Creating a Greater Whole



Book Title:   Creating a Greater Whole: A Project Manager’s Guide to Becoming a Leader
Author:   Susan G. Schwartz, PMP
Publisher:   CRC Press (An Auerbach Book)
List Price:  $53.80
Format:  Hardcover, 199 pages
Publication Date:   2018
ISBN: 978-1-138-06405-8
Reviewer: John Poulos, PMP
Review Date: September 2018



The author – Susan G. Schwartz, a consultant, trainer and practitioner in project management, leadership and organizational change – presents a comprehensive guide to help project managers on their leadership development journey. The book summarizes a broad and diverse collection of tools – strategies, frameworks, models and guidelines – assembled through extensive research by the author, to help project managers navigate this journey.

A foundational theme of this book is that a leader’s strength and effectiveness rest on his/her ability to motivate and integrate the efforts of collaborative teams to achieve a shared vision and objectives. An allied core theme is the need for continuous learning – experienced project managers don’t always have the answers, but they learn from their mistakes and always seek to learn and improve their skills and capabilities.

Overview of Book’s Structure

Chapter 1 (What is Leadership?) focuses on the main attributes of leadership – humility, integrity, confidence, empathy and, at its core, trust – organized as the Diamond Leadership Model.

Chapters 2-8 explore a range of topics central to leadership development, along with supporting frameworks and models that managers can apply to address frequently encountered situations and challenges.

Chapter 9 (Leaders are Human Too) concludes with a discussion of the human aspects of leadership, including a closing statement on the importance of seeking life balance as a key ingredient to strong and effective leadership.

While following a general thread, the chapters are largely self-contained and the reader can explore sections in any order.


A valuable contribution to interested readers is the remarkably diverse and comprehensive collection of frameworks and models outlined throughout the book. The author provides succinct summaries of these tools and frameworks, and effectively links them to the concepts presented in each section, leaving the reader to select those of greatest interest and relevance, relying on the Bibliography to explore them in greater depth.


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About the Reviewer

John Poulos, PMP

Chile & USA



John Poulos has over thirty-five years of experience providing guidance on the effective use of information technology while delivering business-driven, technology-based solutions to a wide range of private and public sector organizations. As Senior Director of Infrastructure, Cloud and Security at NTT DATA Services, he managed strategic projects for NTT DATA/ICS leadership. In addition, he delivered infrastructure and IT strategy consulting services to corporate and government clients.

In his last assignment, John led a global project to migrate 30,000 employees of a company recently acquired by NTT DATA from their original end-user computing environment to the standard NTT DATA PC image and SW configuration. In prior positions, John provided IT consulting services across various industries and geographical regions. He managed complex projects for clients in private enterprise, higher education and government. John holds E.E. and Engineering Management degrees from Southern Methodist University, MIT, and The George Washington University.

Email address: [email protected]


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