Five Steps to Effectiveness
1. Personal and Professional Integrity. A project leader must have integrity in all dealings, be they with the management side of the business or the team. Playing one against the other, seeing the project merely as a means to professional advancement and failing to take into account the human side of project management all show a lack of integrity. Being part of a team requires that the leader adopts the “we" approach and molds actions to benefit the team in general and the project in particular.
2. Communication Skills. There is a difference between sending out numerous emails or text messages and actually interacting and sharing information. The effective team leader knows how to communicate by adapting the style of interaction to the hearer’s preference. An accountant will appreciate the hard facts and figures, while an operations manager is going to have more interest in the activities that are likely to influence the day-to-day operations of the business. Team members, too, benefit from custom-tailored approaches to information dissemination.
3. Data Organization Capabilities. Leadership of a project assumes that the manager takes on the responsibility of monitoring benchmark setting and adherence, budget constraints and of course the involvement of contractors or providers. A natural proclivity for information gathering, sorting and digesting is a must.
4. Leadership Skills. Although some professionals are naturally gifted with leadership skills, others must learn the ropes and develop theoretical and hands-on knowledge about the process of taking charge. It is interesting to note that project leadership is not necessarily synonymous with the job title of “supervisor" or “manager." A professional who anticipates taking on project leadership roles in the future should assess current skill sets and seek out additional training as needed.
5. Positive Attitude. Having a positive attitude is different from the sometimes insincere morale-boosting sessions. Instead, the team leader with this mindset operates from the vantage point that failure is not an option, and challenges are actually opportunities. This professional builds a cohesive team and inspires team members to take on challenges.