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Evolving project leadership - from command and control to engage and empower

Evolving project leadership

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About this book


Evolving project leadership: From command and control to engage and empower

Evolving project leadership presents the project practitioner with two journeys: the first establishes a vision of what good project leadership looks like; the second offers concrete steps to achieving this.

Building on the inclusive leadership message summarised in the APM Body of Knowledge 7th edition, the book shows how outdated command and control behaviours are seldom effective in today’s changed delivery environment and can actually be counter-productive to project success.

As an alternative, the book shows how the effective project leader evaluates the self, the team and the organisational culture to cultivate fit-for-purpose project leadership behaviours such as empowering team agility, synergy and collaboration.

Evolving project leadership offers a structured path to effective project leadership and team delivery.

Download sample chapter


Paperback: 246 x 189 mm, [page extent 238 pages]
Author: Gordon MacKay
Publisher: APM
ISBN: 978-1-913305-12-3
Paperback: £25


Extract from longer review by Dr Jacqueline Baxter PFEA FAcSS MA BA (hons) PGCE EdD.

Director of the Centre for Innovation in online legal and business education, The Open University

"Mackay offers the reader a personal journey of discovery leading to a richer deeper appreciation of what is required in project management and leadership. The book begins with a worthy examination of what exactly project leadership and management is, and how today’s world seeks abilities and competences that are very different from those before new technology arrived on the scene. There is an interesting and particularly pertinent discussion within chapter 1, on leadership behaviours in a crisis and how command and control behaviours fail to deliver desired results.

"The learning outcomes at the end of the chapter provide useful summaries of the content of each chapter: this will be useful for practitioners wishing to dip in to key elements.

"The discussion on leadership soft skills, will strike home for many readers highlighting as it does (and quite rightly in my view), the absurdity of terming key leadership skills in this way. A key strength of the book is its focus on these so-called ‘soft skills’, and I particularly enjoyed chapter 6 with its focus on situational awareness along with self-awareness of others perception of the leader.

"Although the book is presented as a how to guide to project management and team delivery the discussions within offer plentiful points for discussion making it a useful book for teaching as well as self-study. Its clear direction of travel and focus on core skills such as influencing and communication, render it a useful addition to the project management literature."

Author bio

Gordon MacKay

Gordon’s working life began as a Royal Navy Marine Engineering Artificer Apprentice, followed by active service. This period of self discovery inspired a life-long love of learning, from a subsequent BA(Hons) Degree in Organisation Studies, an MBA, to a BSc(Hons) Degree in Environmental Science. A successful project setting up a call centre in just seven weeks led to his appointment as call centre manager, leading 1,200 FTE. A formative experience, this triggered reflection and insights on fit-for-purpose leadership informing a first book on Practical Leadership.

Ongoing research paralleled project management for Cap Gemini Ernst & Young based in Shaftesbury Avenue, London, and Scottish Water based in Inverness, before eight years in Sellafield, of which four years as project management capability lead. His leadership studies have progressively extended into psychology, with insights emerging from the latest research in neurology as informed by neuroscience.

This book draws on 48 years of research and experience informing an evolution in leadership, from traditional forms, to that evolved for effective project management.

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