Interview with Neal Greenspan, speaker at the Project Management Forum

Today, we give the floor to Neal Greenspan, speaker at the Project Management Forum, who will introduce himself through a series of interview-style questions. Neal Greenspan, professional speaker with more than 25 years of experience, will lead a session on “Leading from the side – How to be an impactful leader when you have no direct authority”.


What are the most important skills of a good manager and leader?

I believe that communications is the single most vital skill a manager or a leader can have. To be clear, not all managers are leaders and not all leaders are managers. I feel that manager is a title and leader is a skill set. You don’t need to be a manager to be a leader and leadership can be learned!

Communications to me means way more than just speaking or writing effectively. Listening is a vital role in communications. Only when one truly listens can one be an effective communicator and this is important whether one is a manager, leader or both.


How has management evolved during the last years? How did it change the role of the manager?

Management continuously evolves. The world is changing at a faster pace than we’ve ever known and the world of business is significantly different and has changed drastically even in my career’s lifetime and I expect it to continue this way.

I feel the biggest way management has evolved has been in its ability to keep pace with this ever changing environment. Those managers who are not able to cope with this environment, soon find themselves on the outside looking in with outdated ideas, strategies and methods.


In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges organizations and/or leaders face when creating an innovative culture which supports the design and successful implementation of creative ideas through projects?

I believe that innovation is a skill and can be taught and improved upon. There is no excuse for a company to not introduce innovation where it is necessary and today, it is necessary in almost all areas of the business world.

Overcoming the idea that innovation is only for this company, that organization or those businesses who are this or that or do this or that is the biggest challenge managers face today in trying to get their organizations to be more open to embracing innovation as something that can be learned and implemented instead of being stuck with the idea that one either is or is not innovative.


What is your motivation to be a speaker at the Project Management Forum?

I find that leadership is a fascinating subject in that it comes in so many shapes and sizes. There are so many different ways to lead and leading a team that you have no direct authority over is a huge issue for many managers and will continue to be so.

Thus, using my experience to speak about this type of leadership is something that excites me. As an avid communicator, I believe we have a responsibility to share and am very much looking forward to delivering a speech that can contribute to the success of PMI’s members in Helsinki.


What key message would you like to address to the attendees of the Project Management Forum?

I think I will save that for my speech.


Where can we find you online? Twitter, LinkedIn, something else?

Twitter – @perfecturpitch

LinkedIn – Neal Greenspan

Facebook – Perfect Your Pitch

E-mail –


If you are interested in knowing more about the Project Management Forum’ speakers, have a look at our interview with Jan-Peter Bogers, published last week on our blog.

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