Being a Project Manager is one of the toughest job in the world. This is due the fact that the main responsibility of the Project Manager is to manage resources, especially human resources, to bring any planned initiative into reality. Managing machines and materials is quite straightforward. However, managing human on the hand is far more challenging and could give you enormous pressure in dealing with people’s behavior and expectation through out the course of a project.
Therefore, being in managerial position in the current world, Project Managers need not only to focus on how tasks need to be properly executed and who are responsible to execute them, but also must have the ability to influence and to lead people so that they know what they need to do, why they need to do it and there are convinced that they are in the right directions. This is actually another skill set that the Project Manager should have while having the normal technical management skills. This is called Leadership. The art of being a leader. The way of how you are going to influence people’s emotion so that they can follow your plan or your aspiration. It can be done by using direct instruction, persuasion, engagement, motivation, be a role model and etc.
The table below shows the differences of roles of Leader and Manager in an organization:
|Activities||Role of Leadership and Management|
|Deciding what needs to be done|
Management involves deciding, what needs to be done through a process of goal setting, establishing steps to achieve the goal and identifying and allocating necessary resources through planning and budgeting;
Leadership focuses on setting direction and developing strategies to move in the direction, that is, creating and achieving the vision
|Developing capacity to do it||Management involves developing capacity to accomplish the organisational agenda though organizing and staffing; |
Leadership focuses on aligning people, communicating the new direction, and creating coalitions committed to get there.
|Ensuring it is done||Management involves ensuring that people accomplish plans through control and problem solving; |
Leadership is more concerned with motivating and inspiring people.
All in all, once you are appointed as a project manager in an organization, it is imminent that you need to improve your leadership skill from time to time so that it can help you to manage stakeholders’ expectation and requirements from various backgrounds. Leadership is not a skill that you are born with. It is a skill that can be honed through experience, training and by emulating other people’s leadership approach. Management and Leadership skills are a great combination for a Project Manager. It is a stepping stone for ascending to the next level in your career.