The Eight Essential People Skills for Project Management Book Summary - The Eight Essential People Skills for Project Management Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

The Eight Essential People Skills for Project Management summary

Zachary Wong

Solving the Most Common People Problems for Team Leaders

4.3 (142 ratings)
27 mins
Table of Contents

    The Eight Essential People Skills for Project Management
    Summary of 9 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 9

    The role of team leaders has changed as companies have become less hierarchical.

    Whether it’s a general casting his eye over the battlefield or a manager analysing the business environment, successful leadership is all about adapting strategy to the facts on the ground. And when the facts change, it’s vital to change your approach. That also goes for project management – after all, the world of business has experienced dramatic changes in recent decades.

    In the old days, corporations resembled pyramids. At the top sat a small number of powerful executives. Below them were the senior managers who relayed instructions to middle managers, who, in turn, oversaw the largest and least powerful group: employees. It was a top-down model; responsibility, pay and prestige increased the further up the pyramid you went. Rising through the ranks was a steep and difficult climb.

    Today, that model seems increasingly passé. The idea that the workers at the base of the structure are laborers requiring an autocratic, command-and-control approach is outdated. Modern businesses are increasingly becoming more democratic structures. The contemporary workforce is more educated, skilled and tech-savvy than ever before, and employees expect to see that reflected in their roles. What they want, in other words, isn’t just a paycheck but an opportunity to realize their potential.

    Businesses have responded to this new reality by shifting from a pyramid model to a wedge structure. Imagine cutting a pyramid in half and laying it on its side. It now looks like a doorstop-shaped wedge with three sections interacting on a horizontal rather than a vertical axis.

    At the smallest end are individual contributors – employees whose unique contributions are essential to the organization’s overall success. In the middle are work teams – groups of contributors working toward a common goal. Finally, there’s management. The size of their section doesn’t reflect their absolute numbers, but rather the amount of power and resources at their disposal.

    This model requires project managers to play a new role. As a team leader in this structure, your job is to work fluidly between all three sections, connecting individual performance to your organization’s strategic aims. Call it organizational alignment, which is essentially about understanding the way the small details of managing relationships with individual contributors affects the success of the company as a whole.

    In the next blink, we’ll look at the first key skill: using the wedge model to manage performance and people problems.

    Want to see all full key ideas from The Eight Essential People Skills for Project Management?

    Key ideas in The Eight Essential People Skills for Project Management

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is The Eight Essential People Skills for Project Management about?

    The Eight Essential People Skills for Project Management (2018) is a hands-on guide designed to help team leaders diagnose and solve people problems in today’s increasingly horizontal workplaces. The fruit of years of first-hand experience, Zachary Wong’s playbook for effective leadership is packed full of actionable advice on how to boost motivation, confront underperformers and push through fear of failure.

    Best quote from The Eight Essential People Skills for Project Management

    Be friendly, not friends, at work.

    —Zachary Wong
    example alt text

    Who should read The Eight Essential People Skills for Project Management?

    • Entrepreneurs
    • Leaders and managers
    • Anyone fascinated by workplace psychology

    About the Author

    Zachary Wong is a management consultant and leadership coach who specializes in organizational and personal effectiveness. He has consulted with project teams, review boards and industry associations. Wong also teaches at the University of California, Berkeley Extension, and the University of California, Davis.

    Categories with The Eight Essential People Skills for Project Management

    Books like The Eight Essential People Skills for Project Management

    People ❤️ Blinkist
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked

    Start growing with Blinkist now
    27 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    Of Blinkist members create a better reading habit*
    *Based on survey data from Blinkist customers
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial