Published April 2010

Introduction | Book Structure
What We Liked | Downside | Summary


In a further description of Emotional Intelligence, Anthony Mersino explains that:

"We briefly introduced emotional intelligence in Chapter 1 and provided some definitions used by various researchers. Emotional intelligence is sometimes called emotional quotient, or EQ, to show the relationship to IQ or intelligence quotient. Some researchers use emotional intelligence, EI, and EQ interchangeably. For the remainder of this book, we will use the term EQ to mean emotional intelligence.[17]

Notwithstanding this bold statement, the author seems to have remained resolutely with the short form "EI".

As noted earlier, Figure 1 shows Anthony's emotional intelligence framework for project management in which the starting point for emotional intelligence is "Self-Awareness". Earlier, as part of definitions, we were introduced to the "SASHET" family of emotions, namely: "Scared, Angry, Sad, Happy, Excited, Tender"[18] and, we are told, these are the feelings of which we need to be self-aware at any given moment.[19] However, these also crop up in subsequent chapters and that left us a little confused as to which mapping we were on and exactly how the Framework and SASHET family relate.

Next, the Figure 1 framework shows,

"Project Team Leadership is the over-arching aspect of the emotional intelligence framework for project managers. It is about getting the right people on your team, successfully communicating with them and motivating them, and clearing conflicts and other road blocks so that they perform and achieve the project objectives."[20]

That's all well and good, but what can or should the project manager do when he or she does not have the luxury of choosing the members of their team. The composition of the team based on who happens to be available at the time seems to be the norm rather than the exception. And what if the conflicts and roadblocks are the result of conditions higher up the corporate ladder or the result of interdepartmental political feuds? True, the project manager must be instrumental in seeking resolution, but that's not as simple as just clearing them.

Evidently, Anthony is much impressed with author Daniel Goleman's work on relationship management and this forms the basis of much of his book. However, he perceives an evolution in Goleman's thinking on the matter of Leadership, transforming from "Visionary Leadership" in 2001 to "Inspirational Leadership" in 2002.[21] So, in Anthony's view and as shown in Figure 1, Inspirational Leadership is the third and final competency of team leadership. He defines Inspirational Leadership as:

"The ability to inspire others by casting a vision for the individual and the team"[22]

This may be a minor point of semantics, but we think that it is up to senior management to establish its vision, consistent with which projects are formulated and selected for execution. It is then up to the individual project managers to convey that vision to their respective teams - rather than be "casting" it in the first place.

In the final chapter Anthony asks:

"Are you ready to lead large and complex projects? Many project managers see career progression as taking on larger and more complex projects. PMs who want to succeed with these projects must have high emotional intelligence. It is possible to get by on small or even medium-sized projects with low emotional intelligence, but there is very little room for error on a large and complex project."[23]

And later:

"It's lonely at the top. The bigger the team that the PM is managing, the more likely it is for the PM to feel isolated and alone. With a small team of three or four members, it is likely for the project manager to feel like part of the group. However, when a project manager is managing seventy or more members, it is easy to feel isolated."[24]

Too right! "Seventy or more members" in a project team is way beyond anyone's capable span of control and anyone in this position is already headed for project disaster. Smart people should avoid such a team like the plague - which no doubt would account for the feeling of loneliness at the top.

What We Liked  What We Liked

17. Ibid, p22
18. Ibid, p21
19. Ibid, p34
20. Ibid, p157
21. Ibid, p114
22. Ibid, p174
23. Ibid, p205
24. Ibid, p207
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