Organizational leadership and project management go hand-in-hand
Why would someone with technical project management skills benefit from studying organizational leadership? The answer is simple; teams depend on leaders’ guidance to reach project success. Which means professionals who have strong leadership qualities, in addition to technical project management skills, are a major asset to their organizations.
An article in Project Times, an online publisher of training materials, articles, white papers and webinars for project managers, highlights the major leadership qualities of project managers. Topping the list is the ability to inspire a shared vision. Project managers must be able to see the big picture behind a project and convey that vision to others.
Many experts mention vision sharing when they discuss leadership. In his book, On Becoming a Leader, Warren Bennis says “leaders have the capacity to create a compelling vision, one that takes people to a new place, and then to translate that vision into reality.”
Leadership and project management also require integrity. Team members are willing to trust leaders who demonstrate their commitment to adhering to their values and ethical practices.
Another quality that wins the support of team members is competence. As the Project Times article states, competence is “not necessarily the project manager’s abilities in the core technology of the business but the ability to successfully lead others rather than on technical expertise.”
Project managers face many situations in which they must show their competence. It is during these situations that their team and colleagues are able to judge their competence and capabilities.
Successful project managers also know how to delegate tasks to the right individuals for the best possible results. Team members respond well to managers who delegate tasks that are well-suited to their skill set. Part of successfully leading a team and managing a project involves learning about each individual’s skills and personalities to get the best out of the team as a whole.
Finally, effective project managers don’t lose their head when they encounter obstacles. Instead, they remain calm, assess the problem and find the best way to resolve it in order to put the project back on the right track.
Students in Alvernia’s Masters in Organizational Leadership program have the benefit of learning firsthand how leadership and project management connect. Courses, including Leadership Development I and II, are designed to develop students’ skills in goal setting, delegating, developing a positive group quality and other areas that contribute to effective project management.
This video goes deeper into the topic of leadership for project managers:
How to Be a Great Leader: Project Management