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Why is leadership important for project success?

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The whole project team relies on their project managers to understand what goals and objectives they need to achieve to complete the project. This is why strong leadership in project management is important to ensure project success. As a project manager, it’s your responsibility to oversee tasks and create decisions that can define whether a project is a success or a failure.

What is leadership in project management?

Project leadership is about taking your team towards the successful completion of a project. You do this by keeping everyone motivated and focused, with each team member making smart decisions about their responsibilities without the need for handholding from you.

Project management leadership requires skills for both managing people and tasks. You have to organize everything that needs to be done and delegate them to specific team members at the same time. And as a project manager, it’s a never ending process of overseeing everything until the project is completed. In this way, you can ensure your team members are all working on the same page towards achieving the common goal.

Why is leadership important in project management

Effective leadership is the most important skill a project manager should have. When working on a project, it’s not just about delegating tasks to team members and waiting until they accomplish their work. As a project manager, you must be your team members’ coach and mentor to make sure they do better. Also, it’s important to recognize their strengths and weaknesses and think of ways on how to work with those.

Strong leadership skills can help you manage your team better and ensure outstanding results. You need to effectively manage tasks and come up with critical decisions to make sure you’ll complete each project on time without sacrificing its quality.

As a project manager, you must be your team members’ coach and mentor to make sure they do better.

Effective leadership boosts productivity among team members.

Leaders should not just tell their team members what to do. They should serve as the team’s mentor so they can work more effectively. Also, when team members don’t feel inferior with their project manager, they tend to be more productive since they don’t just work as you say.

Effective leadership can help you make your team members feel included in every process of the project. This gives them a healthy work environment that allows them to work at their best while being happy about doing it.

Team members who believe that their leader is open and concerned with their being as an individual and not just as employees are more productive and satisfied with their jobs. As a project manager, you need to make them feel engaged as you work towards accomplishing your project goals and objectives.

Leaders generate enthusiasm and positivity towards work.

Project management is a complex job that requires a variety of skills including the ability to work under pressure. Uplifting the energy of your team members and maintaining a positive attitude towards work are one of the most important project manager skills you should have.

Project management and leadership is about giving the whole team the confidence that there will always be a solution for every problem no matter how complex it is. In this way, your team members will still have the optimism to continue working despite the roadblocks you might encounter during the project development process.

Strong leadership skills strengthens decision-making.

The whole team is involved in every decision-making process and not just the project manager. Once you lead effectively, you and your team members can clearly discuss and come up with the most feasible decisions regarding the project.

Decision-making is one of the most critical skills a project manager should have. This will have a significant impact on the final output of the project and will determine whether it’s a success or failure. To be an effective leader, you must develop strong decision making skills so you can accomplish your projects successfully.

A leader motivates team members to do better.

An effective project manager must know that leadership is more than just delegating tasks to your team members. Leadership is about motivating your team to always do their best on their tasks. Your team members’ motivation towards work will reflect on their output as they accomplish your project milestones.

Constantly recognizing your team members’ accomplishments can boost their confidence and motivate them to continue doing great. You can also inspire those who encounter difficulties to improve their skills and do better next time so they won’t feel down about mistakes.

As a leader, you need to create a safe space for your team and make them feel like they’re not just employees. In this way, they can be more productive and at ease when working.

Communication and management skills for effective leadership

Effective communication in project management is important so project managers can communicate with people within and outside the organization. You must be able to clearly communicate your project’s goals and objectives to all people involved in the project. 

Project managers should also be a good listener so they can seek constructive feedback and team suggestions that can contribute to project success.

Good management skills are also essential for effective leadership. As a project manager, you’re responsible for managing all aspects of the project from start to finish. You need to lead your team, delegate tasks and streamline project milestones at the same time. An effective project manager should be able to encourage teamwork through leadership and management.

Different leadership theories

Leadership theories are various schools of thoughts from philosophers and researchers to explain how an individual becomes a leader. Here are some leadership theories to give you insights on how leadership is achieved.

Great Man Theory

The great man theory by Thomas Carlyle states that leaders are born rather than created. This means a person capable of leading a team has the personality and traits of a leader from birth. The theory suggests that the ability to lead is inborn and leaders tend to rise to leadership when a situation arises.

Thomas Carlyle coined the term “great man” because leadership was reserved for males before, especially in the military.

Trait Theory

The trait theory is very similar to the great man theory which suggests that leaders are born rather than made. This theory suggests that there are certain characteristics like intelligence, accountability, sense of responsibility and creativity that help an individual excel in leadership.

This theory of leadership is one of the earliest theories. Some researchers focused on what distinguishes a leader from a follower and obtained an assumption that those individuals who emerged as leaders were more likely to have more leadership traits than the others.

Behavioral Theory

In contrast to the two previous theories, behavioral theory emphasizes that the behavior of an individual dictates his or her ability to lead people. In this theory, the effective leadership is a result of learned skills. This means that an individual can learn how to become an effective leader.

Situational Theory

Situational theory suggests that no leadership style supersedes others. This theory emphasizes that the leadership of an individual primarily depends on the current situation. Also, leaders must always correspond their leadership style to the situation at hand by assessing the type of tasks and team members.

This theory also consists of two elements: the leadership style and your team members’ maturity level. According to this theory, different situations require different leadership styles.

Tips for effective leadership in project management

Effective leadership in project management is vital to project success. This helps leaders and team members come up with a feasible plan on how they will reach their goals and objectives. Also, leadership requires you to execute a range of competencies and behaviors to ensure your team produces outstanding results.

Here are some tips on how to become an effective leader in your project team.

Learn how to facilitate your team.

Problems usually arise because of miscommunication and lack of sense of direction. As a project manager, you need to understand that being a good leader is not just about you. Most importantly, it’s also about your team members who trust you to lead them effectively.

Focus your team and come up with some ways on how you can develop their skills and create a nurturing environment where they can always do their best work.

Build relationships.

Project teams consist of different people who work for a certain project. As a project manager, it’s your job to connect them together and build relationships. In this way, they won’t just see you as a leader, but also as a team member.

The relationship you build with your team members will be beneficial for your projects. Once your team trusts you, they no longer have to hesitate to voice out their opinions and suggestions.

Discover the leadership style that works best for you.

Though there are so many leadership styles you can choose from, not all of them might work for you. Discover which style works best and know when to use it.

In each project, you’ll need to use a certain leadership style to suit the situation and the people you’re talking to. For example, you want to be more directive to your new team members. And if you’re delegating a task with a long time team member, your approach should also be different.

Solicit constant feedback from your team members.

During the project and after completing it, you don’t just wrap up and move on to the next one. As a project manager, you need to understand the importance of soliciting feedback from your team members. They are the ones who work closely with the project so they have the best insights on how you can improve your processes for your future projects.

Being an effective leader and a project manager doesn’t just revolve around delegating and coordinating tasks with your team members. It’s also about knowing how to motivate and manage your team so they can always work at their best.

Leadership is something you can nurture and develop over time as you work with more and more projects. You can also get some inspiration from other prominent leaders who already have extensive knowledge and experience when it comes to leading teams.

Good leadership is crucial for project success. Visit our PMP exam prep course page and discover how you can improve your leadership and project management skills now.

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