Alexander's Project Management and Leadership

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Situational Leadership
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strategies before every war with the appropriate commanders to analyze and determine any necessary changes but carried the ultimate authority of making the decision. All through his battles Alexander exhibited situational leadership especially in the battle on the River Danube, when the rebellious provincials crossed well ahead of Alexander and kept all the boats in the area on their side preventing his Army from crossing the stream. Alexander used the leather tents stuffed with straw and sewn tight to augment the few boats he could find to cross the Danube in one night. When he attacked the next morning, the battle was all but over due to the demoralizing surprise. Imagine the project outcome if we as project managers could raise to such situational leadership for the challenges we face in day-to-day work?

In terms of closing his projects Alexander ensured he appointed his best men to take care of the administration for the kingdoms captured. There have been many instances recorded in history where he has entrusted the kingdom back to the original owner after winning the battle that way winning a follower /friend for life. In terms of people management Alexander was a great success, there was a special love for Alexander that kept the army loyal to his dream even when all theirs had been fulfilled or lost. On one instance when the army was hosed in a desert and the soldiers were thirsty, a commander offered water to Alexander, after inquiring and finding that he was the only one being served with water as there was no water for the rest of the army. Alexander refused to drink the water and poured down the water thus exhibiting his attitude of equality with his team. Such characteristics exhibited by leaders produce psychological effects on subordinates and attracts followers who are ready to coordinate their efforts in achieving common goals.

As a project manager Alexander’s history has always provided insight into many factors of project management and leadership. An amazing experience to understand his abilities in terms of resource management, adapting new technology, strategies, backup plans, and situational leadership. The difference between successful and unsuccessful leaders is the fact that the successful leaders are charismatic and are able to establish deep emotional relationships with the people they lead and share their inspiration with the team. We as project managers need to be able to adapt the best practices in the industry coupled with leadership skills. In today’s corporate culture there is strong need to build trust with employees/team members to be successful. It is important that every individual in the role of a manager should be able to meet their commitments to gain the team’s credibility and trust. Another key factor for success as a manager would be to remain consistent, that way people can predict what actions one will take leading to a reciprocal relationship which is critical for good business and personal relationships. Alexander’s history reminds me of the famous quote from Edith Hamilton where the Greek said, "All things are to be examined and called into question. There are no limits set on thought."

About the author

Sreenivasa Krishnamurthy's picture Sreenivasa Krishnamurthy

Sreenivasa Krishnamurthy is PMI certified with eleven years diversified industry experience in different countries. He is currently working as a senior analyst at Reynolds and Reynolds and has experience in running his own business in United States and in India.

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