Leadership and Project Management – Can you have both?

Andrew TrainerThis guest post is by Andy Trainer, Silicon Beach Training.
Both large and small companies are increasingly valuing project management. Our project management training is in high demand. It is now well-known that project management skills are more efficient, more efficient use of time, and less waste than those without.
To ensure everyone is working within the same framework, companies tend to use a project management method like PRINCE2(r).
Project managers need to be able to manage projects and create teams. To achieve the project goal, they need to have a solid understanding of the industry, technical ability, and good time management skills.
Leadership skills are crucial for project management, but they are often overlooked or taken for granted.
Leadership skills and management skills can be very different. This is especially true in the project management industry. A promotion to manager does not automatically make someone a leader. Likewise, a project manager appointment doesn’t automatically make someone a leader. What are the differences?
Leadership without project management
Project management is a tool for change. It is a method of defining and achieving goals through tightly controlled structure and delivery. No matter how great a leader is, a project manager must be familiar with the tools and techniques used in the framework.
This is essential to avoid miscommunications with sponsors, colleagues, and the rest of Project Board.
Natural leaders will still need guidance on how they manage, just like managers need insight into how to lead.
Project Management without Leadership
The Project Manager’s role is dependent on the ability to assign tasks to a competent, willing team. The team must buy-in to the project manager’s role. This buy-in is dependent on leadership skills like coherence, vision, and leadership.
The vision and belief of the project manager is essential for the success of the team. People may not see the vision they are working towards and may not be motivated to do so.
A manager without leadership skills will not only have their decisions/instructions questioned more often but will find it less easy to defend them. A leader who is coherent will clearly communicate their views and be able to give clear explanations and defend themselves if they are questioned.
The project manager will instill confidence in the project team by providing a coherent argument for the vision. This will make it easier for the team to overcome the challenges that will arise during the project. The manager will also be able to trust her team and rely on them to complete the job.
Leadership and Project Management are two different things
Managers work with processes, leaders with people. This is what Maxwell, The 360 Degree Leader, 2005. Leaders inspire, managers organize. A great project manager must be able to manage both these things.
You will be able to manage all aspects of a project by learning project management techniques and frameworks. However, leadership skills will set you apart in your field.
About the author
Andy Trainer is a Silicon Beach Training instructor. They are a leading provider of resources and courses in many subjects, including leadership skills and project management.
This article was first published on this site in 2012.

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