Leadership Skills of Successful Project Managers

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The author spent the first part of her career working in IT and IT Project Management in the oil industry and investment banking on complex global projects involving the management of outsourced project teams. She now runs a digital marketing company with particular expertise in technical SEO and Content Marketing.

Out of all of the different skills required by project managers, there is no denying that being a leader is one of the most important. After all, your project team is going to be looking toward you for all of the answers and direction throughout the project. Therefore, you need to ensure that you can lead effectively and with conviction. For some people, being a leader comes naturally. But if this does not apply to you, there is no need to panic. Leadership skills can be taught. With that being said, let’s take a look at some of the different leadership skills that are required by successful project managers.

Excellent communication skills

There is only one place to begin when it comes to the leadership skills you need in project management, and this is with communication. You need to be able to clearly and concisely explain the project, goals, and roles to your project team. You will find that a lot of the issues that arise in projects do so because of people being on different pages because of poor communication. Therefore, the first thing you need to do is master the art of communicating with your team effectively.

Positive attitude, realism and motivation

Not only do you need to be able to communicate with your team members effectively, but it is important that you are a positive person. You should also be able to harness this positivity to motivate others. After all, a good leader is someone who leads by example, so if you are in a good mood and you approach projects with a happy attitude, your team members are going to do the same. Plus, as the leader, it is up to you to be able to raise spirits and boost the motivation of your project team when times are hard and things don’t go to plan. Learning to be an inspiration to others takes a positive can-do attitude is one thing. However, you must also take a realistic view of when problems are insurmountable, as this will certainly help you in your project management career.

Effective at problem solving

The third and final skill that we are going to take a look at when it comes to being a good project leader is being effective at problem-solving. After all, you are going to face a number of different issues and problems throughout all project lifecycles, and so it is up to you to be able to address these effectively and find a good solution. Therefore, becoming an effective problem solver is a must. This requires being someone who is decisive and can think on their feet while also having a calm deposition when faced with issues.

These are just some of the main leadership skills that project managers need to have in order to be as successful as possible in their role. We hope that this has helped you to get a better understanding of the important skills you need to be successful as a project manager. If you do not feel like you are quite there yet in this regard, it is worth taking one of the project manager courses that are available. Some such courses will dedicate a lot of effort to helping you to hone your leadership skills effectively.

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Project management has developed into a fully-fledged chartered profession since the granting of the Royal Charter in the UK to The Association for Project Management (APM) in 2017. Training courses for project managers were already available and highly popular to help people gain professional project management accreditation, but with this wider recognition of the profession it is now seen as a desirable career path for many. Whilst the APM has the coveted Royal Charter and continues to develop its APM PMQ (formerly the APMP) programmes, there are also other internationally recognised qualifications that continue to be highly regarded such as PMP and PRINCE2.

Organisations have become increasingly project-focused in this era of rapidly emerging new technologies and they value the expertise that comes with experienced and fully qualified project teams and managers. By investing in their project management capability businesses can be confident of delivering their new projects in time and on budget more often and more successfully. Many major corporation are now training their people to have the right project management qualifications as well as relevant experience, through internal Learning & Development (L&D) programmes; or by using external project management training providers.

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