The Self-Made Program Leader: Taking Charge in Matrix Organizations, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Self-Made Program Leader

Taking Charge in Matrix Organizations, 1st Edition

By Steve Tkalcevich

Auerbach Publications

169 pages | 24 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781482233131
pub: 2015-08-12
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pub: 2015-08-12
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Almost all leadership books assume that the leader has authority over their team members. The challenge of project management in a matrix-structured environment is that this is not always the case. A whole new plan of attack has to be executed for the project manager to deliver in an organization where they do not have formal authority. This book takes a unique approach to understanding the matrix structure and the tactics needed to succeed.

The Self-Made Program Leader: Taking Charge in Matrix Organizations gives you insight into the minds of a group of 55 project, program, and portfolio managers who have worked in a matrix environment. It presents lessons learned from both their successes and failures. With this book, you will learn how to:

  • Prepare for your leadership role in a matrix environment and understand what you need to improve
  • Understand your organization’s structure and identify the hidden key players on your team
  • Use volunteer-based roles to gain influence in your organization
  • Build a coalition of key individuals, including decision makers, respected employees, and subject matter experts
  • Understand the perception of your leadership style by your followers and position yourself so others are more willing to cooperate and comply with your requests

This goal of this book is to show a clear path for project, program, and portfolio managers to lead others within a matrix environment regardless of the industry or complexity. It shows you proven strategies and behaviors that you can use to successfully deliver your projects, programs, and portfolios.

Table of Contents

What Got You Here Will Not Work Now

Preparing for Your Leadership Role

Understanding Your Organizational Structure

Far Reaching Area of Responsibility

Upper Reporting Relationship with Management

Horizontal Relationships

Core Accountabilities

Is Hierarchy the Problem?

The Hierarchical Solution

Horizontal or Flat Organizational Structures

The Six Bases of Power

Understanding Expectations

Managerial Relationships

Hidden Key Players in the Organization

Power Struggles


DNA of the Organization

Common Organizational Functions

Causes of Communications Breakdown

Gaining Influence through Volunteering

How to Make a Meaningful Contribution

Presentation Skills

Delegating Tasks

Being a Leader

Being a Team Player

Coaching Volunteers

Post Volunteering

Building Your Coalition

Preparation and First Steps

How to be a Politician

The Three Resources in Politics

Coalition Stalemates

Levels of Participation within a Coalition

Challenges Faced in Coalitions

Typical Problems for Many Coalitions

Attributes and Achievements of Successful Coalitions

How to Effectively Host a Meeting with Coalition

Mitigating Disagreements

Gaining Influence

Defining Your Goals and Priorities

Becoming Strategic

Ethics in Influencing Others

Meeting Potential Allies

Know Your Audience’s World

Organizational Currencies

The Modern Influencer

Four Things Really Persuasive People Do

Influence Styles


Leadership Perceptions for Those without Authority

The Impact of Leadership Perception Style and Use of Power

Analysis of 360° Feedback

Perception vs. Reality

Establishing Followership for Leaders without Authority

Cross-Cultural Variations in Leadership Perception

Leadership and Self-Perception

Charisma Authority

The Followers View of a Leader without Authority



What Are the Next Steps?

About the Author

Steve Tkalcevich earned an MBA specializing in leadership from the University of Liverpool. He holds the PMP® designation from the Project Management Institute (PMI), Master Certificate in Six Sigma from Villanova University, and has a diploma in Microcomputer Management from Humber College in Toronto, Canada.

Tkalcevich has been working in the information technology sector since 2000. For the last several years he has been working for various web software development firms in project management roles. Prior to working in project management, Tkalcevich worked in information technology management for a leading wholesale firm in Canada. He was technical support supervisor for an Internet service provider and information technology consultant, which he started his career in.

About the Series

Best Practices in Portfolio, Program, and Project Management

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Management Science
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Project Management
COMPUTERS / Information Technology