Managing a project to completion on time, on budget and with high quality results requires project managers to have exceptional leadership skills. Having the right set of leadership skills ensures project managers are making informed decisions, while adapting to changes and responding to risks appropriately. While some project managers possess natural leadership qualities, other leadership skills must be learned and adapted to ensure consistency in managing projects.
These 7 Leadership skills are fundamental to effective project management.
- Positive Attitude
Effective communication with all project stakeholders both internal and external is essential. To manage projects well, project managers must articulate clearly while communicating vision, objectives and expectations with stakeholders. It's very important to share business values derived from the outcome of the project and consistently shared throughout the tenure of the project. Multi-channel communication should foster the delivery and reception of information in a timely manner.
Delegate project tasks according to respective project team member strengths. Before delegation it's very important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each team member and assign project tasks appropriately. Create environments where project team members experiences play to their respective strengths, thus facilitating health and trust.
Commit to project success by ensuring alignment with goals. As a project manager, you need to lead the team and acquire commitment to achieve project objectives. It's equally important to acquire commitment from client stakeholders to provide necessary support while remaining aligned and moving towards common project goals.
4. Positive Attitude
Ensure positive attitudes are reflected across the project team. Be a trailblazer by creating a path for your team members to feel inspired and achieve greater things. Foster an environment where team members are given goals to achieve and encourage them to use their ingenuity. Create awareness that they are being observed to enhance productivity and as a project manager, you are there to provide support when needed.
Be creative and think out of the box when things deviate from plan. Your team is your biggest asset so create an environment where their feedback is encouraged and valued. When teams feel empowered, they back you up and when things deviate, they can help you come out with ideas on how to manage unscripted work. It is said that a successful project manager sees the opportunities in every difficulty rather than the difficulty in every opportunity.
Be honest and ethical, setting standards and inspiring team members to follow. By showing your commitment to adhere to your own set of values and ethical practices, the project team will be inspired to follow suit and trust you to lead them. It's also important to establish a trust worthy relationship with clients where transparency is provided on how the project is being managed. One way of defining quality is to do the right things when nobody is watching.
Remain focused on your team and ensure your team remains focused on project goals. Whether managing projects traditionally, iteratively or using Agile methodologies, it's important to remain focused and aligned with project goals. Team members remain focused if their respective task goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound. There should also be a constant feedback loop to ensure alignment with overall project goals.