Encouragement + Alignment = A Passionate Team

Joseph Brewer was most recently the chief implementation officer (a joint project leader) of one of the most complex process projects ever undertaken. The project developed, designed, and constructed over two dozen integrated chemical plants in a single project. More than 40 contractors were involved with a construction workforce exceeding 55,000 at peak. The fact that the project was completed successfully refutes those who claim that “sometimes projects are just too difficult to do well.”1

We asked Joseph for his views on what makes a successful project leader on such large and complex endeavors. “Well, you can't really talk about project leadership without first talking about what makes good leaders,” was how Joseph started his response. He then went on to list and discuss the requirements he believes are needed for successful project leaders. It's all about how leaders conduct themselves. Here is Joseph's list of behaviors and attributes that successful project leaders demonstrate:

  • Leaders are facilitative.
  • Leaders are encouragers.
  • Leaders say “thank you” a lot and mean it.
  • Leaders take corrective actions.
  • Leaders insist on alignment.
  • Leaders are inspirational.

It was obvious from the ease of his answer that Joseph had considered the subject a great deal and was perfectly comfortable in his response. One of the most interesting aspects of this discussion was the tie Joseph made between saying “thank ...

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