Project Managers Need Public Speaking Skills – Project Management Hut

  • Project Management can be a tough profession. It is the responsibility of the Project Manager to balance the triple constraint of time, cost and scope. The Project Manager is responsible for ensuring that projects are completed on time, within budget and meets the standards, so why would public speaking be important?
  • To learn more, click on the link below:

Source: Why Project Managers Need Public Speaking Skills – Project Management Hut

Projectize your Project Meetings – Project Management Hut

Projectize your Project Meetings – Project Management Hut

All Project Managers are familiar with the triple constraint of time, cost and quality/scope. Recently, while I was waiting for a meeting to start, I began calculating the cost of man hours in the room of the staff waiting. Then, when the meeting finally started, it was disorganized and ran over time! I thought to myself, wow, if we can’t run an effective meeting that meets the triple constraint, how will we get our projects completed on time? Here are a few tips for running effective meetings.

Source: Projectize your Project Meetings – Project Management Hut


Get the Facebook Likebox Slider Pro for WordPress

Subscribe For Latest Updates

Signup for our newsletter and get notified when we publish new articles for free!