A successful project allows your team to thrive. But what makes a project successful? Is it a timely delivery? Staying on budget? Is it all in the results? Let us also consider this: can we actually plan for success?
We can tell you with absolute certainty that great project management can help you achieve success. It allows you to define a frame, provide structure and order. Not only that, but great project management also allows for creativity, innovation and ultimately results. While project management does provide the necessary tools as described above, it also cannot achieve success merely on its own. Why? What’s missing? Leadership.
Leadership is not limited to a specific role. An individual or a team can exemplify leadership, and since projects almost always involve a team, both project leadership and team leadership are at play here. Essentially, without strong leadership in project management, chances are that your project will simply just be another project.
So how can we help plan for successful project management? What are the leadership principles that will help your team get to the core of effective project leadership?
Today we’re sharing the five leadership principles that we find to be critical. Let’s dive in!
#1: Build A Vision
Once the project vision and goals have been established, share it with the team. The goal is to have everyone understand what they are working towards so that they can track progress and measure success. A great project vision is one that provides a foundation, and gives a clear, overall picture of your project. Project objectives are also important because they validate your vision. Keep this in mind: while your project objectives could change over the course of the project, the vision should not. Great leaders do not start a project without a specific vision in place, so make sure that vision is clear, communicate with your team and nurture collaboration.
#2: Encourage Collaboration
A performing team is a collaborative team. Project success should be reflective of the combined, successful efforts of the group rather than the individual. An effective project leader understands the value and potential of teamwork, which is why collaboration is a means to achieve the project objectives and seeing results. Collaboration starts with the leader and should be modeled. This should include openly sharing information, both giving and accepting feedback and serving as a team player.
#3: Promote Performance
Planning in project management is essential, but so is performing. As a leader, it resides on your shoulders to create an environment that promotes performance. You can do so by:
- Serving as a role model. Make sure to walk the walk, and talk the talk. Demonstrating authentic leadership is key.
- Creating the right environment. What motivates your individual team members? Learning what motivates and drives them will allow you to help the overall team perform.
- Empowering the team. Give your team the opportunity to do its job, by providing the necessary information so that they can excel and achieve success.
- Trusting your team. When a common vision has been developed, and collaboration follows, there shouldn’t be a need to micromanage the team. Trust in your team to do the job.
#4: Nurture Learning
An effective leader understands that people are human and that we all make mistakes. As such, encourage your team to view mistakes as a learning opportunity. Mistakes aside, also encourage your team to explore new pathways and think outside the box. This will allow your team the opportunity to continually keep learning, and put your team in a position to create and innovate. As the leader of the project, you want to cultivate a learning environment, which should include reviewing past performance, sharing accomplishments and addressing conflicts or challenges together.
#5: Ensure Results
Delivering results is an outcome for any successful project. However, ensuring results is not just about the end results. Instead, project success is reflective in the vision, collaboration, performance and learning principles. Each of these principles culminates in different results, and an effective project leader looks at each of these upon the project coming to fruition.
If practiced routinely and consistently, these leadership principles will yield project results. Is your team about to embark on a new project? Or perhaps your team is well underway with a project, but struggling to reach the finish line? At Jeanne Reaves Consulting, we help leadership teams transfer their skills and learning into results for your organization.
Contact us; we’d love to help!