Thank you to the 1,400 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 questions!
I hope reading 7 Questions with
helps you in your leadership.
Name: Michael Fontaine
Title: Vice President of Project Management
Organisation: Falcon Project Consultants
Michael Fontaine is an award-winning project management expert with Falcon Project Consultants. He has over 15 years of experience in driving safe and reliable operations through improved organizational processes, most notably as a Certified PMP and Certified Lean Six Sigma practitioner. Falcon Project Consultants is a certified NMSDC MBE firm.
In his free time, Michael loves reading the autobiographies of prominent statesmen and business moguls. He finds their stories of success and failure fascinating, and he always takes something away from them that he can apply to his own work.
Michael is an extremely fast runner, often winning family races. He provides insights and strategy to local businesses looking to drive operational excellence in their own organizations. Michael can be reached at (713) 425 6497 or https://falconprojectconsultants.com/schedule-consultation-now/.
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
Providing inspiration. As a leader, my team is looking to me to provide inspiration and motivation to complete their work. This can be challenging during stressful times and when I am not feeling motivated. To inspire my team, I focus on the value that their work creates. I constantly share the team vision and make sure they can connect to how their piece of work makes a difference. I have found that helping my team find purpose in their work is critical for employee engagement and project success.
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
While working as an intern at a major regional consulting firm, I set a goal to network with all four partners of the firm. I wanted to build relationships that could benefit me in the future and learn more about how they had achieved success. By taking this initiative, I was able to build my confidence and determine what skills I needed to focus on to become a credible and successful leader.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
To ensure daily productivity, I have a structure for my day. This structure helps me to get everything done every day without feeling stressed or overwhelmed by creating an outline of what needs to be accomplished and when. It's much easier to get things done quickly and efficiently when my day has structure and a plan.
There are 24 hours for each day. Twenty-four hours can be a lot for some, but it might not be enough for most of us who do work and obligations every day. Going through each day without any structure can leave you scrambling about what activity to do first. In addition, some distractions can ruin your day if you let them get your attention. If you want to be more efficient and productive every day, there are several ways you can try to create structure every day.
First, I write down all the important things I must do daily. Next, I rank them according to how important and urgent they are. I prioritize doing the most important task first, followed by the next. Having a to-do list gives me a better idea of what I should do and the order I should do them. Before going to sleep each day, I make a daily schedule. In my schedule, I write down everything I will do for a day.
I will indicate how much time I will spend on each task and when each job starts and ends. Many times, I create a plan for the entire week. This activity makes my tasks more streamlined by outlining what I should do each day and how much time I will spend on each task. Once finished, I make sure to rest and get enough sleep each day to be better prepared to work the next day.
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
Everyone needs a balanced and honest view of their strengths and weaknesses. Self-awareness grants me the ability to interact with others frankly and confidently. In order to build a successful team to lead, leaders must be so aware of their weaknesses that they can hire against them. I believe that leaders must understand their strengths and areas for improvement.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
Pert Em Heru - This book reminds me of the importance of truth, order, justice, harmony, balance, reciprocity, and propriety.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
Be confident and believe in yourself.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
Several years ago, my grandfather was meeting privately in his office with a staff member. They were discussing a number of issues important to them when the phone rang. My grandfather ignored it. After 3 rings, he looked at him and asked, "Aren't you going to get that?" He paused, and remarked, "No. I don't know whether that call is important or not, but it can wait. I do know this meeting is important." Feeling valued, he got a big smile and they continued the conversation with new energy. I learned that what leaders pay attention to, and how leaders respond to things matters a great deal to their team.