Eureka!: Pat Wagner, Leadership, and Projects

To talk with Infopeople instructor Pat Wagner is to realize that all the world is a project. And if you are not yet convinced, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to experience this for yourself when Wagner offers multiple sessions of “Building Leadership Skills: Developing and Leading Projects” throughout California in December 2008.
The workshop, part of Infopeople’s Eureka! Leadership Program series, is designed to help participants avoid common leadership mistakes which can derail projects. As is the case with any workshop which Wagner teaches, this involves plenty of interaction between the instructor and workshop participants, and focuses on some basic themes which transcend a one-day workshop: responsibility, communication, and accountability.
“A lot of people don’t understand that everything that everyone does is a project. Being good at project management solves most personnel problems… We’re talking about issues: ‘Are you able to hold them accountable? Are you able to fire people?’ I listen for words like ‘try’ and ‘struggle’—‘I’ve struggled to get this person to do their job,’” she explained during a recent conversation.
“It’s very interesting when you think about it,” she continued. “We make promises in the workplace and we keep those promises. Think about how when you walk into a store and buy something, there are promises made all the way down the line…Our library users count on us when we say we’re going to open at 9 am that we will open at 9 a.m. There are thousands of people keeping promises to each other. This is what adults do.”
Colleagues who are already working together are encouraged to attend together so they can use the classroom as a laboratory for completing projects while learning new ways to reach that goal.
“I get lots of compliments from people that it (the workshop) is easy to understand and it applies to everyday concepts. It’s like a crucible: it burns away all the nonsense. You get to see what all the problems are in personnel and management. They (participants) are going to leave feeling more resourceful and more confident that they can meet the challenge, the increased expectations, in the workplace. They’re going to have a better idea of how to do the work they do, whatever it is,” Wagner concluded.
N.B.: To enroll in “Developing and Leading Projects,” please visit Infopeople’s online registration site at Registration for the latest offerings of other Eureka! workshops is continuing on the Infopeople website under the heading “Building Leadership Skills,” and a series discount is available. Instructors include Steve Albrecht; Stacey Aldrich; Joan Frye Williams and George Needham; Gail Griffith; Suzanne Merritt; Marie Radford; Andrew Sanderbeck; and Paula Singer.