You do not lead by hitting people over the head – that's assault, not leadership. How apt these words by Dwight D Eisenhower are, leadership is not about bullying people, it is about getting people to respect you with your leadership skills and qualities. People should want to be lead by the project manager. So what are the leadership qualities that a project manager should have? Should he be skilled or compassionate? Or maybe he needs to be a good communicator or a visionary? There is not right answer and there is no wrong answer. Even as I make this statement, here is a list of some leadership qualities for a project manager.
Every project manager should have a vision, a vision of what he wants the project to be like, a vision of how to get things done and a vision of the near future of the project. And he needs to be able to convey this vision to his team members. Only when there is vision is there going to be real involvement on the part of the project manager and thus involvement on part of the team members. This is when the team members and project manager start feeling like a part of the organization and not just the project.
Most would say communication is the most important skill of a project manager and some would beg to differ. But communication is an integral part of the leadership qualities. Without communication the project manager cannot lead. Communication not only allows for great leadership but also for openness and relativity. Persuasion and negotiation are all a part of communication and the project manager's qualities.
Call it honesty, integrity or loyalty, the project manager needs to have it all. The actions of the project manager set an example for the rest of the team members. The project manager is ultimately responsible for setting standards, ethically and otherwise for the rest of the team. The project manager needs to practice before preaching and to lead by example.
A project manager without passion is one that is simple put, lacking dedication. The project manager has to be passionate about the project; he should have enthusiasm and the right attitude. Only then will people follow him and respect his decisions, because they need to feel he is doing it for the project. There needs to be commitment and optimism involved.
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