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.

What relationship building skills and strategies are you applying to the project you just told us about?

Helping the consultant facilitating the workshops for this event has been my primary focus for this program. Knowing that I cannot control the timing as I would like to with this volunteer staff, I’ve taken every opportunity to manage the relationship with the consultant and be generous with him by helping him gel other relationships critical to his business. The multiple delays experienced during this project would normally be billed to the organization. However, because of the relationship I’ve developed with the consultant I’ve been able to shield the chapter from a budget overrun. I consider every minute spent being of service to this individual to be beneficial to our ultimate shared goal.

What’s your most effective relationship action planning routine? The one you renew and repeat with the most success?

I must admit, I have not formally used this tool on pen and paper. However, prior to being introduced to myGreenlight, I always did my best to lead any interaction with a smile. When I entered myGreenlight this concept of generosity was expanded for me. Now I’m always looking for opportunities to lead with some form of currency.

One of the things that have been of benefit to me in Keith’s work and the work within the myGreenlight community is the enhancement of my listening skills. I’ve learned the value of opening my ears before I open my mouth. I’ve made a real effort to apply this while executing this SNEC-PMI project. Making an effort to listen to what people say, has resulted in opening myself to candor. If you are actively listening when people are talking to you, you will find they are telling you consciously and most of the time subconsciously exactly what you need to hear.

What positive results have you noticed in your life since you started putting the strategies of relationship mastery to work?

The listening component has been key to helping me root out core issues to resolve problems and allows me to gain trust which is important to crafting good solutions.

Are there any successes from the myGreenlight program that you can quantify, specific to either your business/revenue or your network.

In my work with SCORE – the model we’re using in my chapter is to co-counsel. I’ve been partnered with a retired executive for about a year. He recently approached me about teaming up and forming a small business consulting practice. Without some of the skills I’ve learned in myGreenlight, I’m not sure this opportunity would have happened. The program has helped me quickly establish rapport with my SBA clients and has opened the door for this new business venture.

Have there been any challenges in your life that you’ve been able to solve by applying the mindsets and process of relationship mastery?

I work very diligently to keep my relationships harmonious, however the mindsets and skills of relationship mastery have helped me with interpersonal communication that has benefited me in other ways. For example, while renewing a G5 Leadership membership online, I experienced a technical problem that required me to contact them a couple of different times before receiving an answer. At the point of their contact they were very responsive and our discussion ended with an offer to extend a special six month complimentary membership to the participants of my SNEC-PMI leadership development program. I attribute the things I’ve learned in the program to being able to turn a sticky situation into an opportunity.

Joseph, any parting words of wisdom to those considering or new to the myGreenlight program?

For those already in the program; don’t procrastinate. Work the program in small bits and pieces on a consistent and regular basis. Try not to be overwhelmed by the missions that push you out of your comfort zone. Whenever I find myself postponing action because it feels like a big undertaking, I remind myself of an old adage; “the best way to eat an elephant is in small bites.”

To those thinking about the program; there’s tremendous value in the curriculum offered. I continue to be really impressed and pleased with the learning platform, the content, tools, and materials available in the library. The opportunity to attend virtual meetings with, and ask questions of, industry thought leaders in the Social Capitalist events is really remarkable. And last and certainly not least, is the myGreenlight community, a great resource and network for achieving mutual success.

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