The Greenlight Highlight: How a Seasoned Project Manager Uses Relationship Mastery to Foster Teamwork

Joseph Katucki
Wallingford, CT
Greenlight Member Since: June 2010

Elevator Pitch: “I’m not afraid of trouble, I like solving problems. I am a Project Manager specializing in turning around troubled projects. Currently I’m creating a leadership development program. I also mentor small businesses through the SBA’s SCORE program.”

What experience in your past marked the moment you recognized how important relationships are to your success? 

About five years into my professional career, I remember looking around the office and noticing who were getting fun assignments and promoted the fastest. It was those individuals who were personally and/or socially connected with the management chain.

What’s the coolest things you’re working on at home or at work right now?

I am leading the charge on an innovative leadership development program for the nearly 1,800 members of the Southern New England Project Management Institute (SNEC-PMI). It’s a program that includes a 360 leadership skills assessment, one-on-one feedback and coaching by a Center for Creative Leadership accredited leadership coach, three 3-day workshops facilitated by a hired consultant, and two 1-day events that will be open to the larger SNEC-PMI community.

The lessons I’ve learned about working with a volunteer organization have been invaluable. It’s taken a lot more time to get things moving and I have to approach every interaction with extreme generosity as every individual I rely on is there on a gifted basis. Continue reading

Relationship Roundup

Self-composure is key to relationship mastery. This week in the round up, find out how to transform natural habits and create tremendous advantages, be a seeker of opportunity, collaborate, and grow.

Male body language makeover – Getting a handle on our not so subtle body language barriers allows us to create more relationship opportunities. Learn the natural disadvantages to male body language in this Forbes article here: http://onforb.es/LRgAKS.

Being the calm in the storm — Keeping cool and composed in a crisis is one of the most challenging traits to learn if it doesn’t come naturally. Leadership expert John Baldoni shares some tips for appearing cool as a cucumber under pressure. View his SmartBrief Blog here: http://bit.ly/KEbvms.

Meeting resolutions – At times, meetings can turn manic. Knowing how to settle disputes effectively can keep the entire organization on track. Learn how consultant and coach Dana Theus helps resolve meeting disputes here: http://bit.ly/LBVMJ4.

Finding opportunity – Learning how to find the opportunity in a challenge will make you an unstoppable force at the office and in your relationships. Learn how to see what’s possible in this Harvard Business Review blog by Ron Ashkenas here: http://bit.ly/MX50LK.

Ideas wide open – Holding your great ideas close to the vest doesn’t allow for the greater opportunity to grow the idea with the input of others. Learn how to take a stance of openness in Nilofer Merchant’s Harvard Business Review blog here: http://bit.ly/M5wnc8

Kibibi Springs is myGreenlight’s Community Director.

Creating a Work Culture that Gets Things Done

Creating effective company culture is a core focus of Ferrazzi Greenlight, so Keith and the team at FG were very interested to hear how LinkedIn Founder Reid Hoffman, our recent Social Capitalist guest, ensures that his team is aligned, friendly, and efficient.

Here were a few things Reid mentioned as being important to a culture at LinkedIn that gets things done:

  1. Spend your time on customers, not internal dialogue: “Stay focused on the classic stuff—on getting the work done, on customers, and so forth, and not get overly distracted by internal meetings, internal dialogue, where your primary universe is very naturally all of you talking to each other, as opposed to what you’re doing in the world…things for customers, projects you’re launching, these sort of things. Continue reading

Five Ways to Maximize Your Influence as the Most Junior Person on a Team

Last week I went on my first business trip. As could be expected, I was a little scared but mostly just excited. I was the most junior person on the team, and realized quickly that I could make a difference even with my limited experience. Here’s what I learned:

  1. Over prepare. If there’s even the smallest possibility that you might need that digital recorder, take it. You never know!
  2. Be prepared to be flexible. You’re probably not going to know where you’re needed in the next 15 minutes, let alone the next hour. Take cues from your environment and find a way to be useful even if things aren’t going exactly according to plan. Believe me, usually they don’t. Continue reading

Heidi Roizen: Getting the Door Slammed in Your Face Means You are Doing it Right

In the investment world there is an accepted relationship between risk and return. In order to get a big return, you generally have to accept a significant level of risk. In her Social Capitalist interview, legendary networker Heidi Roizen shared her thoughts on the relationship between risk and return in relationships – and why, if doors aren’t getting slammed in your face from time to time, you probably aren’t risking enough.

Heidi says:

“I think you have to have a certain amount of tenacity and belief in yourself and what you’re trying to accomplish. Sometimes it takes a while to get other people on the same page with you. Sometimes, they’re never going to get on the same page. I think there’s a fine line between appropriate persistence to just beating a dead horse and becoming an annoying presence to the other person. Again I think you have to have the approach of asking yourself, What’s in it for them?

When you approach someone, sometimes there are clear “no’s,” but sometimes there are people who are a little skeptical and maybe need to be convinced. Maybe you need to do more homework…Sometimes there’s a longer process to building relationships and getting people on the same page with you. Continue reading

Relationship Roundup

In the Roundup this week, more strategies and skills to facilitate great leadership and better relationships in your network.

Superhero teamwork – Good team work requires respecting each individual team member’s unique “super powers”. Read the fine art of managing super teams in this article from Thought Leaders, LLC here: http://bit.ly/L5lYeN.

Leadership is not a popularity contest – Popularity and strong leadership have some similar outcomes, but being popular is not a requirement for effective leadership. Leadership trainer, Kevin Eikenberry evaluates popularity can affect your leadership goals. Read his blog here: http://bit.ly/NyrLuJ. Continue reading

Win a Copy of Reid’s Book

In last week’s episode of the Social Capitalist, Keith Ferrazzi, CEO of Ferrazzi Greenlight, interviewed Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn and author of The Start-Up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career.

Some of the key discussion points included:

  • The backstory: how and why Reid launched LinkedIn
  • How thinking like a Silicon Valley entrepreneur enhances success in any career
  • How Reid personally leverages his LinkedIn page
  • The keys to maximizing your network literacy, the ability to conceptualize, access, and benefit from the information flowing through your social network

Win a copy of Reid’s book!: Listen to the MP3 (or read the transcript) and tell us in the comments of this post what your favorite takeaway was. SC Host Sara Grace will pick her three favorites and notify winners via email next week.

Click here to get the audio recording and transcript from the interview.

Company Cultchah: Habit Labs

Recently I highlighted to-do managing app Asana’s list of Company Values. This week I ran across another company with a great list.

Habit Labs is devoted to “writing the code for human behavioral change” – literally. They build apps designed to (so far) help people adopt new habits, achieve goals, and empty their email inboxes.

HL has an entire page devoted to their Company Axioms, part of which covers 8 Core Values:

  1. Believe, or leave
  2. Everyone gets true autonomy
  3. Create opportunities for everyone to do their best work, every day
  4. Show people how they are making an impact Continue reading

Networking Takeaways from “Madmen”

“Madmen” fans: Have you ever found yourself at work asking, “What would Don Draper do?” (Hopefully you’re not asking yourself that when it comes to his personal life…)

My favorite professional takeaway from “Madmen” so far is actually a networking tip you can learn from Don or from Peggy: They both recognized early on that even though they were hyper-talented, they needed relationships to advance their careers, and did a great job developing them.

Don pushed his way into the world of advertising by stalking the well-connected Roger Sterling. This is interesting, since if anything their lasting relationship dynamic is as peers. They each know they bring something important to the table—Don, his talent, and Roger, his upper-crust network. Roger isn’t so much a mentor as a connector, although he does still sometimes school Don on the finer points of business relationship savvy. Continue reading

Why Christine Comaford Says You Should Approach Your Next Contact Palm-Up

Christine Comaford is an entrepreneur, author, and consultant. In her Social Capitalist Live Event interview she said that she has been through at least 11 reinventions of herself. Here she shares some of her best advice about building relationships based on generosity.

Christine says:

“The number one thing is networking palm up. What most people do is palm-down networking. “What can I get?” They go to a cocktail party, they’re trying to grab stuff. That’s palm down. Palm-up networking is finding out what somebody needs and helping them get it. You’re going to get yours later, the universe has a perfect accounting system. So if people simply change their networking approach to be palm up, you walk around at a cocktail party, you ask what business they’re in: “Wow, that’s cool, how did you get into that business?” Everybody has a great story as to how they’ve gotten into their business. “Wow, what’s your ideal client?” “Oh, I might know some of those guys. I’ll follow up with you next Tuesday.” Continue reading