Project Management And Leadership

In this article, you will get a basic understanding of two important roles in an organization - project management and leadership.

Introduction

Leadership is an essential factor in management. Certainly, we can say if anyone is to survive in management, then they must acquire and develop leadership qualities within themselves. In terms of project management, to lead a project, the person must have the same. There are a lot of things to talk about when it comes to leadership but only a few of us are working seriously on them. That is one of the reasons behind being successful.

Empesemos..!!! (Let's start..!!!)

What is Leadership?

Leadership is an art which helps to achieve goals by inspiring and motivating others. It is a process of giving direction to teams or co-workers, energizing them to achieve the visionary goals set by a leader.

Now, you have an idea about leadership which we came across while in MBA or other management courses. Project Management itself says managing the project. The project could be IT or non-IT. Basically, PMO or Project Managers (PM) are the persons who handle the project. If you are not aware of PMO or PM, please go through my previous blog 'Difference between PMO and Project Manager'. Link is as follows.

Project Manager or PMO needs leadership qualities to drive a project. Successful execution of the project totally depends on the PM. Everyone makes mistakes and learns from them. The project manager is also a person, not an alien, so the same is applicable for him/her as well.

I have seen project managers who act like a boss or just show off. When I observed them properly, I came to know that they were afraid. Afraid of being caught! Maybe because of the lack of technical knowledge, lack of functional knowledge or lack of qualities.

Let's talk about the difference between the leader and the boss to get more clarity.

Leader vs Boss

In the world, everyone has their own opinion, attitude, thinking process and the main thing, unique point of view. Certainly, almost everyone knows what is going on in the world due to the social media revolution. In the IT industry, the trend has begun switching a job after 2-3 years from the last decade. People are working to gain experience. Once they have it, they switch the job.

Perhaps, people are switching bosses not their jobs. This is my personal opinion.

Differences between a Leader and a Boss

Leader

  • Listens more, talk less
  • Ready to take responsibility
  • Always willing to learn
  • Seeks permanent solutions
  • Encourages and trains others
  • Inspires others to raise performance
  • Concentrates on team
  • Recognizes qualities
  • Find out vulnerabilities
  • Always stands in front of the team

Boss

  • Talks more, listens less
  • Puts blame on others
  • Acts like they know everything
  • Always gives answers
  • Criticizes and gives only directions
  • Only demands results
  • Concentrates on themselves
  • Point out weaknesses
  • Defends ego
  • Always stands in the back of the team

Every one of us who are working professionals has come across or or are now coming across the biggest challenge of our professional life' i.e., a boss. Sometimes, the boss is not just a word, it is a mental illness which raises the ego, the temper of the person who only focuses on themselves. 

Maybe you will not agree with my opinion because everyone has their own experiences and opinions made up of experiences. There is a thin line between being a boss or being a leader. Definitely, the definition of this thin line changes from person to person.

This is your choice, whether you want to be a leader or a boss…!

Sometimes, we need a boss instead of a leader to accomplish a goal, to complete the work. Surely, it depends on the work culture, mentality of people and of course it depends on the politics of the particular corporation.

Most of the time people like a charming person as a leader. It might be happening because the leader has an extrovert personality. Just to give a reminder to those persons, at the same time, a leader must be a goal oriented and successful executioner.

History books have stories about introvert persons, they were great leaders and successful people of their time. I am just putting down some examples.

  • Abraham Lincon - The 16th president of the U.S.
  • Bill Gates - The founder of the Microsoft Company.
  • Mark Zuckerberg - The founder of Facebook.
  • JK Rowling - The author of the Harry Potter series.
  • Warren Buffett - Author and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway.

Extrovert and introvert are personality types. Every personality has their own style of work, execution strategies, strategic planning, and possibilities of successful executions.

Now, let's see which skillsets leadership needs.

Skillsets of Leadership

Communication

Communication helps us to deliver the ideas and information. Communication consists of writing clearly and speaking with clarity.

People Management

Identifying the skillset of personnel and motivating them to improve and guiding them towards that which they need to acquire.

Planning

A leader must be personally organized. It shows the ability of a person to plan a day to day work life.

Strategic Thinking

Strategic thinking gives you an idea of where you are and where you want to go.

Positivity

It is an attitude which gives strength to handle stressful situations and motivate others.

Trustworthiness

People always want a person they can trust. We are making relationships everywhere, because honesty causes relationships to flourish.

Learning new things

Learning is essential for everyone. People must be open to learning new technologies. Not only, technical but functional as well.

Delivery Skills

It's very important to deliver the project within the timeline and it's one of the challenges in project management. Certainly, it is very essential to work on this skill.

In my training sessions, people ask lots of questions.The most common are:

  • How to acquire these skills?
  • Do we have management skills?
  • Can we do this? Etc... 

'Leaders are not born but are  made..!!'

Everyone must keep this in mind. If you don't have any skills, acquire them. Keep practicing them until you master them. There is no other way or shortcut at all. If anyone says so, they are fooling you. If you want to be successful….

'There is no shortcut to success..!!'

Conclusion

In this article, we have seen the meaning of Leadership, and the difference between a Boss and a Leader. 

Leadership is one of the qualities which is necessary for project management. Certain skill-sets are acquired only through practice.