By Mark Engelberg – TimeLinx Software
What is leadership in today’s world? The world today is so different that our parents would likely not recognize it. How does one lead in a corporate world that is so fragmented? No longer is the nine-to-five schedule at the office the norm, and we as leaders need to adapt our teams to move with these changes. There are various ways of doing this, one of which is to employ the best technologies you can afford to improve efficiency and measure productivity. Technology will make your employees jobs easier and will allow you to improve your leadership of your staff performing work.
Using Software to Improve Leadership
There is a deep connection between experience, skills, and technology. Being a good leader means constantly learning so you can set examples for your staff, rather than delegate without clear understanding. This means keeping your finger on the pulse of everything that is happening in your company. Good software will keep everyone on top of progress in all areas. In particular, a Project and Service Management (PSM) system will provide insight into how well every employee is working, allowing you to have a connected, knowledgeable, and personal relationship with them.
The right PSM software takes weight off your shoulders and your employees’ backs. Being a good leader is all about knowing your people and helping them to do their jobs better. In the old days of spreadsheets and sticky notes, a salesperson or a service technician would have to spend extra time to record the details and progression of a sale or time spent on a project. If we have to do that extra work now, we are adding stress and pressure to their jobs. Stress, overwork, financial worries, and of course pandemics all put more and more pressure on the average employee. As leaders, we need to do all that we can to alleviate this and using the right software to make jobs as easy as possible is an essential part of that.
Project Management Versus Leadership
Being a project manager versus a leader are two very different skill sets. Project managers manage projects, making sure that budgets are adhered to and that tasks happen as scheduled. This is managing the work of the project. If the project manager is actually delivering the work (common in a small company), then the members of the project team must be managed by someone else, and that’s where having a business leader is required. A true leader motivates the employees and knows exactly how to bring out the best in them. Currently, that can include everything from mental health awareness to allowing more time off, to providing motivational talks and awards. The mental stresses on vast parts of our workforces during the pandemic of the past year and a half has required new levels of leadership, empathy, compassion, and awareness of the needs of workers. Now more than ever, leadership encompasses many new elements in today’s corporate environment, and as with every other part of a job, the learning can never stop. That includes new ways of learning how to lead. The right technology tools can elevate a project manager to a leader. With the right PSM tool, every aspect of a project can be critically measured and the people involved in the project can be monitored, as well. This leads to better management of the team, allowing the members to work at their best.
Peter Drucker (1909-2005) is likely the most quoted expert on management, and, in fact, is credited with defining management as a discipline to be learned in and of itself. One of his many quotes and possibly the most well-known (and often mis-stated) is “You can’t improve what you can’t measure.”* Certainly, this is true for project management and in the rapid world of today, efficient measurement is impossible without technology. All companies collect the data they need to invoice customers, but if they can’t turn out the analysis necessary for improvement, the company is short-changing itself. The eye-opener is being witness to companies who pay staff to manipulate data manually using spreadsheets to create the analysis because they haven’t implemented more advanced technology. They have the analysis but at dramatically increased salary costs.
* There is disagreement about the attribution of this quote as having been said by process engineer and management guru W. Edwards Deming (1900-1993). Deming lived long enough to deny the attribution on a number of counts, which can be researched on Google.
Technology is advancing at an astonishing rate, and the way we relate to each other is changing with it. As workforces spread across the globe, the western world’s workers have become global citizens, and this will continue. Keeping our workforces together as cohesive teams will become increasingly difficult, and it will not be possible without technology. Having the correct PSM software should make that task effortless and will allow leaders to make deeper investments into employee health and mental wellness, which is needed more now than ever.
True leadership is guiding employees to do their best and helping them to grow. Being hands-on and knowing everyone’s pain points and talents is a huge part of this and one that can be much more easily achieved when the correct software is employed. Now is the time to begin asking yourself: are you a true leader, and what tools can you use to help you to adapt to the changing corporate environment of today?
“Management is doing things right. Leadership is doing the right things.”
– Peter Drucker
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TimeLinx delivers innovative project & service management software as a complete solution that perfects the sell-track-manage-support-bill cycle that services organizations must have to delight their customers; TimeLinx brings the cycle together in a single application that offers less frustration, better project management, complete reporting, and improved profitability – all specially designed for Infor and Sage.