Leading a project towards success requires the manager to get the work done by the team members efficiently and effectively. It requires the person to have a clear vision, clarity in reason, practical in scheduling and the ability to attract a talented and efficient team.
The stress in project management is about ensuring that things get done while motivating the project team towards delivering project success. Good leadership can be cultivated and modified as per the organizational culture so as to gain results.
The basic distinction between the manager focus and the leadership focus can be captured as given below:
The application of leadership and management in the project execution is usually dependent on the type of project and the life cycle stage that the project is in. For projects which are huge impact, large scale, complex and global in nature the standards to be achieved, the goals and the deliverables are constrained by the time frame, budgets and the market dynamics. These types of projects involve large and distributed project teams, comprising members from diverse disciplines. Also the implementation is going to be multi-phased. In such a situation the project success and business sustenance can be achieved only through an effective and smart leadership.
The leadership style should be flexible, sharing, and innovative so as to bring about the project success. At the same time the leader should emphasize on team building and motivation so that the divergent members can work together as a team.
During the planning phase of the project, the leader should lead the team and the stakeholders through a fine tuned project study so as to understand the project needs. This phase needs to be stressed so as to gain complete awareness of the requirements. Similarly the project leader has a pivotal role to play in change management. A good leader should be able to anticipate the change and address it effectively. The leader should be able to steer and direct the team members on the methods to cope with change and utilize change to one’s advantage.
Most importantly the leader should be able to give credit, nurture creativity and support team members in taking calculative risks so as to deliver project success.