A. recognize leadership pitfalls of project managers;
B. avoid missteps in leading your projects;
C. become a better project manager by improving leadership skills;
D. better lead people who are working on projects.
This knowledge pill is not intended to teach you about the technical activities that belong to project management. It is about helping you to lead people who are working on projects. The best project outcomes are highly dependent on the leadership skills of the project manager.
Time needed to review this content: 30 MIN
If you are interested in growing your career as a project manager, focusing on your leadership skills is critical.
Theory on leadership can offer you context for your role, and suggestions for your development. As a project manager, you face some unique leadership challenges. This knowledge pill is designed to help provide the context, offer development suggestions and highlight some of the major missteps to avoid on your journey.
To start developing your leadership skills in project management, it is important to re-consider the definition of a project manager.
A project manager in the ICT sector:
• Works in the heart of an organisations strategy execution. Strategy is executed in projects and an organisations project management skills determines success or failure in the marketplace to a great extent.
• Drives new product development from the vague and ill-defined start way up to the market launch.
• Facilitates the creation of IT and technology infrastructure that enables a company to serve clients and be competitive.
This video shows how senior management can demotivate people in the organization. This is an example nobody should follow. It also illustrates perception; notice the phrase "Not Lying... Motivating".
This video shows that inspiring greatness is all about leading by example. The best leaders have these habits in common.
TIPS AND TRICKS:
Develop your leadership skills!
Improvement starts with awareness. Developing your skills in the areas identified above is accomplished mostly through time and experience. The following ideas will help you get going:
• Get a mentor. Find a senior level leadership mentor in your organisation. Find someone you respect and that has the characteristics that you aspire to develop. You’d be surprized how many people would be thrilled to be asked.
• Change your reading habits. Read something from the world of leadership or strategy for 60 minutes every day.
• Have your team members and colleagues evaluate you by answering the following questions. Use this as baseline data to help identify areas to focus on over the next few months. Create developmental opportunities in the areas that your team members indicate improvement and challenge yourself to improve. Ask for follow-up feedback.
A. Leadership Maturity
1. Does the PM understand the true role of a leader?
2. Can the PM lead effectively without formal authority?
3. Is the PM capable of inspiring and motivating others and leading across silos?
4. Does the PM understand her role in creating a high performance culture?
5. Is she comfortable receiving and delivering constructive feedback?
6. Does she have high credibility as a professional and a person?
7. Does she understand the stages of team development and the changing leadership tasks at each stage?
8. Does she manage upwards and communicate with stakeholders effectively?
B. Strategic Awareness
1. Is the PMʼs thinking grounded in an understanding of a firms market situation?
2. Does he think about his project activities in the context of a firms strategic objectives?
3. Does he understand Voice of Customer?
4. Can he translate that Voice into work that creates value for all parties?
5. Does he help others connect activities to the firms strategic situation?
6. Does he constantly link project goals to strategic goals?
7. Is he looking for ideas and willing to challenge conventional thinking?
C. Executive Presence
1. Is she comfortable relating to senior managers?
2. Does she develop and deliver a message that is at the “right level of detail” and that is crisp and to the point?
3. Does she exude confidence, even in tough circumstances?
4. Does she speak the language of strategy and the Voice of the Customer effectively?
5. Does she avoid excuses and focus on solutions?
D. Execution and orientation
1. Does he have a big picture view of what it takes to execute and implement within
groups and across functional areas?
2. Does he work to develop meaningful performance indicators?
3. Does he trouble-shoot and problem solve with others to improve operational effectiveness?
A project manager that is a good leader inspires a shared vision, is a good communicator, has integrity, shows enthusiasm, has empathy, is competent and has credibility, has the ability to delegate tasks, can deal with pressure, has team-building skills and has problem solving skills.