All project managers need to be an effective leader, and this forms the basis of a lot of project management courses, including PMP, APMP, and much more. But, what actually makes a great leader? And, what leadership skills are required for project managers specifically? After all, there are many different types of leaders, suited to different roles within an organisation. You may feel you know how to lead a project management team, but are you really doing so effectively?
Decision-making – All project managers need to be decisive and effective at making decisions. The decisions you make are going to have a direct impact on whether the project is successful or not, and you cannot deflect the blame onto someone else. You need to be competent at gathering all of the information you need so that you can make the correct decisions quickly.
Delegation – There is a lot more to being a delegator than meets the eye. You need to have a thorough understanding of your team to ensure that the right tasks are given to the right people, leading to the best results. Team members will respond well to a project manager that knows their skill set, and assigns tasks accordingly, trusting them to get on with whatever you have given them. You shouldn’t undermine your team members by constantly checking up on them, but you need to create an environment whereby they feel comfortable approaching you if they have any queries.
Integrity – Integrity is a critical character trait you must display when managing a project team. If you do not display integrity, you will lose the trust of your team, and this is something that is notoriously difficult to rebuild. Your team will be happy to put their faith and their trust in you if you demonstrate that you are committed to adhering to both ethical practices in general and your own values.
Sharing the vision – As a project manager, it is your responsibility to ensure that your team is able to see the bigger picture behind the project in question. This is of paramount importance in terms of maintaining focus and quality. Your team will get on board without delay if you articulate the vision of the project successfully, as it helps them to experience it in their mind.
Communication – Communication skills are important for any type of leader, especially a project manager. This is because you are going to need to communicate with a wide assortment of people on a daily basis. The individuals will be from both your business and external organisations, and they will all be at different levels. You need to know how to communicate your expectations, guidelines, goals, and visions in an array of circumstances and to different types of people.
Problem-solving – Finally, an effective leader will have the capacity to solve problems in a creative and resourceful manner. Often, the true skill lies in grasping the real issues behind the problem that has arisen. In many situations, you will simply need to identify the correct person to rectify the issue efficiently.