Great Question! Reflections on Professional,
Project, and Organizational Performance
by Bill Smillie Tamarac Publishing

"How can we learn to be courageous project leaders?....The fear of remaining silent has to be greater than the pain of speaking up."

This book is about becoming a more effective professional in an organizational setting. The author brings to the table more than 30 years of professional management and consulting experience. In this slim volume (only 45 pages long), he attempts to digest a career's worth of business lessons into chapters on professionalism, leading high-performing projects, and leading high-performing organizations.  

In Chapter 1, Smillie defines professionalism as encompassing courteous and respectful behavior toward colleagues and clients; behaving "truthfully and courageously," e.g., telling people what they need to hear rather than what they want to hear; and having eminence and thought leadership in a specific field. Professionalism today also includes "personal branding," i.e., articulating and promoting one's strengths and competencies.

In Chapter 2, on project (or program) management and leadership, Smillie observes that important programs "require a transformation in our own competencies"—e.g., in executive level relationship management; delivering business value; and articulating a strong and inspiring vision.

Chapter 3 provides insights on how to add value to an organization undergoing change. Smillie uses graphical tools to analyze the organization's current parameters and help design future strategy.

This book is well-written, and will hold the interest of readers seeking to enhance their professional and organizational skills. Yet, while the scope of the issues discussed in the book is broad, the author has chosen to keep the text brief, just scratching the surface of the topics. One wonders if perhaps he's saving more in-depth discussions and analysis for his consulting clients.

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