Hi Marlies, could you tell us a bit about yourself and what brought you to train with the Project Leadership Institute?
Yes, sure. I am 44 and live in Apeldoorn in the Netherlands. I work as a project manager for a consultancy company, predominantly in the area of business and information technology. I haven’t always worked as a project manager, however. At the beginning of my career I contributed as a subject matter expert to various projects at KPMG. When I later moved to Eiffel I quickly got the opportunity to work as a project manager and have since led dozens of projects. That’s what I really wanted: working towards a common goals and a deadline, and doing so with a team full of excitement.
I recently completed an IPMA-C course and felt ready for a next step. I signed up for the Project Leadership Workshop with the PLI, which was all about authentic leadership. I was curious about what it would teach me about myself and how I lead my projects. In particular I was interested in understanding what I do well and in which ways I can improve. Through experience I have taught myself a method that I follow when I manage projects. But I had no knowledge about how to be an authentic leader.
What did you learn about yourself and your leadership style during the Workshop?
I learnt that on the one hand I can be very directive because I am result-oriented and know what I want to achieve. On the other hand I find the commitment and strength from the team super important. I would like every team member to act from a place of strength and commitment.
I also learnt that as an authentic leader there must be synergy between what I think, feel, say and do. Since I attended the training I find that I’m much more able to trust my (gut) feeling about the project. That gives me confidence in my abilities as a leader. I also feel more energetic and optimistic about the future as a result of the training, probably because I now have a much better understanding of my strengths. Actually it is very simple: I have learnt that I just have to be myself!
In addition I enjoyed the facilitator, Jivan. I was positively surprised that he highlighted the business aspects of being a project leader as well as the emotional and spiritual side. We did quite a few role-plays, and the discrepancies between what I was doing, thinking and feeling came to light. Jivan responded well to the needs of the participants and offered immediate feedback regarding our behaviour. It was very confronting and I took some clear lessons from it.
What would you like to say to project leaders considering a training like this?
I’d strongly recommend this training to anyone who’d like to take the next step in leading projects, and take yourself to the next level. The training is unique because it focuses on you as a person and leader rather than all kinds of methods and frameworks. You’ll definitely discover who you are and how you're leading your projects in this training.