The leadership role is one of the most coveted ones, but also the most challenging one. In the words of Peter Drucker, the father of modern management techniques, “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things“. Businesses have evolved over the years and job roles have changed over time, but what remains crucial to success is the presence of an effective leader who has the capability to build a strong team.
While in many cases there are instances of born leaders who have led from a very young age, a large number of leaders are born out of tough situations that push them to perform better than others and thus lead the team. If you have the talent and the desire to excel and be in a project leadership role, the best way to go about it is to follow your intuitive project leadership skills and have a deep understanding of the fellow members of your team. When handling a particular project, a project leader can hardly move even a step ahead without support from his team. As we delve deeper into what makes a project manager click and become successful, here are a few insights that can help you with the process.
Lead by example
You might have heard this multiple times and eventually learnedto ignore it. However, this is one piece of advice that can fetch you many followers in the form of team members who make up a strong-functioning team. As soon as an employee is hired, he or she looks around for a mentor and some inspiration. To be able to create an effective team, it is important to provide positive inspiration that your team members can follow. If you want your team to be in office early, you would have to do the same. If you want a degree of discipline about work deadlines, you would have to submit your work at the earliest opportunity.
It may be tough to always play the role model, but it can also be rewarding in the end when you know you have a strong team that can take on more critical projects in the future. This also ensures that you are training every individual to be a project leader who can carry the mantleon their own once you have moved on to a higher role than project manager.
Be the comrade
Often leading a team or project is equated with being on a higher platform than the rest, and this leads to aloofness from the team and labels a leader as unapproachable. This hinders progress as your team members are not able to confide in you about their problems, be it about their project-related issues or even about their personal lives. Being a friend helps. It helps to know what’s blocking your team members’ progress and stopping them from providing quality work.
Each hire involves a lot of time and money for the organization as well as the team. As a leader, if you are able to be a friend and comrade who can nurture and grow individuals instead of letting them go, it will help in building a strong and tenacious team filled with experience and resilience.
Listen and give recognition
In the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, author Stephen R. Covey says, “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”This attitude can be very harmful for the role of a leader. When your team members are trying to articulate something in times of a crisis, they should be able to do it without fear of being ostracized from the team or being labeled as over the top. Sharing ideas or apprehensions about a project, without fear, often provides new insight and solutions to existing problems. Contributing to the team and being recognized for it gives a team member a sense of accomplishment. Listening to even the smallest of ideas and promoting experimental processes can excite a team and encourage them to work harder.
Be the pillar
Being a leader calls for being the strong pillar of confidence. Being a straight shooter and asking direct questions can clear up the air and project you as being fair under all conditions. These actions require a lot of confidence and can in turn make you an immediate favorite among your team members. It assures team members that you can take charge of things and will be there to back them up whenever required. The true leader always backs up his or her team even in dire circumstances and always makes them feel safe. Ultimately, this feeling is what helps build loyalty among team members and their team lead.
So, which project leadership skills are you going to inherit? Do you have any other qualities to highlight? Share your thoughts with us.